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CAE Company Start-up

CAE Company Start-up

CAE Company Start-up

Hi! Me and my 2 friends think about starting-up a CAE company in Poland. We work together for another company within aerospace CAE. We want to focus on thermal and stress analysis, using FEMAP.

1) First of all we are afraid that we do not have enough experience but we also think, you will never be experienced enough to say "this is the right time"

2) Secondly, software prices are high so we think about FEMAP which seems to be good enough and not so expensive like ANSYS, whithin thermal/stress modules

3) Another thing is how to find the customers. This is one of the biggest problem we face, we have no references...

4) FEM knowledge. We are good in thermal and stress problems but we do not feel so good in FEM, I mean we know the fundamentals but we are worried if we could face advanced issues with basic knowledge in FEM generally.

So I would appreciate any help and tips that could help us.

1) Which business model would be the best? only CAE or CAD/CAE.
2) We think there is a big need in the industry for CAE services but do you think the same?
3) Which software except FEMAP could be good?
4) Should we focus of FEM knowledge or maybe try to get more experience in thermal and stress analysis at all to understand the

RE: CAE Company Start-up

I get the impression you have less than say 10 years experience in your proposed field of specialisation. The question you have to answer is why would a manufacturer hire you, rather than directly employing one of your classmates, who will then be using their preferred software, their modelling guidelines, and be under their control?

It is certainly possible to do CAE or CAD as a supplied service, but it tends to be on the assumption that you are hiring expertise and experience rather than just a knowledge of the software.


Greg Locock

New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: CAE Company Start-up

FEMAP is a preprocessor and postprocessor for CAE, which it does not actually do.

You do know that you also need a solver, right?

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: CAE Company Start-up

Of course I do

RE: CAE Company Start-up

You must ask yourself what is "your" USP point for a company to "hire" your services:

"Expertise" ? You must have a proven track record and have the medals ... otherwise no manager can make an inhouse case for buying your services
"Speed" ? Difficult one .. this could be done by having superior soft & hardware or by less favorable working conditions of your staff. In the first case you need to be able to prove to have the better software/hardware and in the latter case you are going to be in huge trouble with the compliance officer of the company you are trying to work for ....
"Availability" Are your resources always available or does one order already block your ability to respond quickly to new requests ....
"Costs" ? Can you deliver the results at lower costs to the OEM ? ... If you are for instance "on site" the OEM will make you pay for using a desk/phone/computer which comes on top on your salary to be paid ....
"Liability" Are you sure to be able to deliver the results on time ? If your one and only employee goes on sick leave for a month can you guarantee the results to be ready at the deadline ?. They will ask you that in writing ....
"Warranty" What if you mess up things ... let's say a million dollar project .... are you having insurance ?

and last but not least .... if the OEM does have an inhouse CAE department ... how do you intend to get support from those people ... if you offer the "slave work" for sure but "picking cherrie's" won't get you much support ....

These are just some experiences from the past that I have had ....

dynatune, www.dynatune-xl.com

RE: CAE Company Start-up

Our company employs one drafter, one electrical designer and two civil designers. If the drafter and designers are not able to complete some drawings we would send them to a company with drafting labor in Vietnam. This contractor charged us $35/hr and we billed the client $60/hr. I was never concerned about the drafter's experience. They gave us mostly good work and we were able to clean up any final mistakes.

If you want to start your own company you should be aware of rates for drafters to be competitive.

RE: CAE Company Start-up

Hourly charge rates for CAE consultants seem to vary from $ 120 to 300 an hour, and I charge in that range as well when I do outside work. For that the customer would expect very experienced engineers on the correct software and no puzzles and a fair amount of information about how the work was done and advice on what the answers mean. For instance if I write a spreadsheet to solve a problem the customer would get the spreadsheet itself, whereas if it is one of my own pre-existing programs they'll get screenshots and text files of the output but not the code itself.

I've had no luck with overseas CAD guys, but you are paying a fair bit more than I was prepared to pay, and having worked with a couple of Vietnamese engineers I'd say that you probably went to the right country!


Greg Locock

New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: CAE Company Start-up

I see the potential customers for a FEA consultant firm with limited experience being small companies that need FEA work done on a budget and have no in-house expertise.

The lack of expertise at your customer means:

Your scope of work will be poorly defined.
You will get no guidance regarding load cases.
No one will be able to answer any questions that you have.
No one will be able to meaningfully review your delivered work.
Your colorful stress plots will be shown to the boss - "See, we had and FEA done! Aren't the pictures pretty!"
Parts will be made, and will fail.
You will be blamed and possibly sued.

That seems like a pretty bad business model.

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