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Comparing FEA Packages

Comparing FEA Packages

Comparing FEA Packages

(OP)
Were narrowing down the 3d package our company is going to use, which most likely will be solidworks.

This then leads to the next question, of FEA analysis. We produce conveyor pulleys. A long shaft mounted in bearings, a couple compression/friction fittings, end plates, and a pulley rim/drum. Simple but still needing accurate analysis.

I cant see how to include a picture so heres a link that shows similar.

http://www.luffindustries.com/Newsletter.pdf's/Pulley%20Analysis%20June%2099.pdf

Solidworks has cosmosworks designer, or we can go with Algor. Our actual requirements for analysis studies will be mostly static linear loading, and fatigue.

If we go with cosmos, we have to pay for their top end package, cosmos professional in order to get fatigue analysis. I'm not sure what level of Algor we would need.

In the above link you can see the parts we need to examine, and their size. I'm not sure what element types are required, from the above link maybe some more experianced users can recommend a best approach to me.

Solidworks has the tight integration with solidworks which is a plus to us. I'm just not sure whether its capable of our requirements or if Algor would be a better fit. So any advice or recomendations from those with more experiance is greatly appreciated.

Being able to use pre made templates, since all products will have similar loads/restraints and only the values will change would be a huge timesaving benefit.

-------------

Randy

RE: Comparing FEA Packages

Randy,
  I worked as an application engineer for Algor up until recently so I have a pretty good idea about their products.  Although, I'm sure some things have changed since the last time I used it.  Looking at the link you posted it looks like your stresses (assuming their in units of psi) are well within the linear regime.  Linear static analysis should suite your applications just fine that being the case and assuming you don't want to evaluate anything moving.  Algor is partnered with Fatigue Wizard (www.fatiguewizard.com) which integrates very well with their software and works with remarkable ease.  I used the software on several different analyses for a consulting job during my time there and the results obtained were excellent.  FW is an add on that works during the postprocessing phase which goes through and reads the output of a results file and does stress or strain based fatigue calculations from there.  Again, I found the program very user friendly as I'm sure most will.  
   Algor integrates very well with Solid Works...it always seemed to be the best CAD package from my experience as far as import and cad associativity went.  I'm not really sure about what templates different companies have available.  Associativity automatically takes place if you re-import a cad model after you've made changes which do not alter surface information.  Contact and loading is a breeze to setup for your case.  It's tough for me to imagine it taking more than 10 minutes for you to mesh, setup contact, and apply loadings/constraints to your model after you import it providing the link illustrates a garden variety analysis.
   The best thing for you to do would be to contact Algor directly and get a demo setup to see for yourself how it performs under your specific application and make a decision based on that.  As an aside, I can tell you that Algors application engineers (technical support) are an excellent group and will do anything possible to support you in the event that you need help learning the product, with a model, etc.  Certainly the sales people will tell you that but I know most of them personally and can tell you that it is in fact true.  I'm not trying to sound like a sales person here...i have no interest at stake whatsoever.  I'm actually an Ansys user now.  Just passing along my unbiased feedback to you.

Good luck,
-Brian

RE: Comparing FEA Packages

Randy,

I'm a long-term Algor user (10+ years), and I use SolidWorks for my CAD work.  I have used Algor, along with several other packages, for several years.  I know Julian Holt, the creator of Fatigue Wizard, and used his software in the very early stages.  It was great then and I'm sure it's much better now.  Trying to be objective, I don't like COSMOS and I DO REALLY like Algor.

I think the major benefit that you will find with the Algor/fatigue wizard combination will be price.  You will get excellent results for a fraction of the cost of the high-end COSMOS package.  The SolidWorks integration is excellent.

I will say that I hope your models are better than the one that LUFF is using in their advertisement.  I hope they did their homework with a mesh convergence study because at a glance, their aspect ratios look too large and they have some pretty significant stress gradients across single elements.

My 2 cents,
Garland

Garland E. Borowski, PE
Borowski Engineering & Analytical Services, Inc.
Lower Alabama SolidWorks Users Group

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