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June 2016 - Technology Course on Verification, Validation and Model Updating

Registrations are still accepted for the  Technology Course on Verification, Validation and Model Updating that will take place on August 1-3, 2016 in Fullerton, CA, USA.

This course is intended for anyone that is interested in learning the state-of-the-art in finite element model validation and updating with a focus on structural dynamics. FEMtools will be used for hands-on exercises during approximately half of the time and is therefore also a good opportunity for new customers and evaluators to get started with the program. It is therefore also a good opportunity for new users, occasional users and evaluators to learn more about FEMtools.

The three-day intensive course is organized in collaboration with NAVCON Engineering, the FEMtools Solutions Partner and distributor for North America.

For more information and registration click here.

FEM Test Correlation Analysis

An example of FEA-Test modal correlation with FEMtools, a topic that will be discussed at the upcoming technology course in Fullerton, CA.

 

May 2016 - Interfacing with Ansys 17 and MSC.Nastran 2014+

Dynamic Design Solutions announces that due to a file format change of the CDB-files produced by Ansys 17.x releases, an updated version of the Ansys Interface module for FEMtools 3.8.2 is required. Customers can obtain the update in two ways: (i) download and install the FEMtools 3.8.2 build 1557 or later from the FEMtools support site. (ii) download and install a patch for FEMtools 3.8.2.1556 or earlier builds from the FEMtools support site.

 Customers with current support and maintenance can find more information on the newest build and patches in the FEMtools Support site.  A login name and password is required to access the support pages. If you have a current Maintenance and Support contract and did not yet receive a login name and password, then register at http://www.femtools.com/support.htm

FEMtools users that need to import files generated by MSC.Nastran 2014 and later must take into account that startup parameter mode=i8 has become the default setting. Interface files for FEMtools generated with POST, PARAM, -5 require that setting mode=i4 is used.  This can be modified using the following ways: (i) change file \msc.software\MSC_Nastran\20140\conf\NAS20140.rcf and replace mode=i8 by mode=i4 or (ii) change the nastran.ini file to change the flags and add mode=i4. 

For more information on this subject, contact FEMtools Support.

 

March 2016 - FEMtools Seminar in Beijing

On March 1, 2016, Allstar Technology Corporation, FEMtools Solutions Partner and distributor in China, organized a seminar in Beijing during which the concepts behind Verification, Validation and Updating (VVU) of finite element models for structural analysis were presented by E. Dascotte, CEO of Dynamic Design Solutions NV (see picture).  Over fifty delegates from universities, institutes and companies attended the presentation and FEMtools demonstration sessions.

 

 

January 2016 - See FEMtools at the 34th IMAC 2016 Conference in Orlando

Dynamic Design Solutions will show FEMtools at the 34th International Modal Analysis Conference  (IMAC 2016) that is held from January 25-28, 2016 in Orlando, Florida.

IMAC is an annual conference that brings together academia and technologists to discuss a broad range of topics related to vibration analysis. This year's theme will be "Dynamics of Multiphysical Systems: From Active Materials to Vibroacoustics". In addition to the technical program, the event also includes pre-conference courses, meetings of the different interest groups and an exhibition.

The following presentations will be made by DDS staff:

Please come and visit us at booth #104 in the exhibition area to check out the newest release of FEMtools discussing your dynamics simulation, modal pretest planning, modal testing, test-analysis correlation and FE model updating needs.

Conference attendees are also invited to join us at the special modal analysis seminar on Monday 25 January 2016 in Salon 13, 5:30-7:00 PM. Together with presenters from m+p International and University of Illinois, we will show a complete solution for modal testing, correlation and model updating as well as new nonlinear modal methods.

 

December 2015 - Season's Greetings!

Season's Greeting and a Happy New Year from the FEMtools team at Dynamic Design Solutions!  2015 has been another great year for us thanks to our customers and partners. We look forward to continue working with you in 2016.

 

December 2015 - Celebrating 20 Years of Partnership with Müller-BBM

Exactly twenty years ago, Müller-BBM signed up to become the FEMtools distributor for the German, Austrian and Swiss region. It was the start of a successful partnership with DDS to promote FE model updating and to provide training to the many users of finite element technology in the mechanical, automotive and aerospace industries in the region.

Müller-BBM is one of the leading engineering firms in Germany for consulting services, expert reports, measurements and planning in all areas of acoustics, physics, and environmental protection.

http://www.muellerbbm.com

 

November 2015 - FEMtools 3.8.2 Maintenance Release

Dynamic Design Solutions announces the release of FEMtools 3.8.2.

