December 07, 2009
MAD Progress
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Russ Henke - Contributing Editor

by Russ Henke - Contributing Editor
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Dr. Buergel said that as of mid-2009, MGC held a 36% share of the worldwide PCB market. (The MGC PCB Division first achieved market leadership status vs. competition in 1992). The nearest PCB competitor today is Cadence, with a 21% worldwide market share circa mid-2009. Moreover, with MAD in place, MGC owns a whopping 78% of the worldwide PCB thermal analysis market with FloTHERM. Zuken is second at 20%.

In North America, MGC owns 44% of the PCB market, and in Europe 51%.

Dr. Buergel next launched into a discussion of the details of the Mechanical Analysis Division and the markets MAD is currently pursuing. To illustrate his comments, he continued to use projected slides, some of which are reproduced in the sequel.

Dr. Buergel first presented the main software product thrusts of MAD, which are in fact the same three products that Flomerics was selling pre-acquisition (FloTHERM, FloVENT, and FloEFD). However, MAD is recently emphasizing very strongly the concurrent engineering approach as a paradigm shift in the design of electronic products by combining EDA with MCAD and CFD analysis.

Next the slide below was shown that depicted how a PCB Electrical Designer can use MGC PCB software tools to design a printed circuit board, and then execute an immediate thermal analysis of that board itself in operation, producing the colored temperature profiles and identifying potential hot spots. As various PCB’s are similarly designed and analyzed, they may be inserted into a larger product enclosure, and the mechanical designer can then explore the overall thermal behavior of the assembly using MAD software tools.

An actual HP example of Thermal Design of Electronic Equipment is depicted on the following slide, along with a brief testimonial from the HP Thermal Analyst.

Next, some typical applications were shown where FloVENT could be leveraged, such as in data centers, auto & airplane interior, clean rooms, contamination modeling, building heating and A/C, comfort modeling and external building airflow.

For FloVENT, a case history was discussed which matched software predicted HVAC results to actual test results after a building was constructed, showing excellent correlation, along with the engineer’s testimonial.

Next, Dr. Burgel used the “old brick wall separation” analogy between typical mechanical designers and CFD-trained analysts that exists when MCAD software and CFD software are not tightly integrated. He then compared and contrasted this classical scenario with the newer situation wherein the CFD software code has been embedded, allowing designers to carry out many more iterations. See the slide below.

The clear benefits of using Concurrent Design Engineering and CFD analysis were graphically displayed on the next slide, wherein successful designs using Concurrent CFD can be produced in 25% to 35% of the elapsed time needed for Conventional CFD (i.e. “over the brick wall”). The latter often leads to a sub optimal design, missed market windows and multiple hardware prototypes and re-spins.

A Graco Spray Gun development was then presented as a case history, wherein a Graco product design engineer was able to use MGC MAD’s concurrent CFD via FloEFD to design an optimized Spray Gun in 1/3 the time of old techniques.

FloEFD Live Demo by the new General Manager:

During our November meeting, to demonstrate how user-friendly the MAD FloEFD software product is, Dr. Buergel next turned to his laptop computer and brought up the FloEFD version embedded in Dassault Systems’ Solidworks. The laptop had been interconnected to a slide projector for ease of viewing. While the example chosen was a simple pipe valve, Dr. Buergel personally performed the demo, setting up the geometry as a solid model, establishing boundary conditions and fluid pressure differentials, generating a Cartesian mesh automatically, running the iterative CFD analyses, and displaying the initial CFD results in colorful animated fluid flow vectors.

When unacceptable turbulence in the fluid flow was readily evident from the animation, Dr. Buergel input a simple design change to the pipe valve geometry, re-ran the analysis, and the resulting improvement from the design modification was obvious from the improved flow animation. All this was done in a matter of ten minutes by a general manager who confessed to only an hour’s user training. The ease-of-use demonstration session was absolutely genuine and live, as Dr. Buergel made an unexpected error during the process, and he was able to correct the model in real time using the guidance supplied by the software itself.

Another More Complex Success Story:

“Azonix used FloEFD to reduce the number of thermal prototypes required from up to 12 to 1 on its new Terra embedded computer”.

Go to this URL:

Market Size and Customer Logo’s:

Dr. Buergel stated his firm belief that there are 10 to 15 times as many potential users of CAD-embedded CFD in the marketplace, than there are general-purpose CFD analyst users. He estimates the population of general purpose CFD users as numbering in the hundred thousands, and accordingly, the number of potential CAD-embedded CFD users are in the millions.

Nearing the conclusion of his slide pitch, Dr. Buergel showed an obligatory customer logo’s slide, depicting the extent of MGC MAD customer satisfaction.

Unanswered Questions:

Midway in our initial meeting in San Jose, it had became clear that the time set aside by Erich and Suzanne would be inadequate during the meeting to get to all the interview questions that this writer had assembled in advance. Dr. Buergel offered to answer follow up questions subsequent to the meeting that the writer would submit through Suzanne. Within two days after the November meeting, this writer had shortened his “unanswered questions list” and had the list sent to Suzanne. Unfortunately, Suzanne anticipated that Dr. Buergel would not be able to get to all the questions until after the deadline for this article. This turn of events

suggests an opportunity for a follow up interview and new article down the road, perhaps sometime in 2010, to not only get to those unanswered questions, but also to again gauge the level of MGC MAD progress at that later time.

Dr. Buergel did get a couple answers in just before the writer’s deadline. Here are the questions and Dr. Buergel’s answers:

Henke: What key goals would you like to achieve in the next year? Next three years?

Buergel: Profitable Growth above market average

Henke: Do you have a written business plan for MAD? Do you believe in detailed business planning?

Buergel: Yes. I believe in the “5Ps” = Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance


Dr. Buergel wrapped up the November 2009 session by repeating these conclusions:
— With Concurrent CFD from MGC, engineers & designers can focus on what each of them can do best within their own native CAD environments while performing fast and accurate CFD;

— With Concurrent CFD from MGC, productivity of engineers and designers can be increased;

— With Concurrent CFD from MGC, “what if” decision making can be enabled, leading to innovative, higher quality, and more customized products;

— With Concurrent CFD from MGC, design risk can be minimized.


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-- Russ Henke, Contributing Editor.


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