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Why You Should Consider Outsourcing Finite Element Analysis

Employees discussing design on paper.

In today’s design process, FEA (Finite Element Analysis) serves as a vital analysis tool. In the last decade or so, it has become the go-to method when it comes to testing, interrogating, and perfecting design before the physical prototyping stage.

Recent advancements in computer technology have made FEA a lot more accessible to smaller manufacturing organizations and engineering firms. However, engineering managers still have to decide whether they should invest in in-house FEA resources, or reduce O&M costs and minimize risk by working with a third-party FEA consultant.

Now, developing FEA capability in-house is about much more than purchasing a special software. There is a myriad of additional costs associated with training, licensing, operation, hardware, validation and utilization, and staff compensation. The yearly costs of having in-house FEA capabilities can be much higher than the expense of outsourcing it to a third-party consultant for individual, short-term projects.

Considering this, here are some reasons why you should think about outsourcing FEA.

Software

Obtaining and maintaining software licensing can be costly. The price of an entry-level, basic ‘seat’ FEA software license start at tens of thousands of dollars. Furthermore, you also have to consider the maintenance costs that come with technical support and receiving timely updates.

Every license generally includes limitations on the number of program instances. The faster you want to solve things, the more you’ll have to pay. One of the most commonly used tools for the job is Ansys, which provides easy functionality without compromising on powerful features required across the industry.

Training

Having cutting-edge hardware and the best software won’t get you anywhere until you have people who have the skills to get the best out of them. Getting familiar with the software’s nuances and developing FEA experience can have a huge effect of your simulations’ efficacy. It really is a form of art to define a proper simulation. High-res models take a long time to run but can deliver much more accurate results. Low resolution run fast, but that comes at the cost of decreased accuracy. Hitting the perfect balance requires a combination of experience, understanding, and knowledge. It requires effort and time to build capability and competency.

The Last Word

When you outsource projects to a licensed and experienced FEA consultancy firm, you don’t have to go through the hassles of purchasing software licensing, hiring a staff, and building capability and competency. Instead, you can invest the time and money into the other core aspects of your enterprise.

If you’re looking for finite element analysis (FEA) consulting services in Grass Valley and Auburn,  get in touch with our experts at Connekt. LLC. We use top of the line tools such as Ansys for the best results.

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