Case Study with Predictive Engineering

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About Predictive Engineering

Predictive Engineering has been providing finite element analysis (FEA) for clients since 1995. Their client base ranges from the Fortune 500 to startups looking to bring new products to market.

Using a “digital twin” Predictive Engineering can simulate airflow, vibration, stress and load testing to digital designs at a fraction of the cost those same tests would demand using a physical product.

Predictive Engineering has provided FEA across a number of industries which include Aerospace, Energy, Marine, Automotive, Medical, and Consumer Research.

Tools of the Trade

Puget Systems worked with George Laird to design a workstation for his workflow. Laird is a Ph.D., PE, and a Principal Mechanical Engineer at Predictive Engineering. He builds and analyzes models using various software packages. These include FEMAP, LS-DYNA, STAR-CCM+, and Nastran. Each of these software packages will push a standard PC to its limit, so providing each engineer a high-performance and stable workstation is a necessity in order to deliver projects on time and within budget.

Clients approach Predictive Engineering with a design for a product which can range from satellites to submarines. Laird and his team of engineers build a model of the design using CAD and finalize it into FEM for analysis. This process is both labor and CPU/GPU intensive.

I don’t want to wait half an hour for my computer. I want to wait five minutes while I grab a coffee.

– George Laird – Ph.D., PE, Principal Mechanical Engineer

Technical Challenges

Testing and analyzing designs place enormous pressure on computer hardware. As each model is revised, it must pass through possibly hundreds of test runs which can be very time-consuming.

The engineering workstations must not only perform well, but they must remain stable under heavy loads. Any downtime can drastically increase the costs of the project and can cascade into further delays and resource constraints.

Standard engineering rates are $100-$150 an hour. We could go buy from Dell but they are a lot slower, and their adoption of the latest hardware is slower too.

– George Laird – Ph.D., PE, Principal Mechanical Engineer

Why Predictive Engineering Selected Puget Systems

Performance and stability play a part, but Laird said it best: “I went with you because you were dedicated to the engineering workstation with a reputation to get it right.

I asked Laird whether he believes the cloud will one day meet his needs in terms of computing power. His response matches what I’ve heard from other engineers: “People say, ‘Just cloud it’, but are you really securing your data, will you always have internet, and will you be able to make immediate changes. Too much lag. It’s just not appropriate for engineering.”

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