FEMtools 3.8.2 is a maintenance release that provides bug corrections and various enhancements to the framework, data interface programs, user interface, analysis modules, commands and API functions. The following is a sample of new features and enhancements in this release:

  • Support for Windows 10 Operating System.
  • Updates of the Abaqus, Ansys, Nastran and Universal File data interfaces.
  • Mesh generation extended to quadratic elements and generation speeds of up to 10 times faster.
  • An improved formulation for quadratic shell elements.
  • A new pretest analysis utility to identify the visible nodes considering a particular viewing direction. These nodes can be used as candidates for an optical full field measurement.
  • A new example on Discrete Material Optimization (DMO) that illustrates how to optimize ply orientation using the Genetic Algorithm optimizer.
  • New settings have been added to the Modal Parameter Extractor applet in response to customer requests.
  • ...

FEMtools 3.8.2 is available as a free upgrade for all customers with current maintenance and technical support contract.

Customers with current support and maintenance can find more information on this release and how to download the installation packs in the FEMtools Support site.  A login name and password is required to access the support pages. If you have a current Maintenance and Support contract and did not yet receive a login name and password, then register at http://www.femtools.com/support.htm or send a request to support@femtools.com.

 

October 2015 - Free webinars on Model Updating and Scripting in FEMtools

This Fall 2015, Dynamic Design Solutions will present free webinars on model updating and on scripting in FEMtools.

The webinar on model updating will focus on the updating process that makes use of experimental reference data to calibrate the input parameters of a finite element model. You will learn about the different types of model updating and their relation to the selection of updating targets (responses). The selection of updating parameters is also a critical step and decision-making using background information, correlation analysis, sensitivity analysis, and exploratory model updating will be discussed. The presentation will be complemented by a number of short demonstrations in FEMtools Model Updating to illustrate the different steps of the updating process. 

This webinar is held on November 18, 2015 at 11:00 AM EST (during Americas business hours) and November 19, 2015 at 10:00 AM CET (during Europe/Asia business hours).

The webinar on scripting will show how FEMtools users can get started with scripting and benefit from it. The FEMtools Script language elements and functions libraries (API) will be reviewed and a number of practical examples will be shown to illustrate the potential uses of scripts in different application scenarios.

This webinar is held on December 16, 2015 at 11:00 AM EST (during Americas business hours) and December 17, 2015 at 10:00 AM CET (during Europe/Asia business hours).

At the end of the webinars, time will be reserved for questions and answers.

For more information and registration click here.

 

September 2015 - Structural Health Monitoring of Piping Systems using Modal Analysis and Finite Element Model Updating

Safe operation, availability and lifetime assessment of piping are of utmost concern for plant operators. The knowledge on how failures in piping and its support construction are reflected in changes of the dynamic behavior is a useful basis for system identification and Structural Health Monitoring (SHM).

Modal analysis of complex piping, the identification of system changes and the use of vibration dampers in piping still constitute challenges. Researchers at the MPA University of Stuttgart in Germany used Operational Modal Analysis (OMA), finite element modelling and model updating to study changes in the natural frequencies and corresponding mode shapes due to through-wall cracks or changing boundary conditions.

One part of their study involved the design of a new type of tuned mass damper (TMD) that was first tested in the laboratory of MPA. Using detailed FE modelling, updated by OMA, provided the information necessary to adapt these TMD for efficiently cancelling the resonances in a piping system of a chemical plant.

In another part of their research, the influence of local wall thinning on the eigenfrequencies and mode shapes of a laboratory piping system was evaluated. Using sensitivity analysis and FE model updating it was found that rotational spring stiffness of the supports were important parameters for successful model updating. FEMtools was also used to sort a large number of local mode shapes which led towards the detection of a high order mode that showed a collapse-like motion at the exact position of the local wall thinning. 

MPA Piping System

Comparison of the higher order mode shape of two FE models, without (left) and with (right) local wall thinning in the elbow. Eventhough the change in eigenfrequency was very small, an 8% change in Modal Assurance Criterion (MAC) was observed, which was significantly higher than all other mode shapes.

The correlation between FE analysis and modal testing for this particular mode shape was demonstrated to be most sensitive for local wall thinning at the elbow, compared to other (lower order) mode shapes. This finding suggests that it might be possible to design a structural health monitoring device that is capable to detect mode shape changes such as this, for example by using a laser doppler vibrometer and automated scanning robots which make it possible to get experimental modal data at a resolution close to that of the FE-model. Used on a regular basis in an operational plant, such device can be a cost-efficient tool to prevent structural failure.

