Engineering simulation has traditionally been used for new product design and virtual testing, eliminating the need to build multiple prototypes prior to product launch.
Now, with the emergence of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), simulation is expanding into operations. The IIoT enables engineers to communicate with sensors and actuators on an operating product to capture data and monitor operating parameters. The result is a digital twin of the physical product or process that can be used to monitor real-time prescriptive analytics and test predictive maintenance to optimize asset performance.
Join PADT’s Senior Analyst & Lead Software Developer Matt Sutton for an in depth look at how digital twins created using ANSYS simulation tools optimize the operation of devices or systems, save money by reducing unplanned downtime and enable engineers to test solutions virtually before doing physical repairs.
This webinar will include an overview of technical capabilities, packaging for licensing, and updates made with the release of ANSYS 2019 R1.
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Ted Harris, Joe Woodward, Alex Grishin, Jim Peters, Tom Chadwick, Ahmed Fayed, Eric Miller
In this episode your host and Co-Founder of PADT, Eric Miller is joined by PADT’s Alex Grishin, Jim Peters, Joe Woodword, Tom Chadwick, Ahmed Fayed, and Ted Harris, for a discussion on predictions of what the future holds for ANSYS and simulation in general, covering topics such as 3D Printing, Acquisitions, The Cloud, IOT, and Artificial Intelligence.
When Cox Communications asked us to be part of its local Smart Home Tour I said yes for one simple reason: I wanted to see a truly connected home. in “3 keys to success for smart home devices” I discuss some of the lessons I learned about IoT devices that actually work in the home.
When I 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, I of course said yes. I love gadgets, and smart gadgets more. On top of that it was another chance to evangelise on the power of 3D Printing. And I got to hang out in a brand new luxury condo in Downtown Phoenix, a post kid lifestyle change that is very appealing. Plus we deal with customers designing and improving Internet of Things (IoT) devices all the time, and this is the perfect chance to see such products in action.
So I packed up one of our Makerbots, none of our Fortus machines fits in the back of my Prius, and headed downtown. The first thing that shocked me was that I had the printer, my iPhone, iPad, and laptop connected to their network in about one minute. The printer showed up on the Makerbot Print app on my iPad and I was printing a part in about three minutes.
The whole point of the demonstration was to show how the new high-speed Internet offering from Cox, Gigablast, can enable a true smart home. So I was focused on the speed of the connection to the Internet, which was fast. What I didn’t get till I connected was that the speed and bandwidth of the WiFi in the house was even more important.
When everything was connected, we had 55 devices on the local network talking to each other and the Internet. At one point I was downloading a large STL file to the printer while on a teleconference on my iPhone and my “roommate” was giving a violin lesson to one of his students in Canada.
Oh, and the roomba started to vacuum the floor. On the balcony someone was giving a golf lesson and a doctor was diagnosing a patient in the master bedroom. That was on top of the smart kitchen gadgets. And it all worked. Yes, it all worked.
I’m trying to convey shock and surprise because the reality is that nine times out of ten when I show up for some event, at a customer, or at a friends house and we try and connect things to the internet… it doesn’t work. If you are a technical guy you know that feeling when your vacation or visit for dinner turns into an IT house call. All I could think of was how awesome it was that everything worked and it was fast.
So I went to work printing little plastic Arizona style houses with COX on the roof. And then a reporter showed up. “3D Printing, interesting. Hmmmm… they are cool and all but really, what does that have to do with a smart house?” Damn reporters and their questions. I was still reveling in the fact that everything worked so well, I hadn’t taken to time to think about the “so what.”
Then I thought about it. 3D Printing in the home is just now starting to take off, and the reason why is actually high-speed internet connections. If you wanted a 3D Printer in your home in the past you needed the printer, a high end computer, and some good 3D modeling software on that computer. Basically you had to create whatever you wanted to make. Unless you are a trained engineer, that may not be so easy.
But with a well connected home you have access to places like Thingiverse and Grabcad to download stuff you want to print. And if you do want to create your own, you can go to Tinkercad or Onshape and use a free online 3D modeler to create your geometry. All over the web, even on a pad, phone (I don’t recommend trying to do modeling on a phone, but it does work), or on a basic computer. The files are stored in the cloud and downloaded directly to your printer. No muss, no fuss. All you need is a reliable and fast connection to the internet and in your home.
High speed internet and a smart 3D printer makes anyone a maker.
And when we had a three hour break, I went downstairs to a coffee shop on the ground floor of the condo and worked, while monitoring my builds using the camera in the smart 3D Printer.
Pretty cool when you step back and think about how far we have come from that first Stereolithography machine that PADT bought in 1994. We had to use floppy disks to get the data from our high-end Unix workstation to the machine. Now it sits on the web and can be monitored.
This may be what we have been waiting for when it comes to 3D Printers in the home moving beyond that technologists and makers.
I’ve been focused on my experience with the 3D printing in the smart home, but there was a lot more to look at. Check out these stories to learn more:
I also did a piece for the Phoenix Business Journal while I was at the event on “3 keys to success for smart home devices” based on what I learned while playing with the other devices in the smart home.
All and all a good day. Oh, and being a 10 minute walk from my favorite pub made the idea of living downtown not such a bad idea, which doesn’t have much to do with high speed internet, connected devices, or 3D Printing. But one of my goals was to check out post-child urban living…
Almost everyone in the technology industry agrees: the Internet of Things, or IoT, is “the next big thing.” Taking products and connecting them to the internet will change how people live their lives and how companies do their work. In “What you need to consider when designing for the Internet of Things” I explain three suggestions for designing an IoT device.
