HPC helps build crankshafts 80% faster

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UK HPC integrator OCF (one of the companies I wrote about in this article about the UK HPC market) has delivered an HPC system that really gets at the heart of why people are so excited about the potential of HPC far beyond research and hardcore science

Tecnica UK Ltd, an engineering design consultancy specialising in crankshaft, connecting rods and axle beam forging for the automotive industry, is using a new high performance compute system (HPC system) to reduce processing time of its complex 3D computer simulations — in use during the forge design process — by up to 80 percent (40 hours down to 8 hours).

And this is a small system, by usual supercomputing standards anyway: only 16 cores. Yet even a resource at this scale is transformative for Tecnica’s business

“3D simulation is now an essential part of the forge design process,” says Mark Wren, simulation and design, Tecnica UK Ltd. “Simulation helps fivefold: to wean out any errors from our engineers — it validates their design work and gives us confidence in our forge die designs; it reduces the amount of physical testing we must undertake on design dies; it enables us to get our forging die designs correct first time; it optimises material use thus reducing wastage and it compacts time spent on the design phase of a product ensuring a quicker time to market.

The hardware is all IBM (OCF is a longtime IBM partner) with dual core Opterons, and it’s housed in a sound proofed rackmount cabinet that lets them keep the little beastie right in the office with them.