IILA x IOTA — Finite Element Method As A Service

What’s this about?

Imagine a scenario in which a machine would autonomously have an FE twin for each workpiece, with data that could not be physically measured. This opens up completely new possibilities for AI in mechanical engineering. That’s huge in my field of experts.

1. Introduction

We are developing a way to establish a Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication between an industrial fine-blanking press and a finite element (FE) server to generate a digital twin for each physically manufactured workpiece. W will discuss the basic of FE modelling before jumping into the technical aspects and processes in the background of FE simulation We will show a user-friendly API which allows for an autonomous digital FE twin production. Now thin

A finite element simulation is used to model and compute physical values, that cannot be measured in real-life. For instance, video 1 shows the distribution of mechanical stresses during fine-blanking. Mechanical stresses cannot be measured in the shearing zone since there is simply no space for a sensor. However, these stresses are normally very useful for designing components and assemblies, because high stressed values may damage workpieces. Thus, FE simulations are very important in mechanical engineering.

Furthermore, FE simulation is used to predict material behaviour and geometric aspects like die roll and the quality of the shearing surface. However, because the finite element method is mostly used prior to production, the results of a FE model, even if they are validated by real experiments, vary quite a lot from the final production.

Figure 1: A fineblanked workpiece with its dire roll and shearing surface. Image: © WZL | Tobias Kaufmann & Semjon Becker

If you think of all WZL x GCX x IOTA PoC Status Reports, you may be able to connect the dots. We have extracted real machine data from every manufactured part and stored that data in the tangle. It is an obvious step to combine this machine data, the Tangle and a FE server to allow for machine triggered FE simulations. As it is most likely that these FE servers belong to third parties, it makes a perfect business case in using IOTA as a currency.

2. Finite Element Method in a Nutshell

Finite element method is a numerical method to solve complex nonlinear engineering problems. This is done by dividing the problem into smaller, easier solvable parts. Those parts are called finite elements (FE). Because the problem is easily solvable on those finite elements, complex problems can be solved by just combining the solutions of the small finite elements to a combined solution of the entire structure. A finite element analysis (FEA) is mostly performed to compute physical values, that cannot be measured non-destructively in the real world. For instance, regarding the fine-blanking Proof of Concept (PoC), we cannot measure the temperature, stresses or die roll in the shearing zone during fine-blanking, but with FE simulation we can compute these values easily, see Figure 2.


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