Designing for Cost Reduction
We normally think of optimization
in terms of reducing mass or increasing performance of a product, but often the
underlying goal is to reduce product cost while achieving a target performance.
Product cost may be a function of many factors such as material type, amount of
material used, manufacturing process, number of parts, assembly details, and
The relationship between cost and design variables (e.g., shape,
material, gauge thickness, location of features, etc.) is highly implicit. In
other words, it is often difficult to understand the direct effect that
changing one or more variables will have on cost. But mathematical design
optimization has the ability to efficiently explore these complex relationships.
For this reason, it is a powerful tool for achieving a cost effective product
In this application brief, we demonstrate how to
couple a cost model and a finite element model within an optimization process
to obtain a minimum cost design that also meets performance requirements.
application example is an office chair leg with both material and shape design
variables. HEEDS is used to automate the design evaluation and optimization
process, Abaqus is used to perform finite element analysis, and Excel is used
to calculate the cost of each proposed design.
Read the entire application brief
Optimizing Traffic Signal Control
for Emergency Evacuation
Agent-Based Modeling (ABM) is an effective strategy for
simulating the emergent properties of complex systems. This form of simulation
models the behaviors of individual agents interacting with each other and with
their world. ABM is well suited for problems such as modeling behaviors during
emergencies, or critical incidents. These situations can range from getting
people out of a burning building to routing traffic away from a chemical
While ABM works well for modeling individual behaviors to
determine the resulting emergent group properties, it is difficult to find
optimal strategies for emergency responders to follow in order to save lives, faced
with such scenarios. Parameters must be
tuned and tested to find optimal strategies for handling various kinds of
Furthermore, in order to test each possible strategy, one or
more simulation runs may take a very long time. It becomes impractical to test the many combinations of parameters for possible
strategies in an exhaustive manner, so a more efficient search method must be
used. In this case, it is advantageous
to use an optimization tool with evolutionary and hybrid computation, such as
While most applications of HEEDS focus on design of physical
parts and products, HEEDS can also be applied to many other forms of
optimization. This paper discusses the success of HEEDS in the area of traffic
control for urban evacuation, using agent-based modeling.
Read the entire application brief
HEEDS Selected as Desktop Engineering's Editor's Pick of the Week
In June, Desktop Engineering magazine chose HEEDS Professional 5.3
as the Editor's
Pick of the Week.
"HEEDS Professional optimizes your design
optimization workflow by harnessing numerical search algorithms," said Anthony
J. Lockwood, editor at large for Desktop Engineering.
"The key to HEEDS
is its SHERPA technology, a hybrid search algorithm that combines its own
strategies with other known methods -- genetic algorithms, e.g. -- then
leverages them all automatically and simultaneously to explore your design
space and optimize the design. This phalanx of search algorithms brought to
bear on a problem requires fewer iterations to converge on the optimal design
because it eliminates the inefficiencies inherent in running one method over
"You do not have to be an optimization
technology maven to put SHERPA to use," added Lockwood, "You set up a design
optimization through a simple process. What this all means for you is that
HEEDS Professional increases your productivity, reduces wasted time and money,
gets products to market faster, and frees up computer resources for additional
Read the complete Editor's Pick of the Week
Searching the Log Space of a Design Variable
HEEDS Professional Tip
In cases where a design variable
ranges over several orders of magnitude, it often makes sense to define the
variable range in log space instead of linear space.
Searching the log space
allows you to find the value of the design variable that is within a certain
percentage of the actual best value, as opposed to an absolute precision.
Instances when it is appropriate to use this technique may include
curve-fitting and determining chemical rate constants.
In this HEEDS tip,
search of the log space is explained and instructions are given for how to set
this up in HEEDS.
HEEDS with... Guides Available
Our customers frequently ask us for more information about how to use HEEDS Professional with their preferred design and analysis tools. In response to these requests, our support engineers are continually expanding the selection of HEEDS with guides. The following guides are currently available to our customers at no cost:
HEEDS Professional with
If you'd like to request a PDF of any of these guides, please
- DEP Morpher
call us or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recent Publications Featuring HEEDS
HEEDS Professional was used in the following recently published optimization study:Qualifying nonlinear anisotropic elastic material properties of biological tissue by use of membrane inflation
J. Bischoff, E. Drexler, A. Slifka and C. McCowan
Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering
Vol. 12, No. 3, June 2009, 353-369
Read the abstract
Browse more technical papers featuring HEEDS Professional
As always, we hope you have found this issue informative and interesting. If you have questions or feedback, please don't hesitate to contact us.
The Red Cedar Technology Team
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