Looking for someone to introduce Elmer to my company

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alp
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Looking for someone to introduce Elmer to my company

Post by alp »

The company has made its decision, so we are not looking for someone to introduce Elmer anymore. The replies this post attracted were helpful to me. Thank you all. I leave the original message unchanged below.
_______

Greetings,

I work for a hydraulic cylinder production company as an IT consultant. They are specialized in large custom cylinders of up to 2 meters of diameter and 23 meters of length.

The company has been using ANSYS for stress analysis. They do FEA. I attended the ANSYS tutorial with the engineers back when they bought the program several years ago, so I can tell you that what they do involves deleting some details on the part, generating meshes and plotting colored stress graph and such. But they probably do other stuff as well. Excuse my lack of knowledge in mechanical engineering and please bear with me :-D

Their original staff trained in ANSYS left the company and their needs have changed as well. Since the company is in need of fresh training, they are currently at a crossroads as to whether they move forward with ANSYS, or start using something else.

I am fond of open source software, so I suggested that they try to find something open source. But they do not think it is possible. Even their FEA consultant told them that "he does not even see a possibility that there would be any open source programs that do FEA". And yet, a simple web search landed me here. Although I don't know anything about FEA, I believe Elmer will be able to satisfy their needs. I have managed to convince the chairperson and the technical director to give it a try.

Now I would like to find someone who knows their way around Elmer FEM. I would like to set up an online meeting for this Elmer expert, myself, the two employees who are to use the program, and most likely the technical director. I would like the Elmer expert to explain Elmer's capabilities to them. I think 1-2 hours will be enough for them to decide. They are ready to pay.

With all open source programs I have used so far, the user is basically expected to RTFM and learn on their own. That mentality is a bit foreign to this company, so they are going to need some hand-holding. If the expert can convince them, they will work with him/her for quite some time.

If anyone is up for it, I am looking forward to have you contact me. Elmer knowledge is a prerequisite, obviously. Turkish knowledge would be a nice to have. Because we (the technical director and I) are concerned that the two employees might have difficulties following the English language. If there is someone who knows both Elmer and Turkish, great. If not, no problem. We will have a translator.

They will be sending me a list of the exact features they need in the following days. I will post the updates.

I hope I can find someone to impress them. You can contact me here on this post or if you want more privacy, through my email address: alp@kayahan.com

Thank you for your time,

Alp
Last edited by alp on 11 Apr 2021, 04:07, edited 1 time in total.
kevinarden
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Re: Looking for someone to introduce Elmer to my company

Post by kevinarden »

You may be interested in this webinar, the introduction to Elmer is this Thursday
https://ssl.eventilla.com/event/ng1zO

Is your system Windows or Linux?
Elmer and most FEM solvers are used with pre-processors for creating meshes and post-processers for viewing results, in ANSYS I believe it is all one tool.
The popular pre-processors are Salome, gmsh, FreeCad
The most used post-processor is Paraview

All open source
Elmer focuses on muilt-physics
Another FEM CalculiX focuses on solid mechanics stress analyses

I also believe the developers of Elmer provide services and training
https://www.csc.fi/web/elmer/services-and-contact
alp
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Re: Looking for someone to introduce Elmer to my company

Post by alp »

They use Windows. Getting them to use Linux is almost impossible within the next month. Even if the users were 100% fluent in Linux, which they are not, the company's current network infrastructure and their ERP program (which they also use as a PDM system) would make it next to impossible.

But if Linux is a must, I will see what I can do.

And thank you for the extra info. Now I think of ANSYS as an IDE and Elmer, Salome etc. as editor, compiler, linker etc. Thank you so much for the keywords I can search and the event link.
kevinarden
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Re: Looking for someone to introduce Elmer to my company

Post by kevinarden »

These tools are available and used in Windows, Linux is not a must.
raback
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Re: Looking for someone to introduce Elmer to my company

Post by raback »

Hi

The challenge with open source software is that generally nobody wants to pay for services so much that it would keep up an army of support personnel. The developers (such as myself) are being paid in projects on the bleeding edge often having some soft funding – or strategic collaboration with companies looking for novel solutions. With this kind of business logic it is not easy to serve companies needing very standard solutions.

