Software is part of our everyday life. The problem with having all this software around is that we forget it is there. In “Software tools can deliver a huge productivity punch” I take a look at how, with a little bit of attention to what you use, you can make your business day much easier, and more productive.
When we tell people that “We Make Innovation Work” one of the key ways that we actually make innovation work is through the sales and support of ANSYS Simulation Software. Few toolsets have changed the way products are designed and manufactured as the structural, thermal, fluid, electromagnetic, and multiphysics simulation programs written by ANSYS, Inc. Outside of the world of mechanical engineering, simulation is not as well known as 3D Printing, but in reality, it plays a larger role in product development with more users and a larger return on investment to companies that make simulation part of their process.
If you are not familiar with simulation, it is a process where a mathematical model is constructed on a computer to represent the physical behavior of a product. Once the model is made, an engineer can do “virtual testing” on the model to understand, improve and optimize the design. The majority of innovative companies now make simulation a part of their product development process, and ANSYS is the largest provider of simulation tools.
Customers choose ANSYS products for one simple reason, they deliver. ANSYS only does simulation, they are not a CAD or PLM company trying to add simulation. With close to $1 Billion in sales, and 2017 should cross that threshold, no other provider is as large either. They are the biggest provider because their software works. Many other companies offer much cheaper solutions, but time after time companies invest in ANSYS technology because they get their money back quickly in better products that get to market faster.
PADT is not just a reseller of software, we are an ANSYS Elite Channel Partner who dedicates a significant part of our staff, over twenty people, to selling, supporting, and training around the complete ANSYS Product line. Our territory is the Southwestern United States; including Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and Southern California. We have been setting the standard for win-win sales and outstanding support for over twenty years and have a worldwide reputation for technical excellence not just with ANSYS tools, but in how to efficiently use those tools to drive the design of products.
Our sales process starts with understanding our customer’s complete simulation needs; what they have now, what the skill set is of their users, and what they want to achieve with simulation. We then work cooperatively with the customer to design a long-term plan to bring the right ANSYS tools to the right users and to train as needed. Once a company adds the ANSYS tools, they then have PADT to call directly for technical support.
Our technical support is unique in the industry because it goes beyond the installation and error tracking that most software companies provide. When you call PADT for technical support you get an Engineer with real-world experience using the same tools you use every day. They also know engineering and how simulation fits into the process so we can go beyond what options to use and dig deep into how to apply the products properly. Our outstanding technical support is reflected in our extremely high customer satisfaction rating.
You can learn more about ANSYS by visiting that part of our website, or better, by contacting us and learning why customers who have a choice on who they buy their ANSYS from, chose PADT.
Working and living in your own bubble it’s hard to recognize how others perceive your company from the outside. That is why we were honored and humbled to learn that PADT had been chosen by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the top 360 companies in the country. Today we found out we are number 249 on their list. We have never been on a list before, let alone a national list with so many other companies in the competition.
Here we are, right there on their (entrepreneur.com/360):
What is cool about this list is that the companies who won are all over the spectrum. Service providers, retail, manufacturers, and pretty much anything else you can think of. With so many applicants of every shape and size, being recognized was a huge surprise for us.
And we owe it all to our employees, customers, and partners. We owe everything we have become to them and we look forward to growing and achieving new and exciting things in the future.
Read the press release below to get our reaction and a summary of all that went on recently that got us on this list.
Is this the reaction you have when you come in on Monday morning, and realize that another Windows update has, once again, rebooted your PC before you had a chance to save the 30-hour run that should have finished over the weekend? There a Workbench setting that can help relieve some of that stress.
The “Save Project After Solution” option will save the entire project as soon as the solution has finished. So when your model runs for 30 hours over the weekend, it gets saved before a Windows update shuts everything down. These settings are persistent, so once you’ve changed them to ‘Yes’, then you are all set for next time. You just need to make sure that you change them for each ANSYS version if you have more than one installed.
Now on to my next blog… “How to recover a run if you forgot to change the settings above.” (Grumble Grumble!)
For our Christmas parties at PADT we generally have over 40 employees so a traditional secret Santa gift exchange takes to long. At some point, we downloaded a right-left gift exchange story from the internet and it was a big hit. When we ran out of stories on the internet, we started writing our own, usually in some sort of over-the-top style. This years Christmas party involved sorting employees into Elf Families for some games we played. That made it kind of obvious that we should make the story Elf Family related as well.
