Dr Royston D Jones Managing Director, Altair Engineering Ltd
Imperial House, Holly Walk, Royal Leamington Spa CV32 4JG royston@uk.altair.com

Altair warmly welcomes attendees to our fifth Altair CAE Technology Conference. It has been over two years since our last conference and during this period, frantic change has been the constant. This has been witnessed in the digital design arena where unprecedented levels of consolidation have occurred in order for companies to increase market share or their strategic position. In addition, the UK manufacturing industry continues to witness upheaval with companies divesting or becoming insolvent. Companies who have been landmarks on the UK industrial landscape for decades no longer exist. With change comes opportunity. The mantra of innovation is indiscriminately chanted from both industry and government. It is testament to the innovation of Altair’s technology, the high quality and industry diverse conference agenda that a record number of attendees from many industries (e.g. automotive, aerospace, packaging, biomedical, offshore oil & gas etc.) are present today. Across all industries, companies are constantly striving to improve product profitability by reducing costs. As a result, two major trends have emerged. First is the increasing use of digital design to reduce or eliminate the necessity for physical prototyping. The second shift involves the outsourcing of digital design activities to low cost offshore centres including Asia and Eastern Europe. Altair has accelerated investment in the HyperWorks software suite, the leading integrated CAE framework for engineering design. It has further added solver technology to compliment its best in class modelling and visualisation software tools. This consists of significant new development resource to the Multi Body Dynamics solver team (MotionSolve) and via the acquisition of Mecalog, the addition of the Radioss software tools. The computer hardware industry continues to provide the digital design community with exciting new horizons. With the performance of an individual CPU reaching a ceiling, the advent of new hardware architectures allow multiple processors on a single chip set (e.g. dual, quad …. hundred plus cores). This will further facilitate technologies which rapidly explore the performance of a design concept. The Altair CAE Technology Conference clearly demonstrates how companies have harnessed the full potential of digital design to produce innovative, world class products. In addition, the papers provide a ‘signpost’ to the future direction of such technology. Two examples, the optimization of a biomedical stent and the simultaneous robust optimization of a knee bolster demonstrate how rapid exploration of a products performance can be explored. The engineer still decides the bounds of the box to be explored, however, the technology searches the internal space to improved performance. This combination of human creativity with machine creativity represents the future of highly engineered products. Altair would like to extend our appreciation to the speakers for giving their time and support, to their companies for allowing the information to be published and to our sponsors.

© Altair Engineering 2007


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