Reducing casting defects during production can be challenging. Manufacturing researchers have determined that approximately 90% of the defects in production parts are due to errors in the design. Additionally, the cost to change a design increases tenfold for every step of the design and manufacturing process that needs repeating. These compounded costs illustrate the advantages of selecting the best casting simulation software for your needs.
Casting flow simulation software helps manufacturing companies avoid added design headaches by reducing production costs, shortening the time to market, and accelerating the delivery of innovative products. Software this powerful can be complex, so you will want to be thorough in your evaluation process.
Getting started with this process can often be a struggle. With so many programs on the market, how do you know which one is right for the needs of the company?
Tips for Choosing the Right Casting Flow Simulation Software
1. Involve the Proper Personnel
Like with any major investment, you need to have the right stakeholders involved in the purchase and implementation of your casting flow simulation software. Generally, you should include:
Software Operators/Engineers: Include everyone who will operate the software. Technical software should include engineering feedback. Everyone who may use the software should have input in the evaluation process. Log the advantages and disadvantages.
Managers: While managers may or may not use the software, they will need the correct reporting data. Get them involved to ensure these needs are met.
Information Technology Department: All software decisions must be run through the IT department. Cybersecurity is paramount in today’s business world, and experts need to understand how the software works to ensure it meets all the required standards for integration. These folks will ensure that the software operates reliably.
Customers: Always keep the customer in mind. Will this help the customer or make things more difficult for them? Plus, it never hurts to keep your customers informed when you are improving your operation.
2. Review, Prioritize & Budget
Before investing in a new software, it pays to analyze your current systems. Be objective and challenge your paradigms. Identify and document all strengths or weaknesses of the existing tool. Use this to develop a wish list for the next investment.
Likewise, think about the future. Make sure that any new software meets the needs of a growing business.
Work with stakeholders to outline what you’re looking to spend on casting flow simulation software. This includes the price of software, implementation, training, support, and upgrade costs. Look at justification considerations. How much savings can be expected?
3. Research Available Options
Before investing in a new casting flow simulation software, you’ll want to make sure you have a comprehensive understanding of the current market. Perform extensive research well before any existing software licenses expire. Read reviews and network with industry peers to gain insight into their experiences with different types of metal casting software.
When evaluating flow modeling software, there are product-specific aspects to consider. You will want powerful and versatile software that allows you to:
Accurately model and optimize the flow casting process.
Accurately predict the process parameters.
Allow you to grow well into the future.
Become more competitive.
Detail the flow and microstructure with actual material properties
Easily identify defects and product quality.
Easily train and operate the software.
Justify the purchase.
Operate a versatile and customizable user environment.
Easily operate with multiple users.
Provide accurate quotations with no surprises.
Provide a faster turnaround.
Receive outstanding technical support.
Utilize an intuitive built-in problem solver.
4. Schedule Demos & Trials
Many providers offer free demos and trials of their casting flow simulation software. Some companies even offer to take your design and model the casting flow process to demonstrate the software benefits.
Before doing a demo, prepare evaluation criteria. Review the evaluation(s). Don’t allow yourself to be pigeonholed on the lowest-priced software. You want to optimize productivity, reduce internal frustration, and increase customer satisfaction.
5. Develop An Onboarding Plan
Adoption is crucial to the success of your casting flow simulation software.
Develop a training plan for your team. Several software providers offer in-app learning and user guides to assist with training — leverage these whenever you can. On-site training and support should also be strongly considered.
6. Make A Plan For Communicating New Features & Updates
Stay in touch with your casting flow simulation software provider and look for their communication regarding software upgrades and new offerings. Be sure to relay this information to the team involved in the software purchase.
Following the above strategies will help you lay the groundwork for a fruitful investment and more effective production. Once you feel confident in your selection, download our Guide to Casting Defect Prediction to further optimize your casting flow simulation software.