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August 2008
In This Issue
Announcement: HEEDS Professional 5.2 Release
Case Study: The Real Benefits of Superior Optimization Technology
Feature Article: Benchmark Study of Optimization Algorithms
Announcement: New HEEDS Distributor in Korea
About Red Cedar Technology
Red Cedar Technology is a leading provider of software, technology and consulting services for multi-disciplinary design optimization problems.

Our proprietary optimization strategies are the culmination of over 25 years of research and development and are recognized worldwide as the most powerful and innovative approaches for engineering better products and processes.

Intuitive yet powerful, our HEEDS Professional optimization software simplifies the solution of even your most challenging design problems.

To find out more about HEEDS Professional design exploration and optimization software, or about our design consulting services, please contact us at:

Red Cedar Technology
4572 S. Hagadorn Rd.
Suite 3A
East Lansing, MI 48823 USA
(517) 664-1137


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In this issue of Technotes, we're pleased to announce the upcoming release of HEEDS Professional 5.2, with several new features that will make design optimization with HEEDS even faster and more efficient. Also, we present a new benchmark study that compares the performance of the SHERPA algorithm, found in HEEDS Professional, against some competitive algorithms. And finally, we welcome ANST as our new HEEDS distributor in Korea.

We hope you find this issue informative and interesting. As always, if you have questions or feedback, please don't hesitate to contact us.

The Red Cedar Technology Team

Announcement:  HEEDS Professional 5.2 Release

HEEDS Professional 5.2 available soon! 
We've built your most requested features into this release, including Taguchi Robust Parameter Design, curve fitting, and new portals for NX and Excel.

Taguchi Robust Parameter Design (RPD)
Engineers use design of experiments (DOE) to improve product or process robustness. The optimal design should provide robust performance despite the conditions of its use.  While some factors can be controlled, there are always noise factors in the use environment that can't be. The new Taguchi RPD feature in HEEDS Professional 5.2 enables you to do statistical post-processing inside the HEEDS Modeler. It allows you to adjust control variables to minimize design variation in response to noise factors. With this new feature, HEEDS Professional helps you find the optimal product or process design even in the face of uncontrollable noise factors.

Curve Fitting
In many design scenarios, it is desirable to find optimized designs whose behavior matches a target curve. Common uses of curve fitting include material calibration and stiffness matching. HEEDS Professional 5.2 allows you to define a target curve inside the Modeler. HEEDS will then find the optimal design for which the behavior most closely fits the target curve.

Portals for NX, Excel and Abaqus 6.7
  • NX - When you're trying to configure an NX journal file manually, it can be difficult to figure out which expressions are available to be adjusted and where to find them in the file. With the new portal for NX, you can bring a part file into the Modeler, easily view all of the expressions that can be changed, and select the ones you want to treat as design variables. Then, during a HEEDS study, HEEDS will automatically create a new part file for each potential design using the NX API.
  • Excel - This new portal displays an Excel-like sheet inside of the Modeler. To use the portal, you simply create an Excel sheet containing your variable and response data, and then specify that file as both your input and output file inside of the HEEDS Modeler. HEEDS parses the file and allows you to tag variables and responses directly in the file through the Modeler.
  • Abaqus - With this release, we've added support for Abaqus 6.7 and 6.7EF and improved the overall functionality of this portal.
To learn more about the new features in 5.2, please contact us

If you are a current HEEDS Professional customer, there is no additional cost to upgrade to version 5.2. Look for an email from us soon containing important instructions for downloading the installation files.
Case Study: The Real Benefits of Choosing Superior
Optimization Technology
Does it matter which optimization technology you choose?  The answer is, unequivocally, yes. Choosing a superior optimization technology can
  • reduce design cycle time
  • improve design performance
  • increase innovation
  • support efficient use of resources
Prior to automated, mathematics-based optimization, engineers performed manual search based primarily on intuition. In this process, a key indicator of success was the education and experience of the lead project engineer. A smarter and more efficient engineer could often develop far better designs in much less time than someone with less training and experience.

In the same way, a smarter and more efficient mathematical search algorithm can add significant value to an automated design optimization process, particularly when it comes to finding better designs in less time. In real terms, this equates to higher quality designs at lower cost, greater innovation, increased competitive advantage, and more.

Read the entire case study (PDF, 101KB)
Feature Article: Benchmark Study of Optimization Search Algorithms
A thorough study was conducted that benchmarks the efficiency and robustness of several optimization algorithms. In particular, the hybrid adaptive method SHERPA, in HEEDS Professional, was compared to several existing monolithic and hybrid methods. These algorithms were tested on a broad set of benchmark problems, each of which emphasizes a different set of features commonly found in engineering optimization problems.

It was concluded that the SHERPA algorithm is significantly more efficient and robust for these problems than the other methods in the study.
For more details, read the complete paper (PDF, 599 KB).
Announcement: New HEEDS Distributor in Korea
ANST distributors
We are pleased to announce that TAESUNG ANST has signed on as an official HEEDS distributor in Korea. In June, two representatives from ANST visited Red Cedar Technology headquarters for intensive HEEDS Professional training. We look forward to working closely with the ANST team to better serve our HEEDS customers in Korea.