Part 2 is out! Making a product a smart and connected device requires a lot of planning and an understanding of how Internet of Things devices differ. In “How to turn your IoT idea into a product” I review the key steps and offer suggestions to make for a more successful design process. It is published in two parts:
“It is not just a trend, it is a Tsunami. One day you will wake up and see a giant wave headed your way, and that wave will be the Internet of Things!”
This was the opening line from a presentation given by the VP of sales for a major engineering software company. It got my attention because it wasn’t hype or hyperbole. He was just pointing out the obvious. Over the past two years the signs have been there. Smart devices will connected to the internet, and older devices will be made smart and then connected. Those that don’t, will no longer be competitive.
It is not all about smart thermostats. Far from it. I went to IoT world in San Jose last week and saw a lot of people scrambling to find their solution. And a few that found them. The best example was an older letter stamping machine, you can guess at the manufacturer, that plugged a modular device from Electric Imp in to their controller and boom – they were connected. Some back end programming and they now had a competitive IoT device.
It is time to define and execute on your IoT strategy
When we visit customers, we will often ask them what their IoT Strategy is. The answers vary from “we don’t really think our products have an IoT play” to existing products on the market. The focus in the media is on consumer IoT products, but the bigger push right now is for industrial Internet, where machines used in manufacturing, energy generation, raw material extraction, and processing are smart and connected.
Customers from consumers to other companies will be requiring the benefits of IoT devices as they look to replace older hardware. That is why every company that makes physical products needs to develop an IoT strategy.
PADT Can Help
We have been helping our customers define and implement their approach to IoT well, since before it was called the Internet of Things. From assisting semiconductor companies that make MEMS sensors to making smart medical devices we are plugged in to what is needed to make IoT work.
There you can find some basic information about how PADT is a more comprehensive and technically capable solution then most design houses that claim to have IoT solutions. We are uniquely qualified to make sure the “Thing” in your IoT strategy is designed and manufactured right.
We also published a series of articles in the Phoenix Business Journal that provide some fundamental background information on the Internet of Things and how to deal with the challenges it presents:
Simulation can play a big role in almost every aspect of making your IoT device development faster and more productive. PADT uses ANSYS, Inc.’s comprehensive Multiphysics simulation tool set to model everything from the chip to the embedded system software.
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Talking is the Best Approach
We hope that you find all of the material above, and the information we will provide in the coming months useful. But they are no substitute for giving us a call or sending us an email and setting up a face-to-face to talk about your IoT strategy and device development needs. If you are doing the work in-house, we have the hardware and software tools you need to be successful. If you need outside help, you won’t find engineers with more applicable experience.
Give us a call at 1-800-293-PADT or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is our final post in a series on The Internet of Things, or IoT. In “This is the biggest challenge for the Internet of Things” I take a look at the monster that keeps IoT companies up at night – Security. In the end, security is a big concern when designing your IoT device, but one that can be easily addressed with the right experts, systems, and planning.
The next step in our look at the Internet of Things, or IoT, is what to do with all that data. Having sensors track something is great, but it makes a lot of ones and zeros. Saying “it is Big Data” doesn’t solve the problem. “How to deal with all that data from your Internet of Things device” I take a look at how planning and using the right tools can give you a handle for this critical part of IoT products.
In this second article on the Internet of Things, or IoT, we take a look at ways you can connect a smart device to the internet. “Connectivity: What makes the Internet of Things a big deal” gives some basic information on options and talks about the important decisions you need to make when developing your connectivity plan.
Everyone is talking about the Internet of Things, or IoT. This is the first of four posts that look at what IoT is and how your products can take advantage of it. We start with “Sensors and controls: Making a product smart enough for the Internet of Things” to understand what makes a product smart, the first step in enabling a product for the IoT.
The local SEMI chapter here in Arizona held a breakfast meeting on Monetizing Internet of Things (IoT) and PADT was pleased to be one of the presenters. Always a smart group, this was a chance to sit with people making the sensors, chips, and software that enable the IoT and dig deep in to where things are and where they need to be.
The event was hosted by one of our favorite customers, and neighbor right across the street, Freescale Semiconductor. Speakers included IoT experts from Freescale, Intel, Medtronics, ASU, and SEMICO Research.
Not surprisingly I talked about how Simulation can play a successful role in product development of IoT devices.
UPDATE (11/9/2015): Great write-up by Don Dingee on this event in the SemiWiki. Click here to read it. It includes a great summary of the other speakers.
You can also see more details on how people use Simulation for this application on the ANSYS, Inc. website here. We also like this video from ANSYS that shows some great applications and how ANSYS is used with them:
A couple of common themes resonated across the speakers:
Price and size need to come down on the chips used in IoT (this was a semiconductor group, so this is a big part of their focus)
Lowering power usage and increasing power density in batteries is a key driver
The biggest issue in IoT is privacy and security. Keeping your data private and keeping people from hacking in to IoT devices.
Another big problem is dealing with all the data collected by IoT devices. How to make it useful and how to store it all. One answer is reducing the data on the device, another is only keeping track of what changes.
It is early, standards are needed but they are still forming.
If you look at this list, the first two problems are addressable with simulation:
PADT has a growing amount of experience with helping customers simulate and design IoT devices as well as the chips, sensors, and antenna that go in to IoT devices. To learn more, shoot us an email at email@example.com or call 480.813.4884.