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Ed May, leading engineering consultant, uses Working Model®
to prepare for deep sea explorations
Deep sea explorations are awesome events often involving the wildest
of Mother Nature's children: gale-force winds, pounding waves
and powerful currents and temperature extremes.
While these elements cannot be tamed, dynamic analysis software can show
their effects on ships and ocean engineering equipment.
Ed May, an engineering consultant, uses Working Model® 2D v4.0
dynamic analysis software from Working Model, Inc., to prepare for
the worst case scenarios in his ocean engineering work.
As a result, May is reducing time spent on generating complex
equations, tightening design cycles and producing safer apparatus.
May, with nearly 20 years of working experience in military and
marine engineering, provides design, engineering and consulting
services for complex marine engineering projects. Currently, his primary
client is Oceaneering International, a company that provides engineering
services and hardware to customers operating in marine, space and other
May has previously worked for companies that
include the Tennessee Valley Authority, Lockheed Martin and NASA's
Goddard Space Flight Center. He provides engineering consulting
services from his office in Columbia, Maryland.
Working Model Software's Versatility and
"Working Model has significantly reduced the time
I spend on cumbersome and tedious tasks," says May.
He considers Working Model's ability to automatically generate
equations as its key feature.
Today, he can complete a final
motion simulation in two to three weeks compared to well over
year with manual calculations.
In the past, May wrote equations manually.
"It was a pain," he remarks, "and I was never
able to show my work graphically." He says that Working Model
is extremely helpful in communicating effectively with his customers
who want to see May's work rather than look at calculations.
"Working Model does everything I need to do for my work.
Its flexibility is incredible.
The fact that it is integrated
with AutoCAD® from Autodesk, Inc. is a plus for me.
Also, Working Model's dynamic link to Excel(r) software from
Microsoft Corp. enables me to write my own PID (proportional
integral derivative) controller equations for control theory."
Perils of Deep Sea Exploration
May recently used Working Model for dynamic simulation of an
off-loading crane that is used for lowering a 30,000-pound manned
submersible for deep sea research from a 200-foot ship.
May had to
keep track of many factors, including heights of waves, motions of the ship,
loads occurring in the lifting device caused by the waves and the
ship's motion, and the crane's cable tension. He also needed to
determine specifications for motors, winches and other components
essential to the design of the crane.
May required dynamic analysis software tools to find out
how those forces affect each other over time.
For this off-loading
crane design, May needed to include equations to determine drag forces;
forces caused by motion from the moving ship; entrained water forces
(which increase the inertia of the vehicle); effects of the submersible
at the water surface; and buoyancy force. Ultimately, he wanted to
model the relative motions between the vehicle and the
ship at the area where the air and sea meet.
To begin this complex motion simulation assignment, May first
sketched out sizes and shapes of entities that he wanted to model
in Working Model 2D. Next, he used AutoCAD(r) to create detailed
drawings of the parts, which he later imported into Working Model.
While in Working Model, he applied dimensions of size and mass of
the submersible, and then used Working Model to calculate inertia of
the submersible and vehicle. He used AutoCAD to design
hardware, such as motors and winches.
Once May generated equations and entered them into Working Model,
he also put in types of motions for the ship and ran the simulation.
He modeled exactly what happens to the submersible when it is lowered into
Working Model then calculated the amount
of drag caused by the submersible entering the water while the ship
moves, and the tension of the cable in the choppy ocean waves.
The graphical output provided by Working model allows May and
his clients to visualize the motions of the vehicle during launch
and recovery. For example, he looked at the effects of changing
the tension in the cable which lifts the heavy submersible out of
the water as the ship pitches in the waves. Using this method,
he can design the crane, cables and vehicle for the worst case
scenarios. Looking at these forces, he modeled the potential
effects of various ship motions caused by different wave heights
and then designed the necessary boom, cable and other components
for the safest off-loading system.
May further experimented with different scenarios by graphing
the various forces in Working Model and then inputting specific
data from the client. If design parameters change, May easily
inserts new data such as sizes, mass and weight to rerun another
Greater Engineering Assurance
"Without dynamic analysis simulation software, engineers
are left to guess at safety factors and ultimately they are
never sure of their designs until building prototypes,"
comments May. "With Working Model, companies can do a
lot more analysis than ever possible. In addition, I use Working
Model as a key software tool in presentations to
prospective clients. I can show them a motion simulation within
a few days of our first meeting, and most are amazed at what the
software can do," he adds.
"Engineers like myself can achieve accurate and realistic
analysis of forces, weights and strengths before anything is
built," he notes. "We can escape the rut of building
and breaking prototypes to make designs work. With Working Model,
simulations and experiments are easily accomplished on a computer screen.
As a result, shorter design cycles deliver better and safer products
to market faster."