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ADVANCED ANALYSIS (THE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE)

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Frank Soto

Advanced Analysis in the digital environment has emerged as a key economic weapon in engineering projects. Those companies that adopt the new digital approach to engineering and design will have the competitive advantage when it comes to the delivery of high risk designs or new unproven process technology.

With access to digital advanced analysis tools now a genuinely proven tool for engineering and design throughout the industrial spectrum, the Managing Director of an innovative engineering consultant group says it is near-imperative to adapt advanced analysis to safeguard investments and maximise performance and return in many types of engineering projects include research and development.

“Simulation in the digital medium is a major competitive advantage as it offers the best scenario of testing enabling many types of outcomes and possibilities thus effectively safeguarding capital investment,” said Mr Frank Soto of SOTO Consulting Engineers.

“New projects can be verified at the advanced concept stage well before any physical prototypes have to be built and tested. The digital simulation approach provides testing to a greater degree of accuracy, penetrating to various levels of performance boundaries and tolerances.

“Whether it is related to structural strength, temperature tolerance, durability, speed and efficiency or many other parameters, it can be done quickly and at minimum expense.

“Advanced analysis is most suitable for that common challenge when firms look to upscale a project or technology and seek to know how it would work in the proposed format. It is also highly recommended when developing new process technology or research & development”.

“For management, this analytical simulation provides to them a ‘virtual guarantee and quantitative risk assessment tool’”.

Aspects of advanced analysis are wide ranging and can include assessments for various performance characteristics including fatigue, brittleness and fracture, creep assessments and component design assessments. The ability to simulate process technology where materials, gasses and equipment can be tested and yield results and data that can result in new break-throughs is what makes it truly valuable investment.

Computational Analysis Engineering (CAE) is integral to advanced analysis within SOTO and typically includes non-linear analysis, specialist material models, dynamic analysis, fracture mechanics and fatigue with user-subroutine driven creep assessments.

Another capability unique to SOTO is coupling more than a single type of analytical tool to another. For example the coupling of Computation Fluid dynamics (CFD) with Discrete Element Modelling (DEM) thus providing a more accurate simulation of the real world problem being analysed or engineered.

“Advanced analysis is a key market differentiator for our company because we can simulate an entire process in a virtual environment and reduce the construction and project risk through this method of engineering,” said Mr Soto.

“Therefore, our client receives reduced design risk and in the long term, the project risk is reduced. SOTO can apply the technique to most industries and process technology and our team are very experienced.

“The key is to get a clear understanding of the inputs you require to complete a simulation of a real world problem; for instance, to analyse a proposed calciner plant we worked closely with the refractory specialists to analyse how their thermal ceramic material is fixed to the shell and how that whole plant would function throughout a range of operating cycles including peak periods and use it as a predictive tool so the plant owners will know when to undertake the required maintenance intervals, saving millions of dollars in unscheduled and unnecessary maintenance”.

“SOTO has been able to simulate how the thermal ceramics perform in the virtual environment and provide ‘virtual guarantees’.

SOTO has a highly experienced team of computational analysis engineers with extensive knowledge and background in application of numerical simulation techniques for solving real world engineering problems negating risk and unnecessary expenditure associated with a range of process technologies.

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