SPDM and PLM turns riddle to reality: Go exploring without leaving the house!

By Enguerrand Prioux and Alex Graham

With fast moving design cycles and complex CAD BOMs, exploring the design space can become more like stumbling about in the wilderness than an organized process. This is especially true if the rest of your organization works in a PLM system that is not well integrated with your world of simulation. It’s a challenge to keep design exploration studies targeting the right requirements, documented and relevant.

SPDM and PLM – introducing the perfect housemates

All forms of CAE simulation require a deep understanding of the geometry or system to correctly define, configure and execute a model. For any analysis you need up to date and accurate information from the outset if you are to avoid costly rework, or worse – incorrect results. Working backwards, it is also crucial to be able to recall which input data/CAD geometry/boundary conditions were used in any given analysis.

You can manage these data and process flows with Simulation Process and Data Management, or SPDM for short. SPDM can tell you exactly where each analysis came from, and where it went afterwards.

At Siemens, we believe that the best solution is to have everyone under the same roof – integrating SPDM with a broader Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system.

Teamcenter Simulation SPDM software lets you do all your everyday simulation work without leaving the sanctuary of the Teamcenter PLM system. Because you don’t ever leave the house (that’s Teamcenter, in this analogy), you also don’t need to remember to tell the rest of your housemates where you are going – everyone’s already fully informed of what is going on with the project.

SPDM is going exploring with CFD simulation

SPDM is well proven for routine work, fulfilling well-defined analysis requests, and managing the associated data. But the process and data management challenge becomes much greater if you are using an AI-driven optimization process which is determining which designs to test, changing parameters, exploring hundreds of possibilities, and so producing an overwhelming amount of data in the process.

Don’t worry, Teamcenter Simulation has well developed skills in this department. Design exploration and optimization in a managed environment needs seamless tool integrations which are able to understand the process and handle the resulting data. Teamcenter Simulation has been building bridges to connect the two worlds of PLM and simulation for a long time. As an open platform, it can connect to any CAE tool, as well as integrate seamlessly with the Simcenter Portfolio of simulation and test solutions.

You can use Teamcenter Simulation with HEEDS, the general-purpose MDAO solution to perform design exploration studies with any simulation tool (see it in action here), but what if you are using the built-in Design Manager in Simcenter STAR-CCM+ to explore and optimize designs in CFD? Wouldn’t it be convenient to be able to do all of the analysis and exploration in one single environment?

Hold up – Design Manager is coming too!

You guessed it – you can now go exploring with Simcenter STAR-CCM+ without leaving your SPDM/PLM house too. This means you can not only explore designs in a structured, well-managed manner, but also easily share data and be notified of updates in real-time.

The release of Simcenter STAR-CCM+ 2402 introduced the integration of Design Manager in Teamcenter Simulation which manages all the input dependencies along with design parameters and enforces relationships to the source geometry that feeds the CFD project. And because the entire study definition is stored in Teamcenter Simulation, you can capture and share all the inputs, desired outputs, and the overarching goal of the study across your organization. Teamcenter Simulation guarantees traceability between requirements, design data and simulation outcomes.

A design study using Design Manager in Simcenter STAR-CCM+, displayed in Teamcenter Simulation
A design study using Design Manager in Simcenter STAR-CCM+, displayed in Teamcenter Simulation

As well as providing a clear understanding of how your Design Manager study fits in with broader engineering objectives to all stakeholders, this deeply integrated solution allows you to get real-time updates and notifications on geometry changes, requirement changes, parameters, etc. from other engineering teams which may affect your design exploration project.

The MDO Study view displays the study definition including parameters variables and constraints, directly in Teamcenter Simulation SPDM software
The MDO Study view displays the study definition including parameters variables and constraints

You can now directly visualize, in a clearly defined multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) study dashboard, all the relevant information about your Design Manager study. And if you would like to dive into a particular result, you can immediately recall the data, images and scene files saved during the simulation run.

It's also easy to dive into the details of individual designs with Teamcenter Simulation SPDM software integrated into Teamcenter PLM
It’s also easy to dive into the details of individual designs with Teamcenter Simulation SPDM software

Wilderness… conquered

So there you have it – you can now seamlessly go exploring* without leaving your SPDM/PLM house. And you can do it faster, avoiding the need to keep meticulous track of your progress, phone home to provide updates or find your way back again afterwards!

*with Design Manager in Simcenter STAR-CCM+

To learn more about SPDM with Teamcenter Simulation, visit our website.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at