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Finite Element Analysis as a new course

SM Contact launches new approach to design and manufacturing

29/08/2014 SM Contact Corporation, worldwide specialist in automated solutions for splice crimping and pin insertion, announces that it will utilize Finite Element Analysis (FEA) simulations as a viable alternative to testing and prototyping. The Company’s new subsidiary, SM Contact Engineering, will be in charge of this direction.

Finite Element Analysis is a numerical technique based on differential equations and used for troubleshooting through simulation. Its tools permit analysis and optimization of mechanical, thermal and electromagnetic influences, fluid flows (liquid and gas), and injection molding processes. It is considered to be cost-effective to solve the problems of various scales, including not only complicated high-tech issues, but also the matters related to the products of mass consumption.

FEA consists of three steps. First, the object’s geometry is converted into the appropriate form with all the material properties, loads and constraints defined. Then comes equations calculation and results visualization.

Bending Cutting

“Numerical simulation is a well-known term that shrouded in myths of costly and time-consuming method. It is time to bust those myths, said Christophe Roshardt, General Manager at SM Contact Corporation. For both small and large-scale business units the problem could be that of staff shortage or expensive software and resource-intensiveness. We solved this problem and want to share our experience.”

According to Mr. Roshardt, FEA will take design and manufacturing to a new higher level by becoming a conventional technique for various industries and problems. It is considered to be open not only for high-tech companies but for any kind of manufacturing, from shoe making to aircraft engineering. Digital simulation is going to set new standards of troubleshooting: pro-active rather than reactive, affordable, timely and reliable.

“There are three main areas of application of numerical simulation: engineering, production and commercial. That is to say that it could be efficient on all the steps of product life cycle: whether one needs to test a new design, to fix a problem, or to sell a product.”

In the course of design and engineering, the approach is applied to predict vulnerabilities and substitute or reduce the use of prototypes.

On the stage of production FEA simulation is used to fix existing problems. Digital data processing outperforms laboratory testing particularly in the case of multiple tests. Once the virtual model is developed, it is possible to apply different loads and restraints, change material properties and get new results over a short period of time.

Simulation results with detailed and vivid graphical representation are considered as an effective marketing tool as well. Virtual tours, videos with 3D graphics and photorealistic images are widespread methods of presenting company’s competitive advantage.

Pressfit Wire simulation Wire simulation

“We have been working in electrical connection sphere for more than 25 years. As we developed connector assembly equipment and its integration to the technological projects of our customers we faced questions that required a vast number of tests and adjustments. Consequently, we came to an understanding that our engineering staff (Saint-Petersburg, Russia) was more than qualified to transition to a new level of analysis – FEA simulation”, said Mr. Roshardt. “That was in 2013 when FEA analysis helped us to win a significant contract. We were the only company that could introduce changes and predict its consequences immediately.”

Since FEA became a daily practice and proved cost-effective for the company’s internal needs, it was agreed to extend its application more to an outside audience and to transform the Saint-Petersburg department into a separate subsidiary specialized in FEA simulation all over the world.

Structure, Thermal & Electromagnetic FEA Mold Flow Analysis Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) Analysis

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