The Return on Investment of Computational Fluid Dynamics

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Measuring the ROI of Fast and Reliable Computational

Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is not always straightforward. In this presentation, we are demonstrating the positive ROI of CFD using different point of views.

(1) Advantages and cost-savings of using CFD simulation both early and often during the development.
(2) Avoiding costly downtime or product failures.
(3) The ROI of CFD simulation to optimize product performance.
(4) The cost of choosing the wrong simulation tool.
(5) Some tips for you to answer the questions: “Would I benefit from using fast and reliable CFD?”.

For more information on ANSYS Fluid Dynamics Software ROI, you can read the white paper http://bit.ly/ROICFD

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  • This presentation will be approximately 25 minutes, leaving 5 to 10 minutes for Q&A. Claearly explain each slides and do not fly over them. A very enthusiastic tone is needed!

    This section describes example of positive return on investment from CFD. The examples are specifically chosen to cover a wide range of applications.
  • Measuring the ROI of a tool used in the development process is not always straightforward. In this presentation, we are presenting the ROIs using different point of view.

    First, we will show the advantages and cost-savings of using CFD simulation both early and often during the development and the advantage this approach has when combined to traditional physical testing.
    Then, we will give indication on how YOU can measure the possible returns on investment of using CFD. Our experience shows that, for any of your company, CFD can be a critical tool to shave time and cost to your development process.
    But CFD simulation is not about determining the performance of one design. CFD simulation can be used very effectively to identify the best design, to make trade off between performance, quality, and costs, to perform “what-if” analysis.
    Furthermore, CFD simulation can avoid costly product failure as well as downtime. With CFD, you can test your products to the extreme as well as design AND TEST better performing systems without even shutting them down.
    Lastly, we will examine the cost of accuracy: the cost of not using the correct tool to perform your CFD simulation.
  • The great advantage of using CFD simulation during your development cycle is that you can use it before a single prototype is even built.
    - You can literally gain insight into your product performance as the first “raw” drawings are being completed.
    - You can test initial ideas and configurations at the click of a mouse
    As the design is refined, you can continuously:
    - refine your understanding of your product behavior
    - continuously virtually test possible variation of the design to find the highest performance design
    - run “what-if” analysis to test alternative to the current design
    But no product is used in exactly the same manner. With CFD simulation, you can test 100’s of way your product is being used, thus making sure your design is robust, however your clients will use it.

    With CFD, there is no compromise between better time-to-market or improved quality. With CFD, you can achieve both.

    The following slide shows this graphically.
  • This is about describing the graph to make sure attendees understand it. Spent 2 to 3 minutes if needed!

    First list the different design phase. It is important to group them in 3 categories
    - Phase 1: design before prototyping
    - Phase 2: physical testing
    - Phase 3: production ramp up.

    Notice how the cost of a design change increase as you move through the development phase. By the time you reach the prototyping phase, design change cost are already extremely high.

    By using simulation early and often, you can optimize the design during the concept phase and perform design changes at a very low costs. CFD and simulation helps solving problems early in the design phase, where problems can easily, quickly, and cheaply be fixed. Other method like CAD and traditional analysis or physical testing only only occurs later in the design phase, where costs are extremely large.

    Furthermore, with CFD, you can test a large number of designs, compared to physical testing.


  • Consider the experience of U.S.-based Weil-McLain, a leader of space conditioning and water heating systems.

    When developing an advanced three-pass, horizontal-flue boiler, the company’s engineers used CFD software to analyze fluid flow patterns and heat transfer of different boiler designs. By helping them to speed up the usually tedious process of evaluating design iterations, CFD software cut more than six months from the company’s typical time to market using conventional build-and-test methods — but not at the expense of reaching the product’s key performance and quality targets. The new Weil-McLain boiler featured design improvements that boosted efficiency to more than 86 percent, making it one of the most efficient units of its kind.

  • time-to-market savings took place at AcoustiFLO, LLC, a specialist in custom fan engineering in the U.S.

    For an efficient new centrifugal fan module that could drop into packaged air handlers, the company’s engineers used CFD software to evaluate the interaction between the fan’s diffuser and impeller in many different design variants. By helping the investigating team find an optimal design quickly, CFD pared more than six months from the company’s usual development cycle.

