ESI Group launches ProCAST 2005 foundry simulation software

From: FTPB
Published: Fri Apr 29 2005

ESI Group, a leading provider of digital simulation software for prototyping and manufacturing processes, has released ProCAST 2005 – a comprehensive finite-element software package for foundry simulation. ProCAST 2005 offers an efficient and accurate solution for a wide range of processes and alloys, from high- and low-pressure die casting to sand casting and investment casting.

ProCAST 2005 delivers unprecedented performance on Linux and UNIX clusters at a very competitive cost. The new DMP (Distributed Memory Parallel) version enables customers to achieve unmatched performance as simulation tasks are distributed amongst several processors running in parallel, and at a very competitive cost. The release provides an industrial and highly scalable version on Linux clusters and UNIX multiprocessor platforms.

"With parallel processing, even the most complex processes can be simulated overnight allowing foundries to do more mould design iterations in less time," says Dominique Lefebvre, Casting Solutions Product Manager, ESI Group. "This new DMP version was specifically tuned for small- to medium-sized parallel hardware configurations to deliver high performance at a very competitive cost. Furthermore, the hardware configuration, number of CPUs and interconnect switches can be adapted to meet the end-user requirements in terms of turn-around times."

For optimal scalability, the parallelisation of ProCAST 2005 relies on dynamic domain-decomposition technology. This feature, which is automatically activated in ProCAST 2005, is used to distribute a task on multiple processors. The finite element mesh of the CAD model is partitioned in as many sub-domains as there are processors. To be efficient, the decomposition needs to provide a balanced repartition of the workload and a minimal interface between the different partitions in order to reduce the data exchange between processors. As the casting is gradually filled during the simulation, the load balancing continuously evolves. To maintain optimal scalability, ProCAST 2005 automatically updates the domain decomposition at regular intervals.

The performance of the parallel solver depends on the size of the model, the type of application and system components, such as interconnects related to interprocessor communication. Results obtained on a Linux cluster with Gigabit Ethernet interconnect show an acceleration of the speed of analysis of up to six times for both filling and solidification on eight processors. Higher scalability can be obtained with more powerful interconnects for up to 32 processors.

The ProCAST 2005 parallel version is available on vendor-certified Linux clusters as well as UNIX multiprocessor platforms from IBM and SGI.

Casting-process simulation is now widely accepted as an important tool in product design and process development to improve yield and casting quality. ESI Group's casting portfolio includes ProCAST, CALCOSOFT, for fast and efficient modelling of continuous casting processes, and PAM-QUIKCAST, the finite difference solution for casting-process evaluation.

About ESI Group

ESI Group is a pioneer and world-leading provider of digital simulation software for prototyping and manufacturing processes that take into account the physics of materials. ESI Group has developed an entire suite of coherent, industry-oriented applications to simulate realistically a product’s behaviour during testing, to fine-tune the manufacturing processes in accordance with the desired product performance, and to evaluate the environment’s impact on product usage. ESI Group’s products, which have a proven track record in manufacturing and have been combined in multi-trade value chains, represent a unique collaborative, virtual engineering solution, known as the Virtual Try-Out Space® (VTOS®), enabling virtual prototypes to be improved in a continuous manner. By drastically reducing costs and development lead times, VTOS® solutions offer major competitive advantages by progressively eliminating the need for physical prototypes. ESI Group is listed on the Nouveau Marché of Euronext Paris, and generated sales of €60m in 2004. The company employs almost 500 high-level specialists worldwide, and is present in more than 30 countries.
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