George Laird's blog

Predictive Engineering – Western States ANSYS LS-DYNA Distributor – Your Free Coffee Cup is On Its Way!

LS-DYNA has been one of Predictive’s core analysis tools pretty much since we got started in 1995.  It is an amazing numerical workhorse from the basic linear mechanics (think ANSYS or Nastran) to simulating well nigh the impossible.  At least that is the way I feel at times when the model is not solving and spitting out arcane error messages and I’m basically questioning my sanity for accepting this project from hell that has a deadline at the end of the week.  Which brings me to my favorite project management image – “trough of despair followed by wiggles of false hope then crash of ineptitude and finally the promised land” but I’ll leave that for another blog. 

For now, let’s talk about those free coffee cups.  Predictive is now the western states distributor of ANSYS LS-DYNA and provides complete sales, training and services for ANSYS LS-DYNA  clients in this region.  It is a continuation of our prior setup with LSTC (now ANSYS LST) with the addition of Predictive’s ability to offer ANSYS Workbench with LS-DYNA and other ANSYS software tools.  So where’s my free coffee cup?  If you are a current Predictive ANSYS LS-DYNA client, we’ll be shipping’em out to you at the end of February and for our new client’s – just send us an email or give us a call.

Boom, Bang and da Buzz or How Now Brown Cow?

LS-DYNA has been a mainstay at Predictive Engineering for roughly 20 years.  It has been an amazing journey and on most days, LS-DYNA is the all-time, most favorite code of my simulation existence.  But, as we all know, there are moments when the model is not running, the manual must have been written in Greek, un-explicable error messages are flying past you on the screen and basically you are questioning your sanity as the clock tolls 2:00 am in the morning.  Nevertheless, in general, 99.999% of the time, you just love the power and flexibility of LS-DYNA.  One of our more fun projects was this high-speed cone crusher where big rocks are crushed into smaller rocks.  Rock comminution was one of my specialties when I worked for the US Bureau of Mines as a scientist, so this project had a special twist since we now had a chance to make a virtual rock pile and then crush it.  The LS-DYNA model used Lagrangian rocks that were then crushed within the rotating, rigid-body cone crusher.  Loads were extracted and then applied to a FEA model.  The rock crushing model was simply used to create loads for the stress model.  As we know in FEA, the three most important things that determine the accuracy of your FEA model are: Loads, Loads and Loads.  Yeah – another simulation joke.

How to Become a Journeyman Simulation Engineer

It is an inside joke among simulation engineers about how long does it take to be considered a “journeyman” simulation engineer.  The answer is about five years since it takes that long for your mistakes to catch up with you!  It is a brutal profession since everyone is human but the price of failure is especially high when your FEA results are used to build prototypes that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Which leads to another saying: “What is the difference between a design engineer and a simulation engineer?  A design engineer gets a second chance.”  Thus, we were pleased to hear from our client that their composite container passed mobility testing with flying colors.  Not only did it pass, the group doing the testing at Aberdeen said that it was the first time that such container had passed all tests at 100% from drop test, rail impact, heavy lift to land transport.  If you would like to read about more about our FEA work on this container, please take a look at 026_Jensen, Broad-Spectrum Stress and Vibration Analysis of Large Composite Container.pdf.

Mobility Testing of Large Composite Container - FEA Consulting Services - Composite Simulation Engineering

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