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COSMOSFloWorks Cuts Unnecessary Prototypes from Design Processes
Posted Thu March 23, 2006 @01:34PM
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News Lasers, undersea vehicles, networking gear, and medical devices are just a few of the products manufactured for less money and with fewer quality errors thanks to COSMOSFloWorks™ fluid dynamics analysis software.

COSMOSFloWorks analysis enables engineers to simulate and study the flows of liquids, gasses, and heat through their designs before they commit to building expensive physical prototypes. By simulating the fluid flows, designers can determine whether gasses circulate through a machine as planned, whether heat flows through a product quickly enough to prevent overheating, or whether a product exhibits the expected aerodynamic qualities. If COSMOSFloWorks analysis reveals a problem, designers can modify their design and run more COSMOSFloWorks analysis to determine if it works, rather than manufacturing a new prototype to test each iteration.

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Nanometrics, the U.S. Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Sonus Networks are among the engineering organizations that use COSMOSFloWorks to cut costs and accelerate design cycles. Calgary-based Toppings Engineering designs products for a wide range of industries, most notably Canada 's oil industry. Owner Barry Toppings' recent project was developing drilling equipment and coring tools. He used COSMOSFloWorks to determine how the equipment would endure the pressure, temperature, and erosion of the drilling fluids.

“I used AutoCAD LT before, and I didn't realize going from 2D to 3D would be such an advantage,” Toppings said. “I was pretty good at visualizing things in 3D, but building them in 3D is a huge leap in getting it right the first time.”

Toppings recently used COSMOSFloWorks to design a measurement while drilling (MWD) device for a Canadian oil field service company. The device is mounted near the drill bit. It sends coded sequences of pressure pulses through the drilling mud to the surface so operators know where the drill bit is in relation to the rig floor. Toppings used COSMOSFloWorks to simulate the torque and forces the MWD device would face, and used the findings to modify his design. COSMOSFloWorks saved him from traveling to other cities for expensive physical tests that would have required him to build a prototype and mount sensors in a flow loop. Toppings estimates that COSMOSFloWorks saved him at least $50,000 in the development of this MWD tool.

Another COSMOS customer, a medical device manufacturer Dräger Medical, avoided a potentially costly design flaw by using COSMOSFloWorks to analyze the gas flow through a ventilation unit that it was re-designing from aluminum into plastic. The COSMOSFloWorks analysis revealed that gasses were not mixing in a chamber as expected, but flowing side by side. Dräger engineers added deflector ribs that mixed the gasses, then tested the new design with COSMOSFloWorks before producing a final prototype.

“COSMOSFloWorks takes an inherently complicated task and makes it easy enough for anyone in the design process to perform,” said Suchit Jain, SolidWorks' vice president of analysis products. “Ease of use combined with the accurate results COSMOSFloWorks delivers gives product designers a trustworthy alternative to extensive prototyping. Every time we help a customer eliminate a prototype it significantly cuts costs and time to market while raising quality. More and more companies are turning to analysis software as they realize how much it adds to their design processes.”

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