by Dave Davidson, |
Nylon Technology, Solutia Inc, USA
(Dave Davidson passed away in late October. He was an asset to the CFD community and a great friend who will be sorely missed by all who knew him.)
Early in 1995, Monsanto implemented a CFD Initiative leading to a concerted application of the technology throughout the company. By standardizing on CFX-4, we simplified the learning process and made it trivial to share models across the organization. Since then, the CFD group has been closely monitored, checking cost against economic benefits for each case. Consequently, we have a large dataset of industrial CFD applications from which we can extract performance statistics on the benefits of CFD.
Because of the manner in which CFD adds value, it is impossible to precisely quantify this. However, we can estimate a lower bound to be the cumulative net income derived from all projects where CFD made the difference between success and failure; a conservative estimate is $35 million. In fact, one projectís return is in excess of $10 million of cumulative net income. Total cumulative investment in CFD is about $6 million, including salaries; therefore a conservative estimate of the payback ratio is in excess of 580%. This estimate excludes any contributions from technical service work. One such project, involving CFD and structural analysis at a customer site, helped prevent loss of a key customer who provided $40 million of annual revenue. The customer was convinced that we were to blame for low yields, and was threatening to bring in a competitor. The project results showed them that their equipment was at fault, they cancelled the competitor trial and we retained the entire sales volume. Subsequently we were able to use the results to suggest process modifications aimed at improving yield.
Since 1995, we have maintained approximately 1 full-time CFD practitioner per billion dollars of annual sales and the same ratio of CFD practitioners to enterprise employees (0.035%). Both the annual net income of about $4 million per user and the rate of return are continuing to increase.