Predictive software can develop structural models faster on less data

Software developer Macros Solutions has claimed that its 'groundbreaking' modelling tool will enable engineers to develop CAD models in a fraction of the time needed by current tools.

Described as a predictive modelling and simulation technology, MACROS replaces mathematical models with data-based models. Feed it data, and it finds correlations and uses them to build what Macros Solutions CEO Pierre-Laurent Kociemba called a “surrogate model”. These models can then be plugged into, for example, Catia, for use in tasks such as aircraft fuselage weight optimisation computation.

“The amount of data needed depends on the precision you want,” he said, adding that MACROS includes tools to tell you what precision you can expect from the amount of data supplied. “We can do more with less, because our algorithms will rapidly find all the correlations between the data.”

He said that because is it data-driven it runs much faster, citing the example of an aerofoil model at Airbus which previously took one month to calculate, but which was generated using MACROS “in three days on a PC.”

He added, “a surrogate model is a model whose complexity depends on the application and on what you want to model – on how many parameters you want to see. The data would come from wind tunnel testing, say, and from past experience.”

MACROS was developed with EADS and Airbus support by researchers at the Institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IRIAS), and the eponymous company is a joint venture between IRIAS and EADS. Kociemba said that as well as selling the software, along with training in how to use it - “For an engineer used to working with modelling tools, it is one or two days training” - Macros Solutions also plans to offer it as a service: companies will be able to send it a database, and receive a 'MACROS baby' in return, ready to plug into their design software.

The company's first sales target is of course EADS itself: Kociemba expects it to take around 1000 seats, including around 400 for Airbus, and 200 each for Eurocopter and Astrium. He added that Mercedes, Renault, and Japanese engineering firm IHI have had demonstrations, and said he also sees opportunities in many other domains, including finance, for building the models on which trading decisions are based.

Kocimbe estimated that MACROS would cost around 3000 euro a seat as a plug-in for Catia - he said his company has signed a partnership with Dassault Systèmes, and is now talking to other CAD suppliers, including Siemens. Delivery of the first user-ready software is planned for the end of September, he added. 

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