The Democratization of Simulation with Intelligent Templates
“Intelligent Templates” present an extremely innovative concept in product development that focuses on a reusable framework for managing product information and simulations of product performance. Simulation is made available to a wider audience of product developers in a reliable way that does not require them to be experts in specific simulation applications.
The core enabler for intelligent templates is the idea of an “abstract model.” This functional model of the product and of the associated simulations remains independent of a particular instance of the product design, and independent of the physics or fidelity of a particular performance simulation. A definition of all the data required supports the abstract model. The templates then define “best practice” workflows that can be executed using information contained in the abstract model and its associated product and process data. Experts must create the templates, but non-experts can use them reliably.
The concept of intelligent templates is not simply an evolutionary improvement in the way most companies approach product design and simulation; it represents an entirely different paradigm. It is, in fact, a systems engineering approach to model-driven design that demands, but also fosters, systems thinking and collaboration.
Intelligent templates also require that companies document their intellectual property (IP), and define their workflows and best practices. This is an exercise in knowledge engineering. The templates and abstract model now contain the IP and can deliver it to a far wider audience than was possible before. Templates can be used across project teams and product families and can be reused for the next product generation.
Intelligent templates can be a huge enabler for the product development system, enabling the delivery of higher quality products in much less time. Comet’s technology finally enables the effective implementation of intelligent templates. But the issues are not just technical; companies will face significant cultural and organizational issues as they attempt to implement changes in the way they develop their products.
‒ Keith Meintjes, Ph.D.
CIMdata Practice Manager; Simulation and Analysis
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