When undertaking complex retrofit or design engineering, there is substantial risk involved. Will retrofit designs perform as desired? Will installation difficulties create unexpected, costly downtime? A poor design with suboptimal performance can cause numerous issues. Does it have to be fully replaced or can it be fixed? DEM reduces risk by allowing engineers to design and optimize equipment digitally. These digital designs are then run through simulated scenarios to model real-world performance. DEM even allows you to test scenarios outside of original design conditions (higher flow rate, wet material, different temperatures, higher tonnage, etc).

Even well-designed equipment can have difficulty with material variations if they weren’t accounted for in the design. These variations often lead to operational problems resulting in lower productivity, higher wear rates, increased maintenance costs and costly shutdowns. Engineers can simulate numerous variables with DEM that model real-world behavior. This allows an engineer to find the design that implements the optimum angles, increases flow or mass maximums, reduces downtime due to malfunction, decreases waste or leverages the optimal materials.

Speaking with Jason Schwartz, Principal at Acensium, he had this to say about DEM:

The strength of modeling is unquestionable. We model every design project. A model is only as good as the information put into it though. If the inputs aren’t right, results will not be right – with any modeling software. The long-term proven success of a model is the only way to ensure success. It is a mix of science and art because there is never a single given ‘right answer’. Honest engineering involves recording data, testing, performing an accurate analysis of performance and admitting where improvements can be made in modeling or design. Acensium has proven models for coal chutes that have demonstrated themselves through years of effectiveness, but we still record data and revise our modeling as an ongoing process. The observation and recording phase is even more important when developing models for new materials.”

Complex projects, with many possible variables, require detailed design and analysis to avoid costly delays, work stoppages or refabrication. Combining DEM with decades of combined engineering experience allow Acensium to mitigate substantial engineering risk early in the process.