AP209 Activity Model AP209 Activity Model

The scenario supported by STEP AP209 ed2, “Perform multidisciplinary analysis and design”, is presented here below: 

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Why AP209? Why AP209?

In industries such as aerospace, automotive, and ship building, design of complex structures is more and more simulation-driven.

In the context of Concurrent Engineering and Extended Enterprise, design and analysis information of ever growing size needs to be exchanged and managed under configuration control. Simulation analyses also tend to support more and more certification processes, leading to increased traceability requirements.

Therefore there is a strong need for interoperability between analysis environments in Extended Enterprise context. Interoperability will allow decreasing the time to market for new products, and it will support the long term retention of knowledge, and traceability of new virtual simulation processes.

The targeted interoperability between so-called Simulation Data Management (or Simulation Life-cycle Management, or Simulation Data and Process Management) environments requires an International Standard to happen. This is the objective of STEP AP209 ed2.

STEP AP209 ed2 is implemented at three different levels:

  1. Mono disciplinary simulation tools;
  2. Simulation Data Management;
  3. CAE Services.

Multi-disciplinary Simulation Interoperability

Multi-disciplinary simulation covers the individual analysis disciplines (such as aerodynamics, mechanical, electromagnetics, thermal, noise, and vibration), and the links and coordination between analysis disciplines.

Elaborate approaches have been developed in the Aerospace & Defence industry for individual disciplines based on discipline-specific simulation workbenches. However, the interoperability between these workbenches is poor, along with the linkage between the discipline workbenches and the system-level product data definition.

This lack of interoperability is more and more critical, as more complex vehicle architectures have to be investigated and novel energy management functions have to be developed.

STEP AP209 ed2 will play a determining role in Multi-disciplinary simulation interoperability including both simulation metadata and processes (a field known as "Simulation Data Management" SDM or "Simulation and Process Data Management" SPDM) and co-simulation. SDM covers all the interoperability functions based on open standards, such as:

  • Communication with the extended enterprise;
  • Long term archiving and retrieval;
  • Integration between upstream and downstream heterogeneous authoring CAE-CAD-PDM applications;
  • Simulation data quality;
  • Model exchange and co-simulation.

Challenges requiring multi-disciplinary interoperability and standardisation are linked to current situation include:

  • Insufficient validation of product physical behaviour early in the development phase (e.g. thermal issues identified late and costly to solve);
  • Heterogeneity of analysis formats, simulation data representation formats and management information, leading to inability to master multi-physics effects;
  • Difficulty to assess complex behaviour involving several disciplines along an operational scenario.

Use cases

  • Supplier analysis data exchange
  • Long Term Archiving of mesh models/analysis results
  • Multi-disciplinary design and optimization
  • Simulation Data Management

Business value

Integrating the use of STEP AP209 in the engineering processes will bring the following business value to a company:

  • Remaining solver-independent / Not being tied to a vendor proprietary format
  • Gaining the confidence to archive valuable engineering simulation and analysis assets in a stable format, ensuring future retrieval and reuse
  • Keeping alive the link between simulation and design
  • Keeping full traceability of the context in which a product was designed through capturing the metadata attached to it
  • Enabling sharing of data across various simulation disciplines.