More information can be found in the following paper:

G. Hinz, K. Kerkhof, System Identification and Reduction of Vibrations of Piping in Different Conditions, Proceedings of the ASME 2013 Pressure Vessels & Piping Division (PVP2013), July 2013, Paris, France.

 

August 2015 - Next Technology Course on Verification, Validation and Model Updating Announced

Registrations are now accepted for the Technology Course on Verification, Validation and Model Updating that will take place on March 16-18, 2016 in Leuven, Belgium.

This course is intended for anyone that is interested in learning the state-of-the-art in finite element model validation and updating with a focus on structural dynamics. FEMtools will be used for hands-on exercises during approximately half of the time and is therefore also a good opportunity for new customers and evaluators to get started with the program. It is therefore also a good opportunity for new users, occasional users and evaluators to learn more about FEMtools.

For more information and registration click here.

 

July 2015 - Full Field Modal Analysis using FEMtools MPE

Researchers at Technical University Vienna (Austria) and University of Bologna (Italy) have used FEMtools MPE to process massive amounts of vibration data collected with modern full field measurement technologies.

In the framework of the EU-sponsored TEFFMA project (Towards Experimental Full Field Modal Analysis, FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IEF-298543), a comparison is made by means of challenging optical technologies (SLDV, Hi-Speed DIC, Dynamic ESPI) on the same broad band vibration measurement problem of a lightweight plate, with different spatial resolution and quality of the measured patterns. For each measurement, an experimental modal model is extracted and finite element model updating results are compared between different full field technologies. The results expected from this research will strengthen the path of full field technologies in mechanical engineering and other fields, ranging from aerospace to vehicle technologies, electronic components, and advanced material behaviour analysis.

The following figure shows an example of such high-resolution mode shape. Full field measurements were taken at 49042 points resulting in FRFs at 1285 frequency lines and occupying several GB of disk space per experiment. All FRFs of an experiment could be imported in FEMtools and efficiently processed by the Modal Parameter Extractor (MPE) add-on for extraction of mode shapes.

Full Field Modal Analysis (TEFFMA Project)

Plate mode shape at around 246 Hz obtained using FEMtools MPE, from FRFs measured by ESPI using a 226x217 measurement grid.

The research team will present their most recent results at the International Conference on Engineering Vibration (ICoEV), September 7-10, 2015,  Ljubljana (Slovenia).

For more information, see the TEFFMA project webpage (http://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/103580_it.html) and the researcher's web page (http://www.diem.ing.unibo.it/personale/zanarini/Zanarini_ricerca_EN.htm)

 

June 2015 - FEMtools 3.8.1 Maintenance Release

Dynamic Design Solutions announces the release of FEMtools 3.8.1.

FEMtools 3.8.1 is a maintenance release that provides bug corrections and various enhancements to the framework, data interface programs, user interface, analysis modules, commands and API functions.

FEMtools 3.8.1 is available as a free upgrade for all customers with current maintenance and technical support contract. License files for FEMtools v3.8.0 remain valid for v3.8.1.

Customers with current support and maintenance can find more information on this release and how to download the installation packs in the FEMtools Support site.  A login name and password is required to access the support pages. If you have a current Maintenance and Support contract and did not yet receive a login name and password, then register at http://www.femtools.com/support.htm or send a request to support@femtools.com.

 

May 2015 - Seminar on Nonlinear Modal Analysis

Dynamic Design Solution will collaborate with m+p International, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and The Modal Shop to present a one-day seminar on nonlinear modal analysis. This one day seminar serves as an introduction to the field including lab demonstrations of the tools in operation on a simulated but representative model of an airframe with nonlinearities. Presenter is Prof. A.F. Vakakis; Date and location: June 15, 2015 on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Contact to reserve your place is Tim Copeland at m+p International (217-391-4573).

FEMtools was used for pretest analysis, FE-test modal correlation and FE model updating of the airframe model (see images).

  

February 2015 - DDS Joins Research Advising Group on 3D Printing

Dynamic Design Solutions has joined a Belgian group of companies that will advise on research of the mechanical properties of components that are manufactured using 3D printing techniques (aka additive manufacturing).  The group aims at developing validated design tools for reliable functional industrial components. Several 3D printing techniques will be evaluated and manufactured products studied under different realistic load cases to obtain information on stiffness and strength properties, variability of the results and property influencing factors.