Elmer is being used in many small and even very large companies. The common nominator seems to be that the persons using it know exactly what they are doing and use Elmer in some scripted manner in production. If some critical part is missing they know how to do it, or how to order it. Many utilize parallel and/or cloud computing and here it is easy to scale up with open source codes. This type of usage may have a great boost on productivity.

On the other hand, new users trying to learn how to do things with a poor user interface tend to have a slump in their productivity. I could imagine that Elmer would be able to solve at least significant portion of the problems. Unfortunately Elmer has not been designed to be an all-purpose tool in structural mechanics and hence it would be difficult to replace Ansys in all of that.

If there is one open source code that would be up to task it would probably be Code Aster from EDF. That code is also included in Salome-Meca.

-Peter
alp
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Re: Looking for someone to introduce Elmer to my company

Post by alp »

... generally nobody wants to pay for services so much that it would keep up an army of support personnel.
Direct support from the developers sure would have been nice but I was also hoping to meet an experienced user who wants to get paid for a few hours per week.
... the persons using it know exactly what they are doing and use Elmer in some scripted manner in production.
... new users trying to learn how to do things with a poor user interface tend to have a slump in their productivity.
Sounds like many open source tools I use on Linux. This is within my expectations. I am hoping they learn quickly. After all it's just cylinders, not an airplane. It shouldn't be that complex. I guess we'll see about that when the
... Elmer has not been designed to be an all-purpose tool in structural mechanics ...
Again, sounds like the Unix philosophy. Do one thing, do it well. Modular interplay. Great. I like that. If I didn't have much to do, I would seriously invest my time to learn about FEA. But I don't. Still, I've signed up for the webinar. I think I can set aside an hour per week. The whole state of the art is interesting for me and I would like to steer more companies towards tools like Elmer. There is great potential but the companies in my city simply don't see this due to the language barrier and their habits.

I will contact you (Peter Raback) and people who know about code_aster (https://www.code-aster.de/services/fini ... lysis.html) as soon as the engineers send me their list of requirements.

I appreciate the replies very much.
alp
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Re: Looking for someone to introduce Elmer to my company

Post by alp »

They have finally sent their requirements

- Detailed mesh training and interpreting mesh status
- Twist analysis and being able to comment on twist cases
- Groove and bolt analysis
- Fatigue analysis and investigation
- Analysis of sealing elements
- Generic analysis of tensions in assembled and welded structures
- Tolerance accumulation

I did my best translating but some of it may have gone lost in translation. Feel free to ask if anything is unclear.

Thank you for your time.
raback
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Re: Looking for someone to introduce Elmer to my company

Post by raback »

Hi alp,

Unfortunately I don't see that Elmer would be a suitable tool for this. In some of these you could do some handwaving and argue that the job could be done in some way. However, just the "fatigue" is the ultimate deal breaker here. We don't have anything to that.

Structural mechanics is probably the most challenging area for open source software because the commercial codes are so established and evolved that there is not much need beyond them. And that being the case there is also not many soft research projects that would end up developing open source codes in contrast to many other field.

I would think even more now that Code Aster is your best bet among open source codes.

-Peter
alp
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Re: Looking for someone to introduce Elmer to my company

Post by alp »

Thank you nevertheless. I am glad to have met ElmerFEM regardless.
kevinarden
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Re: Looking for someone to introduce Elmer to my company

Post by kevinarden »

CalculiX may be another option as it is structural mechanics focused. However, pre and post are an issue. I have written a program to convert a salome universal file to a calculix input deck. There is also a modification available to write a paraview output file. Which gives CalculiX a nice pre/post processor. The CalculiX input deck is an ABAQUS format which many commercial code users are familiar with.

https://www.openaircraft.com/calculix-extras/
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