No one has to design in the dark these days. Every industry that employs design engineers, now has vast technological tools at their disposal to aid in the design and development process. Whether it’s CAD and 3D printing or VR, AI, 3D scanning and simulation software like FEA and CFD – the tools are plentiful.
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is a powerful and incredibly accurate tool for analyzing a wide range of fluid dynamics issues. It can be used to simulate aerodynamics, air and fluid flow, heat transfer, particle movement, and other multiphysics phenomena in order to optimize design and solve real-world problems. Due to its many uses, CFD has become an essential tool for engineering design and analysis in many industries such as aerospace, marine, automotive and manufacturing.
CFD isn’t something that can be easily picked up and learned on the fly. It’s a complex discipline whose processes require the attention of highly credentialed and experienced engineers, not to mention access to software, hardware with substantial computing power. That’s why, for most companies, especially within the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) cohort, strategically partnering with a rock-solid CFD consulting team makes the most sense. However, choosing your CFD partner requires strategy as well.
The right CFD partner is one who can meet you wherever you are, providing a range of guidance and capabilities to suit your needs now and into the future. Let’s take a look at a few scenarios in which a company might seek out a CFD consultant, and ways in which a good partner will rise to the challenge.
Starting from Scratch
The majority of companies we work with come to TotalSim for expertise and guidance on specific design issues. We help them approach CFD adoption strategically, according to current and projected needs.
If a client’s CFD needs are only occasional or more sporadic, we might recommend a traditional outsourcing or co-sourcing relationship because it’s very difficult to internalize CFD when it’s only done infrequently. Getting the best, most efficient CFD results requires the expertise of engineers who focus on CFD day-in and day-out.
In these cases, we can provide a hefty range of services, depending on client needs:
- Traditional total outsourcing of CFD and CAE projects
- Onsite consultation
- Product design development, optimization and performance mapping
- CFD planning and strategy
- OpenFOAM and commercial CFD code sales training and consulting
Typically, we collaborate with the client’s in-house design/engineering team. They get to stick to their area of expertise and we handle all the tricky CFD aspects. After completing the project and getting a more in-depth understanding of the client’s CFD needs over time, we make recommendations for ongoing CFD adoption.
If a client has recurring CFD needs, we are upfront about the financial undertaking it would be to continue to outsource their work with us. In this case we might recommend they develop a robust in-house CFD capability.
Our assistance during this process can include:
- Helping the client build a great CFD department (or micro-department)
- Recommending the appropriate software (e.g. OpenFOAM, Star-CCM+, FUN3D, etc.) and the hardware required
- Building custom software workflows and automating processes for in-house CFD team to use
- Building and provisioning hardware
- Providing managed cloud high performance computing (HPC) solutions
- Providing ongoing support for all aspects of the process
Of course, these recommendations and services will always vary because we tailor our solutions and counsel to each specific client.
Meeting in the Middle
Some companies we work with already have an in-house CFD team but need extra muscle for increased project loads or additional minds on a problem. In these cases, we offer support to assist in-house CFD teams in meeting their goals.
This can include:
- Co-sourcing for peak project work loads
- CFD training
- Custom software, templating and workflow development and automation
- Cloud HPC or onsite hardware solutions
- Ongoing support
A Little Goes a Long Way
Some companies are confident in their design process or only need CFD to a limited degree. In this case, the primary thing we can do for them is make life easier when CFD is needed. This is sometimes where our library of self-service apps come in.
Our proprietary apps like TS Auto, TS Aero, TS Truck, TS Fan and TS Results require little to no training or knowledge of the CFD process itself. This allows the user to simply upload geometry, select test conditions and let the app do the rest. These apps allow for easy management and comparison of results through an intuitive interface. They’re a great, simple solution for clients who just need the test results to make design decisions.
Partnership for Any Need
We believe that every client project is unique, so our engagement process is unique too. At TotalSim, we work with wonderful in-house CFD teams every day to improve their processes through evaluation, templating, workflow automation and other consulting work. For other clients, we act as their CFD department, leveraging our deep expertise and proven processes to deliver the results they need to solve problems, optimize design and outpace the competition.
At TotalSim we are ready to meet you where you are and help you along the journey of getting where you need to be, knowing that CFD needs are ever-evolving. Even once you reach the stage of having your own independent CFD department, we don’t disengage, we’re proud to see you succeed.