CIMdata, a leader in PLM education, research, and strategic management consulting, recently published a commentary on electronic system design and manufacturing entitled “Smart Electronics Require Integrated Analyses.” In this piece, they highlight some of the key factors driving the adoption of simulation and data-driven analysis in the industry.
Products in all industries are becoming more and more dependent on electronics and software functionality including being connected as “smart” Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The design and development of complex cyber-physical systems requires well integrated capabilities for cross-disciplinary mechatronics simulation, analysis, and design optimization supported by advanced data analytics.-CIMdata Commentary “Smart Electronics Require Integrated Analyses"
Below is a brief overview of their five key takeaways. Be sure to also check out the full commentary article linked below.
CIMdata Key Takeaways
- Printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing and assembly efficiencies are coming to the forefront, driving demand for first time producible electronics.
Efficiently designing products requires a focus on manufacturing and robust system designs done with state-of-the-art computer-aided engineering tools. Altair is one of the mechanical systems computer-aided engineering (CAE) leaders focusing on product durability and mass production efficiency. Altair’s capability to integrate with many MCAD authoring tools lets them focus on multi-physics simulation technologies leveraging efficient high-performance computing (HPC) utilization for large scale models.
- More sensors and their electronics on smaller PCBs now enable massive data collection for performance analytics.
Sensor miniaturization sets the stage for even more measurements accelerating data collection leading to improving AI/ML applied to product evolution—something Altair has focused on in recent years for mechanical engineering. Key in this development is the ability to share insights and views across disciplines. Decisions made together from different views makes models more meaningful and more timely. These are the models which enable timely, earlier decisions. Such models can be used after a product is in the field to consider field upgrades—potentially leading to new revenue streams.
- PCB verification and validation will benefit with more manufacturing IoT operational data collection and advanced analytics leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).
Altair’s clear definition of digital twin: a math-based representation of a product throughout its life will improve electronics reliability, manufacturability, and service/upgrades. In the age of IoT and Industry 4.0 where data is collected continuously from products in service, the digital twin simulation models can continuously be refined to accurately predict the ongoing performance of a product. With the acquisition of Altair® PollEx™, Altair now has a bigger footprint in the design and manufacture of PCBs needed for IoT sensing and edge computing.
- Integrated analyses can accelerate the electronics design and verification process including manufacturing requirements.
There are benefits when the physics coupling between vibration, heat, and magnetic interferences are discovered, understood, and resolved together across all physical disciplines. Altair’s PCB CAE capabilities provide improved performance understanding while gaining insights from all datum, both predictive (simulation) and measured (laboratory and field use)—this is a more wholistic and integrated approach.
Simulation-driven design tools should also comprehend manufacturing and assembly practices—which are often a company’s competitive advantage. Manual review steps can be eliminated in a typical PCB design process thanks to an ability to examine different views—often as simulation-based heat maps when circuit or PCB layout engineers want to confirm a decision.
- Electronic system modeling improves electronic and mechatronic system robustness for multiple disciplines: structural, thermal, EMI/EMC, optimization, and controls.
Systems simulation driven design and manufacturing is of critical importance to the design of electronics. Altair has always had a system of systems mindset which now includes electronics, electrical, radio coverage, and beyond. Altair is building on their successful journey with mechanical and mass production models (multi-physics, layout/flow). Altair’s CAE track record with their focus on data collection will continue to improve their position to maintain models throughout a product’s life.
CIMdata expects to see more from Altair as the simulation and data analytics capabilities expand to include decision making across the entire product lifecycle, both earlier and later. By combining an electronic system design solution with proven multi-physics simulation solutions, and continuously improving with AI/ML, Altair has the tools and techniques to model, simulate, and analyze products and their connection with smart IoT devices and services.
Interested in learning more?
If you want to learn more about electronic system design, Altair is co-hosting a series of webinars with industry leaders Signal Integrity Journal, Microwave Journal, IEEE, and EE Times. This webinar series has been designed to address the needs and challenges of engineering managers, electrical/electronic design engineers, signal/power integrity specialist, EMC engineers, product engineers, PCB/layout designers, and PCB manufacturing engineers.