Reliability Services in the Design Phase
Finite Element Analysis (FEA)
Finite Element Analysis is a sophisticated technique used by engineers to estimate the responses of structures and materials to environmental factors such as fluid flow, forces, heat and vibration.
With complex mechanical devices, it is only possible to model them by breaking them down into small, "finite" elements, and to analyze each element individually.
Finite Element Analysis is an analysis technique use in design and improvement of components.
VALUE TO YOUR ORGANIZATION
Finite element models can be used for a wide variety of applications such as determining the natural frequencies and mode shapes, estimating the dynamic response, etc.
An example of Reliability Integration during Finite Element Analysis is as follows:
Finite Element Analysis Can Help Plan an Accelerated Life Test
When we are planning an Accelerated Life Test for a Mechanical Assembly, we must understand the failure mechanism(s) we are trying to accelerate. Otherwise, we may choose inappropriate stresses or stress levels. A Finite Element Analysis is great for understanding these failure mechanisms.
A Finite Element Analysis consists of three main steps:
Step 1) The process begins with the creation of a geometric model.
Step 2) The model is broken down into smaller elements of simple shapes connected at specific node points.
Step 3) The material properties and boundary conditions (loads) are applied to the model. This allows us to analyze the model and determine the response to the applied loads.
The following case studies and options provide example approaches. We shall tailor our approach to meet your specific situation.
1) Finite Element Analysis Used to Help Plan an Accelerated Life Test
A Medical Device company was introducing a new type of pump to an Infuser market. One of the unique features of the pump was its pumping accuracy, and to accomplish this, they chose a new type of pumping technology. We decided to perform an Accelerated Life Test, but needed to know what stresses/stress levels to use to accelerate the end-use environment. Using a Finite Element Analysis, we determined that only duty cycle and flow rate were acceptable stresses. All others would have produced erroneous results.