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Seamless Integration of FKM Guideline in ANSYS Workbench with ACT

As we all know, a frequent challenge in FEM is the evaluation of stress results, in particular with cyclic stresses. The FKM guideline “Analytical Strength Assessment of Components” describes a static strength assessment as well as a fatigue strength assessment. This guideline was developed by the Advisory Board for Engineering and Research for various applications in mechanical engineering and other sectors.

In the classic workflow, our customers have to estimate where the critical location with the highest degree of utilization is, get the stress values and stress gradients from their FE-Model, and do the assessment based on the FKM guideline manually. This is time consuming and lacks certainty of selecting the area with the highest degree of utilization. In order to overcome this, we at CADFEM and our partners at Ingenieurbüro Huß & Feickert (ihf) developed an ANSYS ACT application called WB/FKM (FKM integrated in Workbench).

We started the development with ANSYS 14.5 with one of the first available ACT (Application Customization Toolkit) releases. This ACT application provides a comprehensive result feature that reads all necessary stress values, transfers them to the ihf-FKM-solver, reads back the results, and displays the different utilization values in the graphics window. Thanks to the ACT functionality, all standard behaviors of the results display can be selected by the user (e.g., legend modification, isolines or probes) without any additional programming effort. This allows a deep integration into the standard workflow of ANSYS Workbench.

In addition to the result display feature, our application uses toolbars, buttons and dialogs to give our customers access to additional functionality:

  • Global Settings Dialog - Allows the storage of user-specific settings like default values, language, memory settings, etc.
  • Material Editor - Allows the extension of the FKM material database in WB/FKM. The default material database comes with all materials defined in the FKM guideline
  • Stress Spectrum Editor - Allows the definition of customer specific stress spectrums

In order to document the results, a comprehensive HTML-report is generated for the simulation, incorporating all FKM guideline parameters. While WB/FKM is dedicated to non-welded solid parts, we developed a second ACT application called WB/FKM-Weld. This application evaluates the weld seams in shell models against the criteria specified in the FKM guideline. Thanks to the capabilities of ACT, additional tools are integrated into the FKM application. In cooperation with our partner IMA, we also integrated WB/WIAM RIFEST (single point FKM assessment) and WB/WIAM Engineering Data (metallic material database) into ANSYS Workbench. These four applications are now part of our FKM inside ANSYS.

Additionally, ACT is used with the following applications:

  • MoldSim inside ANSYS: Integration of molding simulation in the Workbench workflow
  • A.V.E. inside ANSYS: Result data compression and visualization
  • Model Reduction inside ANSYS: Reduction of FE models for integration in system simulation
  • Bolt Assessment inside ANSYS: Fatigue assessment for bolts according to VDI 2230

With the latest release, the aspect of automation in addition to customization is heavily extended in ACT, from my point of view. While customization is the extension of ANSYS Workbench with new functionality (e.g., customer specific: loads, boundary conditions and results), automation utilizes existing standard features and creates automated workflows. The possible range in ACT is from small automated tasks up to complete batch-processes. You are guided by toolbars, wizards, workflows or process templates (for ANSYS AIM). ANSYS ACT is available for different applications and is based on Python programming language. I see ACT as a big opportunity to help our customers further improve their processes by implementing customized workflows and applications.

Another important aspect is the straightforward method to create ACT applications. By using the console, the different tutorials, examples in the ANSYS Appstore [ACT App Store and the documentation, it is possible to get fluent in ACT programming very fast. We see that ACT is more and more used not only by programmers, but also by CAE engineers who define the simulation workflows and are now able to implement the ACT application easily by themselves.


CADFEM is recognized for its CAE competence since 1985 and offers everything that determines the success of a simulation from one source: Software and IT solutions. Advice, Support, Engineering and Knowledge transfer. As the ANSYS Competence Center FEM, we support ANSYS users in Central Europe (

ihf: The Engineering Office of Huß & Feickert (ihf) is an engineering service provider in the area of computational simulation and the development of software for use with the finite-element method, working with prestigious customers in the automobile industry and their suppliers and the manufacturing plants for construction machinery, aerospace, as well as consumer goods and chemical industries (

IMA: Materialforschung und Anwendungstechnik GmbH in Dresden (IMA Dresden) develops and implements customized tests for any material or component. In IMA you will find comprehensive engineering competence in the areas of strength, fatigue and stress analysis (