High performance computing boosts manufacturing
High performance computing allows organizations (generally SMBs) to design and test product models virtually, reducing front-end development costs and achieving an “economy of scale” similar to that enjoyed by larger enterprises. No longer constrained by a lack of financial or workforce resources, organizations can move new and improved products to market faster, reduce their manufacturing costs and boost their profits.
High Performance Computing (HPC) defined
HPC harnesses Big Data and microprocessing capacities to concurrently focus the computing power of multiple computers on a single computer-aided engineering (CAE) query. For years, the advances in CAE have driven improvements across the product development continuum, from initial concept and design through final product validation. Within that scope, simulation capacities-the ability to virtually simulate the actions, functions and features of the proposed product-have accelerated development times by eliminating the need for time-consuming and costly physical testing cycles.
Combining the computation capabilities of many computers in the process of simulation and evaluation can reduce the design/development process from months or weeks to days or hours. The speedier resolution times bring SMB manufacturing capacities in line with those of much larger companies that enjoy significantly more resources.
Product differentiation is what sets excellent products apart from merely good products. HPC facilitates speedy design and production reconfigurations that respond to consumer demand. Existing products are improved and innovations move through the process from concept to sales floor faster than current manufacturing processes can achieve.
HPC brings all the technological evolutions of the past decade to the production floor, including Big Data, analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence. The programming captures not just more data, but also deeper data to reveal previously hidden insights and make them available for research, design or development purposes.
HPC can inform the entire operations process:
- Monitor and extract market trends from complex Big Data databases.
- Generate visualizations of market and product statistics to inform decision makers.
- Tailor product design and development specifications more closely with consumer and market factors.
- Generate simulations and virtual models to explore potential product functions.
- Provide virtual testing to reduce or eliminate production or design flaws before expensive manufacturing decisions are made.
- Streamline the final tool-path manufacturing process to maximize each step along the way, ensuring product optimization, cost containment, and product integrity.
- Predict product life cycles so both manufacturers and consumers are better informed about the value of the product over the short or long term.
Adopting HPC services is as simple as accessing any other “program-as-a-service;” HPC service providers offer manufacturers the benefits of HPC support without having to add IT staffing, within a relatively short time frame, and on a pay-as-you-go basis. The HPC service becomes an operational expense, not a capital expense, so it scales as the company requires.
After the service is implemented, HPC reduces or eliminates the extended periods of costly time that it takes to make an idea into a product. Developers can run multiple simulations of possible product permutations, with the capacity to modify input parameters as the process rolls forward. Engineers can swiftly and comprehensively remove those theories that won’t work and polish up those with potential. Subsequently, corporate resources can be directed at efforts that are more likely to succeed, not just on the design and development floors, but also on the sales floor. Manufacturers can apply analytical insights derived from vast stores of relevant data to remove unproductive lines, retool costly supply chain inefficiencies, and maneuver successful products into more profitable markets.
HPC is reconfiguring the manufacturing sector and promises to disrupt every other market sector, too. High performance computing lets SMB manufacturers level the competitive playing field.