Financial justification for FEA and CFD


I buy into the argument made by a new white paper by Blue Ridge Numerics that doing a CFD can save tens of thousands of dollars.  Even if proof of concept units work well a thermal or structural failure can occur during more rigorous alpha or beta testing potentially wasting the cost of those units or the cost of replacing components or subassemblies.

CFD analysis can answer many questions.  Some of the common ones are wind loading, thermal management of electronics enclosure and thermal safety of devices.

I would suggest that this arguments apply to FEA analysis for strength as well.

Rigorous expensive analysis is not required for each and every project though.  A skilled engineer knows when rule of thumb or paper analysis has reached its limits and a more through analysis is required.

The Next Industrial Revolution Is Here

There was a great article in last month’s Wired Magazine.  It celebrates the power that the individual inventor has in today’s world to develop and sell his or her invention independent of a large corporation.  One might think that this would threaten a firm like Bayard Design.

On the contrary these same forces ultimately lower development costs for us and our customers thereby increasing our potential customer base due to lower start up costs.  I would suggest that Bayard Design would have a role to play in the process as a trusted adviser whether it be an engineered solution to a problem or a go-between to find a reliable supplier in China.  I would further suggest a slightly difference development path than shown in Wired:

From Wired Magazine Jan 2010

1. INVENT – The inventor comes up with their cutting edge idea.

2. DESIGNBayard Design designs and engineers your product with your input and knowledge.

3. PROTOTYPE – Costs to prototype parts have gone down substantially in the last 10 years making lots of 1 to 10 parts well within the reach of the individual inventor.  Bayard Design has a database of vendors who use various processes to produce professional level prototypes.

4. MANUFACTURE – Costs to tool and produce parts in China have drastically reduced the start up costs for a typical consumer product.  Bayard Design also has a number of Chinese vendors that we have worked with previously to successfully make and assemble products at extremely low cost.  We also have a database of US suppliers that can make and assemble products that may not have the volumes to justify a move to China.

5. SELL – Market the product yourself or market it through an established on-line distributor or through a box store.  Although box stores have been decried as destroying small businesses if you get into one it guarantees moderate sales volumes just to stock all their shelves.  Selling on Amazon or Sparkfun or another established website can also supply a good amount of traffic to guarantee a minimal amount of sales


BD comes out against proposed Medical Device Tax

Please ask your senator and representative to remove the proposed medical device tax from their chamber’s respective health care reform bills.

We had taken a neutral view towards the proposed tax in order to allow the facts and details to come out.  Now that they have, in among other places MD+DI magazine, it clearly and unfairly affects medical device start ups. This is not in the best interests of anyone that could benefit from new medical device technology and furthermore would put US firms at a competitive disadvantage to competitors in Europe and Hong Kong.

(table from MD+DI January 2010, source JP Morgan)