  • All information needed is on the slide. To prepare, you can check Advantage Magazine 2007 – Volume 1 – Issue 1 – Page 6

    Middle right picture: Blade Geometry, mesh, and structural stress

    Bottom left picture: Cooling Flow Paths





  • When a product failure incident occurs, the consequences can mount up: loss of profits, repair costs, fixed and variable operating costs wasted during downtime, and a myriad of other costs that reverberate throughout the business. The damage can be measured in dollars — millions in lost profit per year — as well as in reputation, enough to send a company to bankruptcy.

    For example, in chemical process equipment, flow fields can be very complex and difficult to measure. Troubleshooting or improving efficiency requires multiple data points, which are often unavailable. To reduce downtime and loss of revenue, CFD can be invaluable at virtually analyzing equipment at full scale. Fluid dynamics analysis provides an inside look into the function and operation, offering valuable information to equipment manufacturers, plant managers, production managers, process engineers, and research and development staff.
  • Here we insist on the cost of taking such an intalation off-line to troble shoot and test different solution. Thanks to CFD, the only downtime needed is to modify the system, not for testing – all tests and desgin validations are done virtually. All information is on the slide

    Middle right picture: Artistic picture of the burner

    Bottom left picture: Flow pathline in the burner chamber
  • On the warranty front, India-based Control Components Inc. (CCI) faced accelerating warranty costs related to its turbine bypass valves. Power plants today operate at supercritical conditions to meet fluctuating power demands, which places added strain on the valves. CFD simulation made it possible to quickly upgrade the turbine bypass valve in a few weeks, compared to the six to 12 months that would have been required using conventional methods.

    Reduced warranty costs
    Power plant valves undergo much more thermal and mechanical loading than originally designed for. CCI used ANSYS CFX to simulate valve fl ow parameters, such as pressure (shown), at harsh operating conditions. This information was used to design structurally stronger components that can be installed in a simple field retrofi t to existing valves.
  • One of CFD’s overlooked cost benefits is its ability to improve speed and quality of the design optimization process. Even when designing the simplest products, today’s engineers must optimize a multitude of geometry, material and other design attributes. A seemingly straightforward flap valve design, for example, might involve dozens of subtle changes to the geometry of the valve body or fl ap. A more challenging fluid flow application, such as optimizing the aerodynamics of a Formula One car, might require many hundreds of changes.

    The most advanced CFD simulation products increasingly contain features that eliminate the time-consuming, error prone process of manually evaluating incremental design variations. Key among these features is the automated generation of parametric design variations, which dramatically speeds up the user’s ability to evaluate multiple what-if scenarios without the need for manual rework.

    Other tools allow users to evaluate the effects of variations within a given design tolerance or determine which design parameters require the tightest control. Still other features automate statistical optimization methods, including design of experiments (DOE) and Six Sigma analysis. A CFD suite with integrated tools can help users to understand which parameters the design is most sensitive to as well as determine which design parameters require the tightest control. For the most innovative and fastest results, all optimization techniques should take place within a single-user environment.
  • As an example of design optimization at its best, Dyson in the U.K. set about developing a revolutionary bladeless fan without benefit of previous experience with this type of design.

    Historically, the company relied on physical prototyping, but engineers faced evaluating hundreds of design candidates to optimize this new product. After testing a concept prototype, the goal was to increase the amplification ratio to move the maximum amount of air possible for a given size and power consumption. Using simulation, Dyson’s engineers steadily improved the amplification ratio performance to 15 to one, a 2.5-fold improvement over the six-to-one ratio of the original concept design.
  • All information is on the slide

    Middle right picture: artistic rendering of the valve

    Bottom left picture: ANSYS CFX® software results show areas of turbulence inside the valve body, indicating areas that could be modified to reduce pressure losses. The contours represent velocity. ANSYS CFD and ANSYS DesignXplorer were used to optimize the design.
  • All information needed is on the slide. To prepare, you can check Advantage Magazine 2007 – Volume 1 – Issue 1 – Page 18

    Middle right pictures: Experimental (verification) Setup and Prototype of the optimized Impeller

    Bottom left picture: Vortices creating Drag

  • Consider turbomachinery design, which is highly complex and demanding. Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), a large energy-sector organization in India, needed to improve performance of one of its utility steam turbines. Engineers there used CFD to analyze similar turbine designs to acquire insight into the flow parameters for each stage and into loss coefficients for the inlet and outlet passage sections — a task that would have been impossible without simulation tools.

