Why Any Technophile Should Know About Virtual Prototyping
You don’t need to be an engineer to be excited about virtual prototyping and advanced CAE (Computer-Aided Engineering). Why? Because whoever you are, whatever your job position is, there is not one single day when you don’t benefit from virtual prototyping technologies.
Before I joined my current company I had obviously no idea what was virtual prototyping. But mostly I had no idea that I was benefiting from virtual prototyping every day without noticing it: driving my motorbike to the office, using my smartphone, listening to the radio, putting on my running shoes, and in many more situations.
There is obviously a certain technicality about how companies around the world and in many disciplines are deploying virtual prototypes before they go experience the market, but the concept of virtual prototyping remains quite simple: if you are in the process of creating a new product, you want to validate its design and feasibility before you create the first physical prototype. Why? Because physical prototypes are costly and time-consuming to manufacture. So for a quick time-to-market (you need to be quicker than your aggressive competitors!) you need to have your product mock-up as polished as possible before you even manufacture the first physical prototype. Do you still follow me here?
Copyright Manufacturing Technology Center (MTC)
As you can imagine, considering the tangible efficiency and economies of scale generated by the use of virtual prototyping, this technology is being used today by most of the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEMs) all over the world. Basically I can't even name one big OEMs/ manufacturing company that is not using virtual prototyping (believe me or not but I am saving you from a very long and boring list here).
I had many chances to discuss with high-level people from the manufacturing industry (John Deere, Hitachi Mitsubishi, Daher, Safran, Airbus) while working on the creation of video materials for my current employer ESI Group. I will always remember this VP of Engineering proudly explaining me that his company has reduced its average product time-to-market of at least 20% with the use of virtual prototyping. He also confessed that the investment his company make in virtual prototyping solutions would still be profitable even with a 5% reduction of their time-to-market. I let you dream about where the extra 15% go.
If you want to find out more about virtual prototyping, I invite you to follow the Twitter feed below. In any case, I hope you enjoyed this humble article about what I personally consider as one of the