Product testing is an inevitable part of the usual product development process taking place in any manufacturing organization. It is the pre-requisite for any product to make it marketable and usable for the consumers.
Traditionally, manufacturers rely on experimental and physical tests along with some manual calculations to finalize the product design. But, the increasing complexity in the design and pressure on reducing the cost due to market demands makes product development and testing a costly process for manufacturers. It is in the interest of these product developers that simulation tools have been emerged from their regular academic and research applications to mainstream product testing and validation tool.
For some, simulation tools are nothing more than an extra investment with no possible returns. This is true in many cases where designs do not undergo any modification and are developed purely on engineering processes learned and refined through many years. But this strategy might not work whenever there is a need to develop something new.
It is important then to know when these tools actually become useful and when is the right time to invest in this technology or consider help from engineering consulting firms that offer simulation testing services, so that the purpose of benefiting from the product being developed remains intact for manufacturers.
Here are 5 signs that every manufacturer should notice and consider investing in the simulation technology.
Physical Product Tests are Time Consuming and Costly
It is always necessary to conduct tests before validating the product design; however, physical tests are often time consuming and the requirement to keep on iterating makes this method often costly. While physical tests should not be eliminated, the number of test trials can be reduced considerably. For organizations running tight on a budget and spends more on testing, it is the right time consider an alternative. With simulation, prototyping test trials reduce in numbers, reducing the cost as well as development schedules.
Product Design is in Need of Improvement
Simulation tools can be a right choice when your product or product lines are in need of a design improvement. There may be instances when the product might encounter higher failure rates than expected. This might be due to a miscalculated fatigue life or any unseen flaw in the design. With finite element analysis, the product design can be evaluated and any flaw in the design can be recognized, even at the expected number of operation cycle.
Production Cost is Required to Be Reduced
The cost of the conventional product development cycle can be reduced significantly by realizing the product potential early during the design phase itself using simulation. Alternate designs can be visualized without building a prototype and a cost-effective design can be finalized. Through design optimization using FEA approach, the cost of producing a part or product can be reduced by eliminating excess material without disturbing its performance.
Product is Required to Bring to the Market Faster
One of the major challenges manufacturers face with any new product is the ability to bring the products in the market faster. The conventional manufacturing technique often stretches the development schedule, making it difficult to place products in market at the right time. With simulation, the development process can be reduced down by 30%, since product performance can be evaluated right from the design phase. This ultimately helps in reducing physical trials and in turn brings the final product to the market faster.
Product Behavior is Not Understood Clearly
There may be instances when the product behavior might not be easily visualized even through physical examination. It becomes difficult then to design he product without a complete understanding on its behavior. Through simulation however, product behavior can be closely examined. Fluid flow behavior at molecular level or heat transfer process in solids can be comprehensively studied through FEA and CFD approaches.