The research is performed under a Belgian technology transfers program (TETRA) and aims to obtain guidelines and best practices information of immediate interest to industry. Several campuses of KU Leuven (campus Thomas More, KAHO, PMA) collaborate to complete the two-year project with a group of companies advising on the work program. Apart from DDS, other advising companies include Siemens, Materialise and several orthopedic products manufacturers.

 

December 2014 - Release of FEMtools 3.8

Dynamic Design Solutions announces the release of FEMtools 3.8. The new version is available for download from December 4.

FEMtools 3.8 is a major revision of the FEMtools software suite with improvements and extensions in all modules of the program. The highlights of this new release are summarized hereafter:

  • Mesh generation commands can now be used to directly generate test models. Previously an FE model was generated that was subsequently converted in a test model.
  • Generation of master DOFs for model reduction and superelements is extended to provide more options.
  • FRF Computation uses new dialog boxes to generate FRFs from analytical or test modes in a faster and more efficient way.
  • It is now possible to add a gravity load to static analyses. This is also supported for topology optimization.
  • Improvements are made to the Pretest Analysis tools for Nodal Kinetic Energy analysis, automated and manual sensor selection and a new tool for mass loading sensitivity analysis is added.
  • Mode shape pairing for axisymmetric structures and AutoMAC analysis are improved with new settings.
  • A new tool for Automated Mode Tracking (AMT) is added to compare mode shapes of a modified model with a set of reference modes and to identify mode switches. This feature can be used in design modification tools.
  • It is now possible to define generic parameters for sensitivity analysis and model updating. Generic parameters offer the flexibility to use any value that is accessible from an external database as parameter.
  • Parameter Relations:
    • It is now possible to define relations using parameter labels as an alternative to using parameter indices. This simplifies the definition and editing of parameter relations.
    • A new type of relations, group relations, has been introduced. Group relations are defined on labels: the relation will modify all the parameters with the specified labels in the same way.
  • It is now possible to use a generic solver for sensitivity analysis and model updating. A generic solver is an external solver that is piloted with a custom-developed script.
  • Model updating using generic parameters, responses and solvers is now available for completely customizable implementation of automated updating processes.
  • The Monte Carlo Simulation (MCS) tool for probabilistic analysis has been reworked and now offers new commands, settings, and dialog boxes. More specifically the following features are significantly improved: importing test data, sampling, statistical property estimation, sample evaluation and postprocessing.
  • An additional applet for local modal parameter extraction is added to the FEMtools Modal Parameter Extractor (MPE) add-on and the global extractor tool is extended with additional commands for modal extraction automation. The addition of an applet for local modal parameter extraction has been a regular user request since the release of the original MPE add-on. A local extraction tool is preferred to extract modal parameters from test data that are affected by mass loading.
  • Extended scripting functionality is offered through 26 new and 29 modified commands to be used in command scripts. FEMtools Script programmers will benefit from enhanced FEMtools API functions.
  • The FE data interfaces and solver drivers (Abaqus, Ansys and Nastran) are upgraded to support the latest version of the external solvers. The interfaces are extended in response to customer requests.
  • A new OAPI-based version of the SAP2000 interface and driver is introduced for enhanced correlation analysis and model updating of SAP model.

FEMtools 3.8 is available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS as a free upgrade for all customers with current Maintenance and Technical Support.

 

November 2014 - FEMtools Introduced at Chinese V&V Meeting

FEMtools Model Updating was introduced during a meeting of a Chinese interest group on Verification and Validation (V&V) that was held on 15 and 16 November 2014, in XiAn City, China. This meeting was organized by the Chinese Academy of Engineering Physics and Northwestern Polytechnical University. Participants from universities, institutes and companies attended presentations and discussion sessions about V&V topics related to structural dynamics, testing, computational mechanics, reliability and complex engineering design.

Beijing ALLSTAR Technology Corporation, distributor of Dynamic Design Solutions in China, introduced FEMtools features for finite element model validation and updating and its applications in engineering (see picture). FEMtools was the only commercial V&V product presented at this meeting and its applicability in different fields of engineering was received with great interest by the participants.

V&V Meeting at Xi'an City, China.

 

October 2014 - Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite Compatibility of FEMtools

Dynamic Design Solutions has conducted compatibility tests with Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite which have shown that the current FEMtools 3.7.2 version works without any specific issues under this recently released version of the Mac OS X operating system.

Further compatibility and performance tests with the Yosemite version of Mac OS will be done and new information will be provided as it becomes available.