    Middle right pictures: Picture of the BHEL Steam Turbine

    Bottom left picture: Representation of the complex inner geometry of BHEL steam turbine
  • Fast and Reliable CFD Solutions

    Race teams use simulation software to evaluate many different race conditions and car configurations. These different race parameter may only improve overall speed by fractions of a second but, that often means the difference between winning and second place.

    The leading teams around the world have found that ANSYS delivers the most reliable

    Middle right pictures: Red Bull F1 car

    Bottom left picture: flow of air around the Red Bull F1 car
  • Similar to the previous example but here we are also considering multiphysics simulations. All details are on the slides.

    Middle right pictures: Flow of water around the boat keel and flow of air around the sails and boat structure

    Bottom left picture: flow of air around the sails and boat structure
  • Unfortunately, not all CFD products are created equal when it comes to accuracy. Modern CFD software, for instance, always contain a turbulence model, but differences in how those models have been implemented in software can have a dramatic effect on accuracy. Because the factors that drive accuracy can be somewhat opaque to users and difficult for non-specialists to grasp, the best advice is to work with established CFD vendors whose software has been thoroughly validated in the widest variety of real-world applications.

    SIMulAtIoN At WoRK Turbulence and accuracy
    Simulation of turbulence structures in a single swirl burner (left) and reacting flow velocity profiles (right). Note the significant influence of selecting the right turbulence model (in this case SAS). A CFD code user must think in terms of tick-boxes of which model is available in which code; he also must also consider implementation integrity and the CFD supplier’s underlying know-how behind the technology.
  • Accuracy is KEY for this application – All info on the slide. To prepare for the presentation, chaekc Advantage Magazine 2007 – Volume 1 – Issue 2 – Page 14

    Middle right picture: Gasifier schematics (left) and an exploded view of the mixing zone (right) colored by contours of CO fraction

    Bottom left picture: contours of carbon reaction rate
  • Now that engineering organizations have gained experience and confidence in CFD and related simulation technologies, they increasingly rely on virtual prototyping strategies that drastically reduce the need for physical models and testing. In some applications, CFD and coupled simulations have replaced nearly all of the physical testing. In others, simulation acts as a gatekeeper to allow fewer design concepts to pass through to the physical testing stage.

    Either way, any reduction in physical prototyping and testing will remove cost from the design and development process. How much cost? It depends on the application, but tests on even lab-scale mixing equipment can cost hundreds of dollars per hour. Testing full-scale automotive or aerospace models in wind tunnels can run thousands per hour. And neither of these examples includes the cost of producing the physical prototype or analyzing test data.

    Plus read the slide examples
  • For example, computer modeling and simulation are helping researchers develop innovative respiratory drugs in a shorter amount of time. The cost of developing a respiratory therapy drug for asthma is estimated at more than $1 billion; the process can take up to 14 years and involve thousands of patients in clinical studies. At Belgium-based FluidDA, in silico respiratory studies employ fluid dynamics simulation to generate accurate images of pulmonary functions, such as airway volume and resistance for individual patients. The impact on development costs and time could be stunning.

    Middle right picture: Representation of the pulmonary network

    Bottom left picture: Representation of the respiratory network
  • In Germany, Voith Turbo used CFD to develop quieter fans by simulating a complete railcar cooling system. Increasingly stricter exhaust regulations and growing output requirements call for higher and higher cooling performance, which could lead to greater noise pollution. The company developed a plan to address these competing parameters in the rail industry. Currently, depending on the stage of product development, Voith is able to reduce its prototype costs by two-thirds.

    Middle right picture: Fan

    Bottom left picture: Exhaust air from the fan

    More information: ANSYS Advantage V4, I1, 2010, p. 15 Fan of Simulation
  • All information is on the slide
  • The Return on Investment of Computational Fluid Dynamics