Here is how it works:
Everyone gets their gift and forms a big circle in the middle of the room. Someone with a strong voice reads the story and every time the word LEFT is read, everyone passes the package they have to the left. Every time the world RIGHT is read, everyone passes the package they have to their right. You should pause a bit at each LEFT/RIGHT to give people a chance to pass.
You can find previous years stories here:
Trouble in Elftown
Way up on near the North Pole, just to the left of Santa’s workshop and right down the road from the Reindeer farms there sits a little village called Elftown. On the outside, it looked like the front of a Christmas card. Picturesque houses on the right and left side of the main street, and a giant Christmas tree right in the middle of town. But right under the surface things were not right. There was a tension in the town that left on its own, might not just tear apart the community, if left on its own it might destroy Christmas itself.
The problem was that there was a war of sorts going on between the elf Clans. Specifically, the Toe clan and the Sweet clan were furious with each other. No one really knew who was right and who was wrong, but everyone was stuck right in the middle of the conflict, and many felt they were left with no option other than violence.
It started at the last reindeer games when the Rightly Clan had decided to take the seats that belonged to the Leftover Clan. Now the members of the Leftover Clan were used to being left out of things. They lived right next to the Santa Express train tracks, but on the wrong side. So they were used to not being treated right. The only thing they had going for them was that their Reindeer Game seats were right on the track on the right side of the finish line. The Rightly Clan were on the left side, but they wanted the right side. So they marched right up and sat down, right there in the middle of the opening ceremonies. It would not be a big deal, the Rightly and Leftover clan fought all the time. The problem was that the Toe Clan had signed a contract right before the games with the Leftover Clan to outsource their toy assembly quota to them. That left the Sweet Clan out in the cold in terms of making their quota, right there two weeks before Christmas without either working-class clan to do the work for them. Right now, they were panicked. And the Toe Clan was mad that the Sweet clan had left negotiations and complained to Santa.
So right there with Mr. and Mrs. Clause sitting on their thrones right in front of the crowd, the Toe and and Sweet Clans felt it was right to make the seating controversy about so much more. Harsh words, for elves, were exchanged back and forth. Then a snowball was thrown right at a crowd and it hit Santa right in the face. He stood right up and said “I’m am left with no option but to cancel these Reindeer Games right now! All of you need to leave now, right now! I said Right now I Say… ho ho hooooo!”
Everyone left the stadium, but they left with a burning hate for each other. And right before Christmas, it reached a fevered pitch. Each clan was going through their store of toys and weaponizing what they could. Spikes were put right into baseball bats. Toy nerf guns were modified to file nails right out of their barrels. The social-economic stratification of Elftown, based on Santa’s distribution of responsibility to families that was based on payments of “left over” egg nog made right out in the open was the real cause. It was obvious regardless of if you were on the left or right of the political spectrum. As the moon passed right over the North Pole, because it was winter and the sun had left for the season, the families gathered in the main square. The Toes and the Rightly’s on the right, and the Sweets and… their allies, … other side
They brandished their vicious modified toys and hurled insults back and fortth. On that Christmas Eve, right in the heart of the north pole, right where the spirit of Christmas was born and nurtured, Elftown was about to explode. And right before that fuse was lit, a small voice could be heard. “Riliburt? Riliburt ? Is that you holding a tennis racket with a spike right in the middle?” And then an even tinier, sweeter voice answered “Annibell? Why yes, I have to support my family, my clan I’m left with no choice” “Riliburt, I need to tell you something right now, right here in front of everyone, it can’t be left unsaid.Riliburt, I love you! That is right. I. Love. You!. “Oh, Annibell, I love you as well! But you are from the Toe Clan and I am a lowly Leftover, our love is not right.”
At that point, every elf heart, in the left of every elf chest, skipped a beat. All of the anger stopped, just for a second, as they all contemplated love. Because stripped of the presents, and trees, and eggnog, Christmas was really about love. On the right side of the square, and on… the other side, everyone knew what the right thing was to do. They dropped their weapons right there and merged into a giant pointy eared mass of hugging elves. And right in the middle was the couple that reminded everyone that what they were all about to do was not right. That the Toes, the Sweets, the Rightly’s, and the Leftovers could all get along if they just remember that the right thing to feel was love and that they left hate and anger outside of Elftown.
Peace on earth, goodwill towards men was the message they remembered, right there, at the top of the world, in a place called Elftown, just to the left of Santa’s workshop and right down the road from the Reindeer farms.
