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Thermal engineers voice frustration with simulation software packages

According to The State of Thermal, an industry-wide survey of over 170 thermal engineers conducted by simulation software vendor 6SigmaET, thermal engineers are increasingly frustrated with the simulation software packages available to them.

As product designs become increasingly intricate and shorter time-to-market deadlines put pressure on engineers to solve their thermal equations reliably and accurately, 71% have reported their dissatisfaction with their current thermal simulation software packages. Despite this, however, 60% have not switched provider in over three years.

According to the report there are drastic differences in the capabilities of the various thermal simulation suites available on the market. Research for the report found that 66% of thermal engineers face at least a day’s wait for their models to solve. This compares to 32% who are able to solve their simulations within a single hour.

The chief concern for thermal engineers is the time-consuming nature of completing key processes such as importing CAD, building models and solving simulations. While it’s acknowledged that simulations place very high demands on processing power, the general consensus within the industry is that older simulation packages mean some engineers are wasting more time than is necessary.

Less than a third of those surveyed reported being completely satisfied with their current simulation package. Despite this fact however, many engineers feel ‘locked in’ to a particular platform with 40% having never tried switching to an alternative simulation tool.

Responding to the report’s findings, Tom Gregory, Product Manager at 6SigmaET, said: “There have been numerous advances made in thermal engineering over the past decade, and there is simply no reason that today engineers should be spending days waiting for relatively uncomplicated simulations to solve.

“The reluctance of engineers to upgrade from traditional hardware and embrace more modern simulation solutions is costing companies both time and money. The fact that 60% of engineers have not switched provider in over three years, and 40% have not switched to an alternative package at all, is alarming. It’s bad for both businesses and end-users.

“We believe that thermal engineers cannot continue to rely on slow, unreliable and outdated technology to complete their product designs - not if they’re to deliver accurate results within limited timeframes.”

Neil Tyler

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