20th January 2009, Tecnica UK Ltd, an engineering design consultancy specialising in crankshaft, connecting rods and axle beam forging designs for the automotive industry, is using a new Linux-based High Performance Compute system (HPC system) to reduce processing time of its complex 3D computer simulations – in use during the forge design process - by up to 80 per cent (40 hours down to 8 hours).
The bespoke design, implementation, configuration and support of the entire Linux HPC system is provided by the UK’s premier HPC integrator, OCF plc, http://www.ocf.co.uk
Tecnica can also use performance from the HPC system proportionately – for example Tecnica can use performance from all 16 cores of the HPC system on a single large simulation (and run other simulations sequentially). Alternatively, it can use performance from 4 cores, for example, on a first smaller simulation, 4 cores on a second smaller simulation and so on (running smaller simulations concurrently).
The ability to run smaller simulations concurrently – potentially for different customers – enables Tecnica to complete more simulations in less time, increasing productivity and ultimately increasing profit.
Using the power and performance of the HPC system to make its simulation process more efficient and effective, Tecnica is helping customers reduce time spent on the overall forge design process and helping them to bring products to market more quickly.
Tecnica's worldwide customers include Bharat Forge, the World’s second largest forging company, which in turn serves the top five passenger car and top five commercial vehicle manufacturers in the World.
"3D simulation is now an essential part of the forge design process," says Mark Wren, simulation and design, Tecnica UK Ltd. "Simulation helps fivefold: to wean out any errors from our engineers - it validates their design work and gives us confidence in our forge die designs; it reduces the amount of physical testing we must undertake on design dies; it enables us to get our forging die designs correct first time; it optimizes material use thus reducing wastage and it compacts time spent on the design phase of a product ensuring a quicker time to market.
The power and performance of the HPC system takes our simulation to another level – reducing processing time for simulations and enabling us to allocate performance to simulations which need it most."
To ensure maximum power and performance, OCF’s Linux HPC system design consists of both an IBM System x3655 Server and IBM System x3455 Servers, both with AMD Opteron Dual-Core processors.
The design also includes AcoustiRACK, a sound-proofed rackmount cabinet, which enables Tecnica to house the HPC system in its main office without the noise affecting staff productivity or breaching Health & Safety regulations. The AcoustiRACK was also selected by OCF because of its built-in cooling fans which help to remove heat from the system.
The HPC system was pre-built at the OCF office in Sheffield which meant OCF could deliver, implement and configure the HPC system in just a few days.
In addition, Tecnica is making use of OCF's HPC system support service which includes remote management of the HPC system (via the internet), telephone support and face-to-face support, if required.
Wren adds, "We are a small team here with little IT knowledge and virtually no HPC system knowledge. OCF provides us with valuable consultancy and support ensuring that the HPC system remains operational at all times."