More than a decade ago, a serious car crash nearly destroyed one young Australian woman’s jaw, breaking it in three places. A series of agonizing surgeries failed to reduce her unrelenting pain, and in 2017 her jaw began locking up to the point she could barely eat.
Her oral surgeon recognized that the problem was a failed bone graft. She needed a new bone created from scratch using 3D-printing technology. Craniomaxillofacial surgical device designer OMX Solutions turned to ANSYS’s engineering simulation soft- ware to measure, design, and then produce a new piece of simulated bone to be surgically implanted.
The implant surgery took less than an hour, thanks to a perfect f it, and minutes after the anesthesia wore off, the patient was able to talk pain-free. The life-changing surgery was only possible because ANSYS’s simulation technology so accurately designed and produced a replacement.
An Innovation Driver
ANSYS is a simulation technology pioneer. Founded nearly 50 years ago, ANSYS established and commercialized the industry of creating a computerized version of a real-life process. These precise simulations are used by some of the most cutting-edge companies around the world to bring design concepts to market faster and at lower cost.
While the company has its origins in the nuclear industry, today ANSYS is an industry leader that applies engineering simulation software in the aerospace and automotive industries, as well as health care, industrial oil pumps, smartphones, and other
consumer product categories. With more than 750 PhDs on staff, ANSYS has the expertise to help companies overcome their most difficult design challenges.
Simulation was once limited to testing the end product. However, the application is now found at all stages of production—something ANSYS calls pervasive simulation. Engineers can design and then modify prototype renderings to scope out the impact of a design change before a sample is produced, for example.
Simulation has also evolved to include multiple areas of physics—called “multiphysics”—including fluid forces, electromagnetic currents, and thermal effects. Understanding how these physical forces interact with one another to impact the function of a product is critical to testing reliability and understand- ing performance in different conditions. To ensure accuracy in its simulations, ANSYS does not limit itself to working in only one area of physics at a time. The company has supported Volkswagen’s work on vehicle electrification, BMW’s work on autonomous vehicles, and LG’s new consumer product development, to name a few projects.
Ajei Gopal, ANSYS CEO, says the company’s culture has helped make it an industry leader. “Our team is encouraged to test out new ideas with a fail-fast approach, because when you’re exploring ‘what if’ scenarios, you need to learn by failing,” Gopal says. That work process is also consistent with ANSYS’s innovative culture, which is what earned the company a spot on Fast Company‘s Best Workplaces for Innovators list.
Simulation at a Tipping Point
Megatrends, including 5G communications, the industrial internet of things, artificial intelligence, electrification of vehicles, and the autonomy movement are driving expanded use of simulation, Gopal says. The result is the ability to create new products faster, less expensively, and better.
Companies that are using simulation through all aspects of production are benefiting from the competitive advantage it provides—namely, improved efficiency, shortened development time, and lower cost, Gopal says. ANSYS’s culture of innovation helps spur innovative thinking throughout the organization and keeps it at the head of the simulation pack.