    1. 1. © 2012 ANSYS, Inc.1 Computational Fluid Dynamics ROI: Benefiting from Fast and Reliable CFD Gilles Eggenspieler, Ph.D. ANSYS, Inc
    2. 2. © 2012 ANSYS, Inc.2 Simulate early and often Assess your CFD ROI Optimize your design Avoid product failure and downtime Predict product performance accurately Key ROI of Computational Fluid Dynamic
    3. 3. © 2012 ANSYS, Inc.3 Simulate Early and Often Simulate early to not run into “surprises” when physical testing are performed •Even before a prototype is built •Gain insight into the product performance as the first drawings are done Simulate often to design a high performance and robust product •Study different product configurations •Analyze the entire operating condition envelope
    4. 4. © 2012 ANSYS, Inc.4 Simulate Early and Often Concept Design Detail Design Prototyping Evaluation Production Ramp-Up Full Production 1 X 10 X 100 X 1,000 X 20,000+ X Development Phase Number of Problems Resolution Cost/Resolution Design Change Cost Design Change Cost Design Change Cost CDF & Simulation CAD and Traditional Analysis Prototyping Testing Only Source: Aberdeen Group: The Impact of Strategic Simulation on Product Profitability
    5. 5. © 2012 ANSYS, Inc.5 Saving 6+ months over built-and-test methods Problem Select the best boiler design Solution ANSYS Fluent Result 6+ months saved over a traditional built-and-test approach Weil McLain was looking at 2 designs with very different heat transfer performance. The company applied ANSYS FLUENT simulation software to guide its selection of a final set of design, arriving at one that was the most efficient and economical design. Weil-McLain
    6. 6. © 2012 ANSYS, Inc.6 Reducing Prototyping Expenses by $150,000 Problem Unexpected flow patterns leading to inefficiency Solution ANSYS Fluent and impeller housing simulations Result 6+ months and $150,000 saved over a traditional built-and-test approach AcoustiFLO’s original fan impeller housing showed significant areas of flow recirculation. The improved design, evaluated using CFD, showed much higher efficiency. Using ANSYS FLUENT to perform CFD simulation, engineers discovered unexpected interactions between the diffuser and the impeller, which would have been diffi cult to assess with physical testing only. AcoustiFLO
    7. 7. © 2012 ANSYS, Inc.7 FSI Makes for Cool Gas Turbine Blades Problem Cool turbine blades with minimum impact on gas turbine performances Solution ANSYS Advanced CFD and FSI capabilities Result Improved cooling efficiency This allowed the Wood Group Industrial Turbines to replace costly experiments by virtual prototyping Wood Group Heavy Industrial Turbines, AG, Switzerland Courtesy of Wood Group Heavy Industrial Turbines
    8. 8. © 2012 ANSYS, Inc.8 The Cost of Product Failure and Downtime Consequences of a product failure can mount-up • Loss of profits • Repair/recall costs • Wasted fixed costs • Brand reputation damage The cost of equipment downtime can also be very high
    9. 9. © 2012 ANSYS, Inc.9 Maintaining Power Problem Too much erosion in a boiler ANSYS CFD Solution ANSYS CFD Turbulence, Multiphase and Combustion ANSYS CFD Value Decreased Maintenance Downtime Without the insight provided by ANSYS CFX software, Tractebel would have been limited to trial-and-error testing to identify and mitigate the cause of the undesirably high erosion. Tractebel was able to determine the erosion pattern and make informed and cost-effective decisions regarding the operation of the burner and, consequently, the plant Tractebel EnergiaCourtesy of ESSS and Tracteble
    10. 10. © 2012 ANSYS, Inc.10 Warranty Costs Go Down Problem Increasing warranty costs Solution Using CFD to upgrade the design Result Better design in a few weeks instead of 12 months CFD simulation made it possible to quickly upgrade the turbine bypass valve in a few weeks, compared to the six to 12 months that would have been required using conventional methods. Control Components Inc.Courtesy Control Components Inc.
    11. 11. © 2012 ANSYS, Inc.11 Today, even simple design must be optimized • Gain a competitive advantage • Reduce operating costs of your products Yesterday, CFD was used to validate a given design Today, CFD is used to optimize a given design – tens or hundreds of CFD simulations can be performed to identify the best design CFD optimization can be connected to optimization tools like 6-Sigma, DoE, etc. The ROI of Design Optimization
    12. 12. © 2012 ANSYS, Inc.12 An Optimized Fan Problem Need multiple design options to boost fan performance Solution ANSYS FLUENT enabled 10X design variation analysis Result 250% improvement over original design Dyson Air Multiplier™ Fan “The team investigated 200 different design iterations using simulation, which was 10 times the number that would have been possible if physical prototyping had been the primary design tool. With critical acclaim from many reviewers, the Dyson Air Multiplier fan has been a resounding success in the marketplace.” Richard Mason Research Design & Development Manager Dyson Courtesy of Dyson
