Adrian Jensen's blog

Model Checkout Dashboard using the FEMAP API

Ribbon cutting. Courtesy of SNC.Everyone knows that checking your FEA model is boring but oh so necessary if one wants to keep your job. But what happens if you're responsible for a whole team of engineers using the “divide-and-conquer approach” to build the next generation of spacecrafts? How does one ensure that your team or your colleagues are creating high-quality meshes, using consistent material properties or maintaining laminate orientations?

Of course, the simple answer is that you outsource this work to an off-shore company where a team of independent engineers can do this checking overnight, strip out the IP, sell it on the black market and have the checked models back to you in the morning; well, maybe not.

What is reality? Last year, the Sierra Nevada Corp (SNC) manager of the Dream Chaser Global FEM came to Predictive Engineering looking for a better way to ensure his team was maintaining quality and consistency. We suggested the development of a custom program using FEMAP’s Application Programming Interface (API). With the FEMAP API, users can automate organizational tasks, modeling checks and extraction of data, reducing time and potential for error.

Trip & Training Recap: Houston, Lockheed Martin, and BBQ

BBQ in HoustonThe weather was hot and muggy as Tropical Storm Cindy floated past Houston but fortunately, the power stayed on and the FEMAP and NX Nastran training class went off without a hitch. Ten analysts from Lockheed Martin’s Orion program participated in the training and worked through real-world examples from CAD geometry to full Global-Local models.

The engineers have honed their Nastran skills working on the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and now have the FEMAP pre and post processing techniques to liberate them from the dreaded text editing and manual meshing.

I’d like to thank the class for their challenging questions and in-depth discussion of finite element modeling and analysis. To expand your own FEMAP and NX Nastran skills, visit us in Portland, Oregon for our next training on October 9th 2017.


ASME Section VIII, Division 2 "Design-by-Analysis" Pressure Vessel Consulting Services

We just finished two FEA consulting projects under ASME Section VIII, Div. 2 "Design-by-Analysis" code and they couldn't be more different. One was for the transport of electronic equipment within a gas line or a "pipe pig" and the other was a large high-temperature reactor using for the scrubbing of organic laden gases. The only commonality between the projects was that they had to pass the ASME pressure vessel code and our clients wanted their designs to be as efficient as possible. That is the beauty of ASME's design-by-analysis rules is that one only has to show that the structure meets their stress allowable within a broad list of available materials (Part D) or one can base the allowable on the material's ultimate strength. This flexibility allows one to leverage the full power of a finite element analysis to maximize the design of the structure. In the pipe pig analysis, we were able to cut weight out of the head and to allow our client to use a less costly, non-stainless steel material, In the 9.5m diameter reactor we optimized the manufacturing process to join the roof to the shell and performed a buckling analysis. Both projects saved our clients money in materials and construction costs and increased their confidence that they had the best approach going forward.

ASME Section VIII, Division 2 Design by Analysis FEA Consulting Projects on Instrumented Gas Pipeline Pig and RTO Vessel


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