What do you think historians will call the economic age that we are part of right now? Specifically, what revolution are we smack dab in the middle of? I share my guesses in “Are we living in a computer, software, internet, or information revolution?” A good thing the contemplate as we get ready for 2018.
Risk is what used to set the American business world apart from everyone else. People would risk everything to come here and then take risk in the marketplace. That has changed, “When did RISK become a four-letter word?” asks the question and throws out some ideas about how we need to turn that around.
Before joining PADT last July, I have worked on FEA and CFD analyses but my exposure to ANSYS was limited and I was concerned about the transition. To my delight, the software was very easy to learn; most often than not intuitive and self-explanatory (e.g. mechanical wizard), the setup time was minimized after learning couple simple features (e.g. named selection, object generator etc.) and the resources on the ANSYS portal were very instrumental in the learning process. Furthermore, the colleagues at PADT proved to be very knowledgeable and experienced and more importantly responsive and eager to jump for help.
One of the most attractive features that caught my attention was the streamline of the Multiphysics nature that ANSYS has. I have been satisfied with the performance of standalone CFD packages in the past, and same goes for structural ones. But never have I dealt with an extensive software that maintained the quality of a specialized one. The importance of this attribute is showing more and more its powers in recent years given the development of new convoluted products of Multiphysics nature e.g. medical applications.
Using ANSYS to simulate medical applications is one of the most rewarding experience I personally enjoy. Even though, it is definitely satisfying to be able to help accelerate innovation in the aerospace, automotive, and a myriad of other industrial areas…the experience in the medical area has a more refreshing taste, probably due to the clear and direct link to human lives. From intravascular procedures to shoulder implants and microdevices, there is one common factor: ANSYS is decreasing the risks of catastrophic failures, improving the product capabilities and shortening the innovation cycle.
Editors Note: Ziad is part of PADT’s team in Southern California. He is a graduate of USC and has worked at Boeing, Meggit, and Pacific Consolidated Industries before joining PADT. He works with the rest of our ANSYS technical staff to make sure our users are getting the most from their ANSYS investment.
As we jump into December everyone is starting to realize that 2017 is almost over. And what would the end of a year be without a look back at what happened? 2017 was a big year for PADT, with new offerings, fantastic events, and humbling recognition taking place throughout the year. If anything, this was a year where PADT further established itself as the leader in simulation, product development, and 3D printing in the southwest.
Take a look, maybe you were part of some of the critical happenings during the year:
PADT Named ANSYS North American Channel Partner of the Year and Becomes an ANSYS Certified Elite Channel Partner
The year started with a bang when, because of our fantastic customers and the hard work of our sales and support team, ANSYS, Inc. recognized PADT as Channel Partner of the Year for North America. At the same time, the team hit their goals and the company became an ANSYS Certified Elite Channel Partner
Concept Laser, Honeywell, and PADT Build Largest Additive Manufacturing Center in Southwest at Arizona State University
ASU launched their Manufacturing Research and Innovation Hub, the largest additive manufacturing research and teaching center in the Southwestern US. PADT is proud to have partnered with ASU, as well as Concept Laser and Honeywell, to get this important piece of the local manufacturing ecosystem started and to keep it growing.
Every year PADT opens its doors to let the community come in and see how “We Make Innovation Work.” We enjoyed kids running excitedly down the hall and customers using the visit as a way to explain what they do to their friends and family. With over 250 attendees, this was one of our biggest open houses ever.
Everyone loved getting five emails a week from PADT…not. So, we decided in April to consolidate some of the information into a monthly newsletter. It covers upcoming events, anything special that happened, key news that PADT needs to share, and the occasional tidbit of useful but only slightly related information.
PADT was asked to take part in a demonstration put on by one of our local communication companies, Cox Communications, showing off what a “smart home” looks like. It was a great chance to show how 3D Printing and other technologies integrate into the smart home and how do-it-yourself is turning in to print-it-yourself.
When PADT wanted to take our engineering services business to the next level and expand our offerings, we knew we needed someone with sales and business development experience at the national and international level. That is why we asked John Williams to join our team. Williams is an experienced professional with the ideal skillset to handle our diverse client portfolio and position us as a major player in this area
PADT was recently able to use 3D printing to help doctors and their patients receive better treatment. The first involved converting a CT scan of a kidney into a printed model so the doctors could plan a difficult stone removal procedure. The second was a 10-year-old boy who needed complex heart surgery. PADT provided a 3D model fast to try and help doctors find a way to carry out the surgery.