    13. 13. © 2012 ANSYS, Inc.13 New Valves Swing into Action Problem Optimize the shape of a valve ANSYS CFD Solution ANSYS CFD and DesignXplorer ANSYS CFD Value Generate results in hours instead of weeks The flow performance curve for a wide range of feed conditions was generated for each of the 50 valves, providing solutions in hours rather than weeks. Cameron, IncCourtesy of Cameron
    14. 14. © 2012 ANSYS, Inc.14 Solid Suspensions Get a Lift Problem Design an optimized hydrofoil for mixing equipment ANSYS CFD Solution ANSYS CFD and moving reference frames ANSYS CFD Value Dramatic performance improvement The solid concentration variance was improved by 48.5% and the pumping effectiveness increased by 410.2% Universidade Estadual de CampinasCourtesy of ESSS and UNICAMP
    15. 15. © 2012 ANSYS, Inc.15 Better Steam Turbines Problem Improving performance Solution CFD for turbomachinery Result Gain insight impossible to obtain using physical testing Engineers used CFD to acquire insight into the flow parameters; a task that would have been impossible without simulation tools Bharat Heavy Electricals LimitedCourtesy BHEL
    16. 16. © 2012 ANSYS, Inc.16 Problem Quickly design and analyze parts to enhance car performance Solution ANSYS FLUENT for Aerodynamic CFD simulation Result Reliable, accurate analysis in record time; won 2010 and 2011 Formula 1 Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship Victories for Red Bull “ANSYS [CFD] simulation software is incredibly reliable and accurate. Simulation enables us to drastically reduce lead times and get solutions to the circuit much quicker, so we are more competitive race to race.” Steve Nevey Business Development Manager Red Bull Technology
    17. 17. © 2012 ANSYS, Inc.17 Problem Design the best performing boat both from the aerodynamic (sails) and hydrodynamic (boat haul and keel) Solution ANSYS CFD multiphase capabilities and HPC speed-up Result Evaluate quickly different design and find the best performing one Wining the Americas' Cup Emirates Team New Zealand won the 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup and Team Alinghi won the 2007 America’s cup Alinghi, BMW ORACLE Racing Emirates Team New Zealand Team Shosholoza Courtesy of Team Shosholoza Courtesy of BMW Oracle Racing Courtesy of Emirates Team New Zealand Courtesy of Emirates Team New Zealand
    18. 18. © 2012 ANSYS, Inc.18 Only accurate CFD is Computational Fluid Dynamics Inaccurate CFD is “Colorful” Fluid Dynamics What you need: • Thoroughly validated CFD Software • Knowledgeable technical support teams The Cost of Inaccuracy
    19. 19. © 2012 ANSYS, Inc.19 Gasing Up with Coal Problem Study the complex phenomena of gasification Solution ANSYS advanced chemistry modeling and dense particles modeling Result Ability to gain more insight into the gasifier performance After carefully validating the simulation tool with experimental data, CFD can be used to gain more insight into the gasifier performance National Energy Technology LabCourtesy of NETL
    20. 20. © 2012 ANSYS, Inc.20 The actual ROI depends on your company practices and workflows • How expensive are your physical prototyping? How much could you save by reducing their numbers by 2? • What are the savings of reducing your development time by 5%? 10% 25%? • What are the savings of improving your engineers productivity? • Can your warranty provisions reduced? • What would a product recall cost you? Assessing your CFD Simulation ROI
    21. 21. © 2012 ANSYS, Inc.21 CFD Brings a Breadth of Fresh Air Problem Develop respiratory drugs is very expensive Solution CFD of real pulmonary network Result Possibility for huge reduction in development costs and time The cost of developing a respiratory therapy drug for asthma is estimated at more than $1 billion; the process can take up to 14 years and involve thousands of patients in clinical studies. The impact of CFD on development costs and time could be stunning. FluidDA (Belgium)Courtesy FluidDA
    22. 22. © 2012 ANSYS, Inc.22 A Quieter Train Ride Problem Develop new quiter fans Solution ANSYS CFD and multi-design evaluation Result Prototype costs reduced by 2/3 In Germany, Voith Turbo used CFD to develop quieter fans by simulating a complete railcar cooling system Voith reduced its prototype costs by two-thirds. Voith Turbo (Germany)Courtesy of Voith Turbo
    23. 23. © 2012 ANSYS, Inc.23 CFD helps reduce both development times and development costs CFD allows you to optimize your design CFD reduces warranty costs CFD helps reduce the probability of critical failure CFD reduces equipment downtime Chose your CFD partner wisely Conclusions

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