SOUTHPOINTE, Pa., Mar 04, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- ANSYS, Inc. (NASDAQ: ANSS), a global innovator of simulation software and technologies designed to optimize product development processes, today announced that race car engineering specialists Pratt & Miller used a combination of software from ANSYS and its partner Safe Technology Limited to redesign a cracked brake pedal face. The team used ANSYS(R) engineering simulation products and fe-safe(TM) fatigue analysis technology to explore design alternatives and identify an optimal solution that strengthened the critical part without excessive weight or compromising on race performance. The open architecture of ANSYS technology easily combined with the advanced fatigue analysis capabilities of fe-safe software to make the analysis process seamless, enabling Pratt & Miller to quickly identify an optimal redesign that met stringent fatigue life targets.
In world-class auto racing, mechanics often modify the car's brake pedal face to comply with driver preference. Moving the pedal off center introduces a significant twisting moment -- a situation that induces stresses and can lead to material fatigue. Pratt & Miller Engineering, a force in motorsports and high-level engineering, discovered that one of its race cars prematurely showed small cracks on the brake pedal face starting near the pivot pin, a result of custom-positioning the pedal face further and further off center. "This critical component clearly needed to be redesigned. Simply over-engineering a part really is not an option in motorsports with weight such a vital consideration; we have to run very close to the limit on our parts because weight costs speed, lap times and ultimately the race. Simulation was key to the solution in this case," said Gary Latham, design office manager, Pratt & Miller Engineering.
For the re-design, Pratt & Miller's goal was to greatly increase the component's fatigue life without compromising on race performance. The team parameterized the pedal's rib thickness and fillet size in a CAD package and compared the performance of various design alternatives in the ANSYS(R) Workbench(TM) environment. ANSYS software was instrumental in expediting design exploration, and it identified the lightest possible design without exceeding the material limits. Fatigue analysis with fe-safe clearly showed where the component needed to be strengthened. The fe-safe software also determined how much the stresses must be changed and how much material must be added -- and where -- to achieve the target design life of over 1 million cycles. The new design is now in production and back on the race track.
"A software platform that expedites in-depth design exploration of diverse and complex products is mandatory for today's world of engineering design and development," said Sandeep Sovani, global automotive industry manager at ANSYS, Inc. "Customers bring a variety of point solutions to their overall development process. The ANSYS software architecture is intentionally adaptive, open and flexible, designed so it can interoperate within the broader engineering simulation ecosystem of CAD, PLM, in-house codes and other technologies. So ANSYS works with a number of partners, such as Safe Technology, to extend efficiency and functionality. Pratt & Miller leveraged this seamless combination of multiple technologies to achieve a winning solution."
About Pratt & Miller
Pratt & Miller Engineering is a respected industry leader designing and building vehicles and subsystems in the automotive, commercial, military and aerospace industries. Today Pratt & Miller is recognized around the world as a formidable force in both motorsports and high-level engineering.
About Safe Technology Limited
Safe Technology Limited is a privately owned company dedicated solely to the development of fatigue analysis software solutions. The company's fe-safe(TM) software suite is the technical leader in fatigue life prediction software for FEA. fe-safe and its specialist modules are used by leading blue-chip companies around the world. It is sold and supported directly by offices in the U.K. and the U.S.A. and by a worldwide network of independent distributors.
fe-safe is a trademark of Safe Technology Limited.
About ANSYS, Inc.
ANSYS, Inc., founded in 1970, develops and globally markets engineering simulation software and technologies widely used by engineers and designers across a broad spectrum of industries. The Company focuses on the development of open and flexible solutions that enable users to analyze designs directly on the desktop, providing a common platform for fast, efficient and cost-conscious product development, from design concept to final-stage testing and validation. The Company and its global network of channel partners provide sales, support and training for customers. Headquartered in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., with more than 60 strategic sales locations throughout the world, ANSYS, Inc. and its subsidiaries employ over 1,600 people and distribute ANSYS products through a network of channel partners in over 40 countries. Visit www.ansys.com for more information.
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