I.S.M. Conseil Delivers Simulation Results 400% Faster with OnScale Solve on AWS

Executive Summary

To optimize the design of floor panels used to protect workers from the harmful compounds produced by smelting, drafting and design consultancy I.S.M. Conseil needed a professional simulation tool that offered compute power for complex simulations without prohibitive licensing and hardware costs. The team turned to OnScale Solve, a cloud-based finite element analysis (FEA) solution built on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and offered by AWS Partner OnScale, an Ansys company. Using OnScale Solve, a single engineer successfully ran 18 FEA simulations in less than 30 minutes, producing results 400% faster than competitive products. This paved the way for the successful and swift completion of the project.

Applying New Tools to Old Processes

Smelting, the process that extracts metal from ore, produces lead, arsenic, and harmful biproduct compounds. While most of the smelting operation happens below floor level, workers can still be exposed to toxins if the floor panels are not designed to withstand the intense temperatures below.

To help protect the health and safety of their workers, these companies often look to outside consultants with both engineering expertise and technical know-how. I.S.M. Conseil, a drafting and design consultancy based in Quebec, was relied upon to optimize the design of a smelting company’s protective floor panels as part of an R&D project.

While a project of this complexity would traditionally run on legacy FEA tools and powerful computers, these options are financially impractical for a small firm like I.S.M Conseil, whose design team relied on a single shared CAD software license. Instead, the team turned to OnScale, an Ansys company and AWS Partner, and OnScale Solve, a fully web-based cloud FEA powered by AWS High Performance Computing (AWS HPC).

“Even as a one-person team, I was able to run 18 FEA simulations in less than 30 minutes using OnScale Solve.”

- Michaël Morin, Engineer, I.S.M. Conseil

Introducing SaaS: Solver-as-a-Service

OnScale Solve enables teams of all sizes to digitally prototype and test their designs using a cloud-based multiphysics platform, which lowers fabrication costs by decreasing the number of required physical prototypes, thus decreasing time to market. Because OnScale Solve is offered as a flexible solver-as-a-service subscription model, it also eliminates licensing costs and fees unrelated to project usage. “Unlike traditional FEA solvers, OnScale, an Ansys company, provided us with an affordable cloud-based simulation platform,” said Michaël Morin, engineer at I.S.M. Conseil.

One of the most time-consuming parts of any simulation project is meshing, the process of transforming a computer aided design (CAD) model into a computational domain in order to define the necessary loads and boundary conditions that can be accurately executed by a solver. With OnScale Solve’s automated meshing feature, CAD models are automatically meshed by the time the simulation is ready to execute. “Even as a one-person team, I was able to run 18 FEA simulations in less than 30 minutes using OnScale Solve,” added Morin. “The platform made it easy to perform the needed mechanical and thermal studies on several panel designs simultaneously.”

“With OnScale Solve, we were able to produce results 400% faster with a greater return on investment.”

- Michaël Morin, Engineer, I.S.M. Conseil

Building a Scalable, Secure Platform with AWS

Built on AWS, OnScale Solve enables engineers like Morin to leverage the near infinite, and expanding, compute power of the cloud. The solution uses Amazon DynamoDB NoSQL database to scale compute power in milliseconds to accommodate a wide range of simulation complexity. Pairing Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) with Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) optimizes OnScale Solve’s use of cloud computation resources like CPU, memory, storage, and networking to make cloud simulation accessible and reliable for the first time ever.

On the backend, Amazon CloudWatch monitors system performance, constantly implementing updates, new features, and bug fixes in unison with Amazon Elastic Container Registry (Amazon ECR). Finally, AWS Lambda ensures compute power is always on standby without the need to think about servers or clusters, automated with Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS).

“Our ability to provide the most powerful web-based simulation tool, with simulation capabilities accessibly priced for professionals, small businesses, and enterprises alike, comes from hosting our product on AWS,” said Marc DiGregorio, Director of Growth at OnScale, an Ansys company.

OnScale Image

Results of an OnScale Solve Simulation.

Delivering Safety and Savings, 4x Faster

With OnScale Solve, I.S.M. Conseil was able to significantly reduce the fabrication cost of the new, improved floor panels by producing fewer physical prototypes and avoiding software licensing costs. “OnScale Solve eliminates the need for complex licenses with unused solutions,” said Morin. “Since we are a small company, legacy licenses make it difficult for us to get a reasonable return on our investment.”

Based on the project’s initial results, the team intends to use OnScale Solve going forward. “Experimental testing of these panels would have been tedious and potentially hazardous,” added Morin. “With OnScale Solve, we were able to produce results 400% faster with a greater return on investment.”

Morin concluded, “We want to be our customers’ partner today and one of the pillars of their efficiency tomorrow. We are doing so partnered with OnScale, an Ansys company.”

ISM Conseil

About I.S.M. Conseil

I.S.M. Conseil is a drafting and design consultancy offering engineering, project management, and professional technical assistance.

About OnScale

OnScale Solve is a cloud engineering simulation platform that combines powerful multiphysics solver technology with the limitless compute power of cloud supercomputers to create true digital prototypes. Ansys’ industry-leading cloud portfolio offers cloud-powered simulation for every engineer with fast, flexible, and scalable solutions that give customers location-independent access to Ansys simulation.

Published October 2022