On June 22nd, PADT had three events scheduled for the same day: An Aerospace Summit in Phoenix, we launched an industry-academia partnership in Denver, and held a 3D Printing user group meeting in Albuquerque. The logistics of doing all three on the same day in three different states is tough, but we made it happen.
As part of the company’s effort to grow our 3D Printing and manufacturing services offering, Steve Gaxiola joined PADT’s advanced manufacturing team. He will initially focus on growing our capabilities in scanning and reverse engineering. He will later be charged with introducing a certified quality system for our services in this important and growing part of the company.
PADT has partnered with Desktop Metal to resell its office-friendly and affordable metal 3D Printing solution. The partnership will allow PADT to integrate this exciting new technology into our 3D Printer maintenance and part printing services and it gives our customers yet another option for their additive manufacturing needs.
After installing our own metal 3D printer, PADT’s Dhruv Bhate published a five-part series on our experience. The articles are very popular and have been reprinted in several different areas. Anyone considering a metal additive manufacturing system should take a look.
After publishing content on our blog for over 10 years, PADT decided it was time to share our ANSYS Knowledge and expertise on a newer platform, and the All Things ANSYS Podcast was born. Every two weeks two or more, PADT simulation engineers get together to talk about what they have learned and explore the world of ANSYS products.
The WESTEC show in LA is one of the year’s biggest gatherings for manufacturing and mechanical engineers. This year, PADT was asked to come out and share our experience helping startups develop medical devices. The talk was well attended, and we were also able to stop by and talk with customers and partners who were also attending the show.
PADT and Stratasys Announce Lockheed Martin Additive Manufacturing Laboratory at Metropolitan State University in Denver
PADT helped build another industry-academia partnership to educate students and provide research to the industry around 3D Printing. This effort brings Lockheed Martin, Stratasys, and PADT together with the Metropolitan State University in Denver with a focus on tooling made with additive manufacturing.
ANSYS, Inc. and PADT partnered once again to hold a fantastic user conference for all local users of the ANSYS product suite. This annual event focuses on user presentations, how they use simulation, and a technical overview from ANSYS, Inc. and PADT on new and exciting features in the toolset.
3D Printing of productions parts is here, and PADT is one of the first to offer on-demand manufacturing that leverages Carbon’s revolutionary 3D Printing technology.
The addition of a new UnionTech RSPro 450 further establishes PADT as the leader in Additive Manufacturing technology in the Southwestern US. With a build volume of 17.7 x 17.7 x 15.75 inches, this state of the art Stereolithography(SLA) machine will triple our capacity to 3D Print with SLA technology.
Our annual customer appreciation event, Nerdtoberfest, was another fun and informative evening at PADT’s Tempe offices. Over 200 customers and partners came to see what we had that was new and to socialize with PADT’s employees as well as other attendees. Fun was had by all and a LOT of pizza was consumed.
Finishing the Year with Awards and a Booth at Arizona Technology Council Governor’s Celebration of Innovation
A year packed full of events, milestones, and new capabilities were capped off with our annual attendance at the premier tech event in the state: The Governor’s Celebration of Innovation. As is tradition, we 3D Printed the awards. Our booth was full of fun examples of products that our customers produce. And it never sucks when the Governor and the state’s most successful tech entrepreneur hold a trophy you designed and 3D Printed.
Looking Forward to 2018
After looking back on 2017, all indicators point to 2018 being even better. We look forward to meeting new customers, growing our old clients, and bridging new partnerships. We will see you in 2018!
I’m sure most people don’t know the name George M. Low. He was an early employee at NASA, serving as Chief of Manned Space Flight and later as a leader in NASA’a Apollo moon program in the late 1960’s. In fact, he was named Manager of the Apollo Spacecraft Program after the deadly Apollo 1 fire in 1967, and helped the program move forward to the successful moon landings starting in 1969.
As most alumni of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute know, he returned to Rensselaer, his alma mater, serving as president from 1976 until his death in the 1980’s. I still recall the rousing speech he gave to us incoming freshman at the Troy Music Hall on a hot September afternoon. On our class rings is his quote, “Without risk there can be no progress.”