 

September 2014 - FEMtools License Manager Supported by IBM Platform Computing

Reprise Software, the developers of the Reprise LM license manager that is used by FEMtools, announces that IBM Platform Computing has added support for the Reprise License Manager (RLM) to its Platform RTM v9.1.3. IBM Platform RTM is an operational dashboard for IBM Platform LSF environments that provides comprehensive workload monitoring, reporting and management. Platform RTM provides a complete, integrated monitoring facility that is designed specifically for Platform LSF environments.

FEMtools customers that use the IBM Platform License Scheduler will be able to benefit from integrated RLM support from the end of August, 2014.

 

August 2014 - FEMtools 3.7.2 Maintenance Release

Dynamic Design Solutions announces the release of FEMtools 3.7.2.

FEMtools 3.7.2 is a maintenance release that provides bug corrections and various enhancements to the framework, data interface programs, user interface, analysis modules, commands and API functions.

FEMtools 3.7.2 is available as a free upgrade for all customers with current maintenance and technical support contract. License files for FEMtools v3.7.0 or v3.7.1 remain valid for v3.7.2.

Customers with current support and maintenance can find more information on this release and how to download the installation packs in the FEMtools Support site.  A login name and password is required to access the support pages. If you have a current Maintenance and Support contract and did not yet receive a login name and password, then register at http://www.femtools.com/support.htm or send a request to support@femtools.com.

 

June 2014 - See FEMtools at the ISMA2014 Conference in Leuven

Dynamic Design Solutions will show FEMtools 3.7 at the 2014 International Conference on Noise and Vibration Engineering (ISMA2014) that is held from September 15-17, 2014 in Leuven, Belgium.

It is the 26th international conference in a series of annual courses and biennial conferences on structural dynamics, modal analysis and noise and vibration engineering, organised by the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the KU Leuven. The conference provides a forum for engineers, researchers and other professionals active in the field of modelling, analysing, testing and improving the noise and vibration characteristics of mechanical systems and civil structures.

Please come and visit us at booth #10 in the exhibition area to check out the newest release of FEMtools discussing your dynamics simulation, modal pretest planning, test-analysis correlation and FE model updating needs.

For more information about this event: https://www.isma-isaac.be.

 

February 2014 - FEMtools 3.7.1 Maintenance Release

Dynamic Design Solutions announces the release of FEMtools 3.7.1.

FEMtools 3.7.1 is a maintenance release that provides bug corrections and various enhancements to the framework, data interface programs, user interface, analysis modules, commands and API functions.

The following is a sample of new features and enhancements in this release:

  • The user interface now supports ultra-high resolution screens. The size of user interface items like toolbar icons is now scalable.
  • Dynamic rotation, zooming and panning can now be performed using one-finger and two-finger gestures on touch-enabled screens.
  • A new and very fast direct reader for the ABAQUS ODB file format is added.
  • It is now possible to exchange sets of nodes and elements with ANSYS.
  • Enhanced support for Universal Files that contain FRFs with undefined type.
  • The FEMtools eigenmodes solver now supports banded analysis for reduced memory requirements.
  • Various improvements are made to the dynamic substructuring methods (superelements, MBA, FBA).
  • Various improvements to Mode Participation Analysis (MPA) and automated sensor selection in Pretest Analysis.

FEMtools 3.7.1 is available as a free upgrade for all customers with current maintenance and technical support contract. License files for FEMtools 3.7.0 remain valid for v3.7.1.

Customers with current support and maintenance can find more information on this release and how to download the installation packs in the FEMtools Support site.  A login name and password is required to access the support pages. If you have a current Maintenance and Support contract and did not yet receive a login name and password, then register at http://www.femtools.com/support.htm or send a request to support@femtools.com.

 

January 2014 - Happy New Year and Celebrating 20 Years Specializing in Finite Element Model Updating!

A Happy New Year from the FEMtools team at Dynamic Design Solutions!  2013 has been a great year for us and we look forward to bringing you more innovation and value in 2014.

This year, Dynamic Design Solutions is celebrating its 20 years in business. Thanks to our customers, partners and friends we have been able to steadily grow our company and become the reference in the field of finite element model validation and updating for structural static and dynamic analysis.

Today we are proud to count numerous prestigious and international companies that are market leaders in the automotive, aerospace and power industries among our customers. Our FEMtools software has also become an important tool for engineering students at academic institutions worldwide.

Verification and Validation (V&V), complemented by Model Updating has become a standard tool for all CAE engineers. Dynamic Design Solutions is ready to serve your needs and offer expert assistance during the years to come.

 

See also the News Archives and Tech Tips.

 

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