Engineering Agility in the COVID-19 Era

Prith Banerjee
Chief Technology Officer, Ansys

In the wake of COVID-19, 88% of organizations are requesting or requiring employees to telecommute. And companies of all sizes are gearing up for their employees to work from home indefinitely, even after the pandemic subsides. COVID-19 inspired many companies — including Ansys — to pivot and become more agile.

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COVID-19 created challenges for supporting our geographically distributed customers. In April, Ansys had scheduled a one-day, in-person engineering workshop, attracting customers and Ansys engineers worldwide — but the lockdown prevented travel.

Ansys pivoted to a virtual meeting that enabled the event to occur as scheduled. Eliminating business travel made the team more productive and agile. By going virtual, they’ve scaled up the number of workshops, providing more support than ever.

Agility applied to Ansys conference production as well. On June 10 and 11, 2020, Ansys hosted Simulation World, the largest engineering simulation virtual conference in the world. Highly immersive and interactive, Simulation World replicated an Ansys symposia experience via a desktop or mobile device. The event promoted continuous simulation education in a fun environment, and is still available for free on demand at simulation-world.com.

Enabling Design Agility

Ansys’ customers faced daunting productivity obstacles at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unable to access their office’s on-premise high-performance computing (HPC) resources, how could engineering teams run complex simulations?

Users can run simulations in the cloud without taxing companies’ VPN network. Learn more.

Using cloud-based HPC platforms like Ansys Cloud helped them avoid downloading huge software programs and provided virtually unlimited compute power — enabling Ansys customers to run high-fidelity simulations faster to achieve peak accuracy.

Ansys Cloud also improved efficiency. For example, a simulation may generate a 100-petabyte file. Files that big require laborious data migration to a file sharing service for teammates to access them. Ansys Cloud eliminates that time-consuming process.

As an engineer enters a design into Ansys Cloud and simulates it, teammates can monitor the progress in real time and work together to quickly modify the design, greatly increasing their productivity. This enables them to rapidly finalize designs, slashing months off design cycles and speeding high-quality products to market.

CreatE Collaborative and Agile Teams

As COVID-19 forced Ansys’ customers to distribute their engineering teams, they needed to overcome communication and collaboration challenges resulting from geographic separation and engineering silos. This disconnect created many unnecessary steps in the design process, introducing inefficiencies and long turnaround times. And because some engineers had no shared storage repository, designs couldn’t be accessed, leading to more project miscommunication.

Simulation shows how far cough droplets travel in the air. At 6 ft (2 m), risk of contamination decreases significantly.

For example, when developing a car, automakers don’t ask an engineer to submit one design and perform a single simulation. They employ hundreds of engineers to generate thousands of car designs and simulations. Based all over the world, the engineers must manually track all their simulation processes and data. This can create tremendous confusion about data storage and version control on multiple projects.

To increase their agility, engineers leveraged Ansys Minerva, powered by Aras — a knowledge management application platform — to access simulation data in a central hub, improve decision-making and enhance traceability. Minerva streamlined communication and drove broad simulation sharing and collaboration among engineers, substantially reducing costs and expediting production.

During this unprecedented time, when many are experiencing connectivity or computing capacity challenges, Ansys is proud to help our customers continue to develop products that will change the world.

Simulation Provides COVID-19 Insights, Aids Equipment Design

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ansys is striving to positively contribute to the battle against coronavirus by supporting the ongoing initiatives of our customers and partners. We are fully committed to helping affected communities through the use of our software, available resources and collective employee knowledge.

Click here for a sampling of customer and partner initiatives that are underway in the fight against the virus, and for additional educational resources.

For Ansys customers: Learn about programs available to assist you in working from home.

Additional information from Ansys related to COVID-19 and remote engineering:

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