I’ve pondered that quote many times in the years since. It’s easy to coast along in many facets of life and accept and even embrace the status quo. Over the years, though, I have observed that George Low was right, and the truth is that risk is required to move forward and improve. The hard part is determining the level of risk that is appropriate, but it’s a sure bet that by not taking any risk, we will lag behind.
How is that realization applicable to our world of engineering simulation? Surely those already doing simulation have moved from the old process of design > test > break > redesign > test > produce to embrace the faster and more efficient simulate > test > product, right? Perhaps, but even if they have, that doesn’t mean there can’t be progress with some additional risk.
Let’s look at a couple of examples in the simulation world where some risk taking can have significant payoffs.
First, transitioning from ANSYS Mechanical APDL to ANSYS Mechanical (Workbench). Most have already made the switch. I’ll allow there are still some applications that can be completely scripted within the old Mechanical Ansys Parametric Design Language in an incredibly efficient manner. However, if you are dealing with geometry that’s even remotely complex, I’ll wager that your simulation preparation time will be much faster using the improved CAD import and geometry manipulation capabilities within the ANSYS Workbench Mechanical workflow. Let alone meshing. Meshing is lights out faster, more robust, and better quality in modern versions of Mechanical than anything we can do in the older Mechanical APDL mesher.
Second, using ANSYS SpaceClaim to clean up, modify, create, and otherwise manipulate geometry. It doesn’t matter what the source of the geometry is, SpaceClaim is an incredible tool for quickly making it useable for simulation as well as lots of other purposes. I recently used the SpaceClaim tools within ANSYS Discovery live to combine assemblies from Inventor and SolidWorks into one model, seamlessly, and was able to move, rotate, orient, and modify the geometry to what I needed in a matter of minutes (see the Discovery Live image at the bottom). The cleanup tools are amazing as well.
Third, looking into ANSYS Discovery Live. Most of us can benefit from quick feedback on design ideas and changes. The new Discovery Live tool makes that a reality. Currently, in a technology demonstration mode, it’s free to download and try it from ANSYS, Inc. through early 2018. I’m utterly amazed by how fast it can read in a complex assembly and start generating results for basic structural, CFD, and thermal simulations. What used to take weeks or months can now be done in a few minutes.
Credits: Motorcycle geometry downloaded from GrabCAD, model by Shashikant Soren. Human figure geometry downloaded from GrabCAD, model by Jari Ikonen. Models combined and manipulated within ANSYS Discovery Live. George M. Low image from www.nasa.gov.
I encourage you to take some risks for the sake of progress.
“It is done running already? What machine did you run that on? Your desktop? How do I buy one?” That serious of questions from an ANSYS customer of PADT’s is how CUBE Computers became one of our product offerings. We offer a complete line of six standard systems to meet the needs of the most demanding, and cost-conscious, users.
The problem is that in the world of advanced numerical simulation, most off-the-shelf computers just don’t perform like they should. They are expensive and are weighed down with unnecessary accessories and slowed down by poor configuration. Because PADT has been building our own computers for over twenty years for the sole purpose of running simulation models, we know how to configure boxes that are optimized for that sweet spot everyone is looking for. Our engineers and IT staff work with customers to find the right standard system, or to customize a unique system that is ideal.
We break our standard models into three families: Workstations, Servers, and Cluster Appliances. Although each type can be heavily customized, we have pre-configured the following systems to make it easy for users to quickly get what they need:
Each machine comes with maintenance and support that is also tuned to the customer’s needs – from basic parts only warranty to same-day on-site support. You can also have us install the system and your simulation software. Whatever you need, we can deliver.
Over one hundred customers, many who have purchased multiple systems from us over the years, have worked with PADT’s team to obtain an optimized computer system that maximizes the return on their simulation investment. Reach out to our CUBE Computer System team and http://www.directics.com/altera-fpga/ let them help you ” Discover What You Need.”
One of the key outputs from any random vibration analysis is determining the response of the object you are analyzing in terms of reaction forces. In the presentation below. Alex Grishin shares the theory behind getting accurate forces and then how to do so in ANSYS Mechanical.PADT-ANSYS-Random-Vib-Reaction-Forces-2017_11_22-1
As always, please contact PADT for your ANSYS simulation, training, and customization needs.
Empowerment is one of those loaded buzzwords that hangs out with synergy and disruptive. When done right, empowerment can make running a business, and making that business successful, much easier. In the fourth installment of “Exploring Easy” I take a look at empowerment and why is not just a good idea, it is easier to do than trying to control everything.