Most people seem to think that faster is better.
Americans enjoy fast food, instant messaging, and even (believe it or not) new quick-cooking slow cookers. While not everything is better faster, we recognize that manufacturers could potentially save money if they were able to collapse the amount of time spent in the pre-production phase.
The key word in that sentence is “potentially,” because I think we can all acknowledge that rushing the process can sometimes lead to more complications.
While not every pre-production shortcut is a good idea, one method that’s proven effective has been that of Finite Element Analysis (FEA). Through subjecting your prototype to hypothetical stresses, you’re able to gain insight into potential problems with your prototype’s structure, mechanics, dynamics, thermal dynamics, or electrical mechanisms. Since all of this is hypothetical (through simulations), you can save both time and money by solving real-world problems without subjecting your prototypes to actual real-world stresses.
But don’t just take our word for it. Should you have the time and inclination, feel free to consider this case study, in which the benefits of FEA are clearly shown to have accelerated the prototype phase of the elastomeric seal design process.
Now a design can be conceived, drawn up, and then modeled by computer using FEA to determine results before the part is built. This allows design iterations to be made, results obtained, and perhaps an optimum design developed before tooling begins. Even though testing is still necessary to verify the results, a more predictable and cost-effective part can be developed in a more timely fashion (MSC Software).
Here at American Hydroformers, we’re proud of the part we share in moving your product from planning to prototype to successful production.
If you would like to hear more about FEA, or if you have questions about our services, please feel free to contact us at any time.
We look forward to working together with you.