Why Finite Element Analysis Is An Important Part Of Product Development

Many people aren’t aware of the importance of finite element analysis in our lives to date. Without finite element analysis (FEA), almost every product you use wouldn’t even have been sold in the market today, especially all the advanced industrial products. Chances are, they would have failed after a few cycles if it wasn’t for finite element analysis. 

What’s the Importance of FEA for a Product?

Testing any product’s strength is a crucial part of product development. It’s important to understand what circumstances can make a product more liable to stain or break. Manufacturers can save a noticeable amount of time and money beforehand with finite element analysis simulations. There are various other benefits of FEA for a product that you’ll come across later in this blog. However, before moving forward, it’s time you understand what FEA is.

What is Finite Element Analysis?

Person using CAD for finite element analysis

Finite element analysis is a simulation technique engineers use to simulate a specific object or entity and gauge its reaction and performance in real-world situations. This technique also helps engineers check the object’s resistance to force, heat, vibration, etc.

FEA is based on a mathematical technique called the Finite Element Method or FEM, and this helps engineers understand the physical complexities. It essentially demonstrates the exact outcome of a product in 3 dimensions showing whether it will tear, crack, break or perform as intended before it is physically built. Therefore, using FEA, engineers can minimize prototypes’ failure, making the development phase easier and quicker.

Different Types of FEA

There are primarily six methods divided into three types of finite element analysis supported by the FEM.

1. Linear and Non-linear FEA

Linear FEA is where we find a direct scalable relation between force and its displacement. In contrast, non-linear analysis is performed to observe if any change has occurred to the initial condition of the object.

The process of FEA non-linear analysis is comparatively longer than linear FEA analysis. Due to this, linear FEA analysis is usually performed before a non-linear FEA analysis of the object. Both these methods are mainly used to observe the elasticity of various objects. 

2. Dynamic FEA and Static FEA

Dynamic and static FEA primarily determine how slow or fast the load should be applied to an object. These analyses are performed before performing any structure-related analysis. The results of these analyses help engineers determine the impact acceleration might bring to an object.

3. Absolute FEA and Comparative FEA

Absolute FEA or Comparative FEA is ideally performed when you want to observe if a developed product yields better results than before after making certain changes to it. For instance, if you have a synthetic rope designed to handle weights and are clueless about how much load it would sustain, performing a comparative finite element analysis can be helpful. By performing comparative FEA on the product, you can determine whether geometric or structural changes to the design of the rope improve or worsen its performance.

Let’s dig in a little deeper and learn about the benefits of finite element analyses for a product. 

Benefits of Finite Element Analysis

Person working on designing using Finite Element Analysis

Eliminate Risks of a Disaster

Since FEA is based entirely on simulation, it can help you determine where a product might succeed or fail in real-world scenarios.

Real-time simulations can help you test the strength, breaking or straining point, and overall performance or durability of a product. It can also help you figure out potential flaws of a product design earlier, thus eliminating the chances of a disaster in the future.

Makes Modeling Complex Shapes Easier

Due to its extensive functionality, modeling complex geometric designs and parts becomes much easier through FEM. You can easily model both exterior and interior parts of a design and determine what factors might contribute to the success or failure of your design.

Speeds Up Production Time

People calculating for an engineering design solution

One of the best things about finite element analysis is that it drastically reduces the overall production time. Engineers can leverage the high-functionality of FEA to run precise and accurate virtual experiments, reduce the number of failed prototypes, and optimize product design that will help create improved products. All this can streamline the overall process along with saving plenty of time.

Saves Cost

Engineers can tune FEM to meet the accuracy of a given product design. This significantly reduces the time spent on prototyping. So instead of creating and testing various iteration of a prototype, product designers can create a custom part that caters to their needs in software within hours. Eventually, the automation of a product design through FEA helps you save cost here, too, due to the reduced production of prototypes.

You can add great value to your product by utilizing finite element analysis during the design process. This allows you to reduce production time and save cost, and allows you to create an optimally complete and comparatively better product. 

Do you have a product or design that requires to be improved for quality or optimized using FEA? Look no further, Connekt, LLC has the required expertise and personnel to fulfill your needs.  They provide Finite Element Analysis, engineering design services, and mechanical design services in Auburn. Their wide variety of services also include the manufacturing of custom plastic parts in Auburn. Learn more about their services or Contact them today for more information. 

An Engineer by profession, having expertise in Engineering Design. In Free time, love to write about fashion and lifestyle.