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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

How to Reduce FEA Calculation Time

Some posibilities to reduce your FEA calculation time -
Depending on current conditions from e.g. 160 hours to 8 hours.

Just recently one of our customers "complained" about the duration of calculation time of a COPRA® FEA RF project. The calculation in question had run for more than seven days, initially we could not believe this and tried to get to the bottom of the problem.

There are a few essential factors which may be responsible for the duration of a simulation. We would naturally like you to experience the possibilities and efficiency of your COPRA® FEA RF software in an optimal way. The mentioned long calculation time in the above example can be me minimized from 160 hours down to 8 hours, thus an “overnight” calculation, this can be easily achieved without any difficulty.

1. Reduction of Calculation Time by use of multiple processors

As you will find in Fig. 1 it is clearly possible to reduce the calculation time significantly by using more than one processor. Every processor takes over the calculation of a part of the strip. Using two processors the amount of elements which is to be calculated can be halved. So the calculation time can be reduced theoretically by 75%. Unfortunately there exists a certain administration effort which occurs when parallelising the calculation and which shoots down the gain of time partially. Of course, the saving in time depends for example on the model type or on the element distribution and therefore adheres to certain variations.

Fig. 1 illustrates the relative calculation speed of the different parallel options. A simulation operated with two processors gains 40% calculation time in comparison to a standard COPRA® FEA RF version. One simulation with eight processors (Parallel_8 Option) gains even 80% of calculation time.

COPRA® FEA RF Parallel Options
Fig. 1: Comparison of the different parallel options

2. Reduction of Calculation Time by using automatic re-mesh with COPRA® FEA RF 2013

With the dynamic re-mesh, the reduction of calculation time for typical roll forming examples can account for 30 to 40% of time. This particularly becomes more evident at the beginning of the roll form process; thus you can save significant time by using the re-mesh functionality.

Fig. 2 shows that using automatic re-mesh (blue line) a reduction of calculation time of 40% can be achieved compared to not using this technology (red line):

Fig. 2: Application with Re-mesh vs. Application without Re-mesh

The red line shows the calculation time per increment without automatic re-mesh. All elements are already applied at the start of the calculation. The blue line describes the progress with automatic re-mesh. At the beginning of the calculation the model has significantly less elements – the calculation time per increment is considerably less. After all bends have been applied the calculation time is more or less identical.

Fig 3: Calculation Time in Seconds with (magenta) and without (blue) automatic Re-mesh.

3. Reduction of Calculation Time by application of new processors

You can gain additional calculation time by investing circa 1.500 Euro and purchasing a more up to date work station. Depending of the currently used system, a newer workstation helps you to achieve a better processing power of up to 90% compared to older hardware. Such a comparison of the different processors is shown in Fig. 4. Thus the calculation time of our benchmark project with a Pentium P4 Processor 2.4 GHz accounts for 14 hours calculation time, with an i7 2600K processor it takes only two hours! Fig. 4 also illustrates the difference for i7 2600K, and calculating the project by using four processors, the calculation time was only 45 minutes!

Fig. 4: Comparison of different processors

4. Reduction of Calculation Time by application of a 64bit workstation

Instead of 32bit we recommend to run workstations and operating systems with a 64bit work environment. Fig. 5 shows that this can also help you to reduce your calculation time further, however not to such a degree that you would usually expect. You may also expect a maximum reduction of calculation time of between 5 to 8 %.

Fig. 5: Comparison of 32/64 bit-operating systems