Report from NAMUG meeting, 28-29 September 2016

Leveraging Modelica for simulation platforms and end users toolchains

 


The North America Modelica User’s Group (NAMUG) meeting was held September 28-29, in Troy, MI. This event (full agenda here) brings together Modelica users across tools to share the latest in Modelica, Functional Mockup Interface (FMI), and applications across industry, research, and academia.  Modelon was proud to again be a gold sponsor of the event.

The first day of the meeting included tool-specific training from the vendor sponsors, a keynote presentation, and Modelica and FMI training.

Bob Ryan from Siemens gave a very nice keynote highlighting several applications that combined both simulation-driven product design and optimization for improved product development (and was very careful to distinguish families of improved designs that are better than what could have been done from a single “optimal” design).  

The Modelon session included a presentation of Modelon’s multi-tool vision for our suite of commercial libraries and also the resulting value to end users.  Modelon’s compiler and testing technology was also highlighted, including usage with the Modelica Requirements Library for automated testing of requirements and continuous integration.

Modelon also conducted the FMI tutorial (see overview slides below) to give attendees an introduction to the FMI standard and a hands-on training to both create and use FMUs for integration into other tools and for deployment as stand-alone simulators.  The training cut across several different tools for FMU generation and usage, both commercial and open source.  

The second day of the meeting consisted of user presentations and a panel discussion to wrap up the event.  Modelon was well-represented in the user presentations with two presentations from Ford highlighting the use of Modelon’s suite of thermofluid libraries for vehicle thermal management and climate control. Kai Wang from Ford shows the development and validation of climate control models using Modelon’s Air Conditioning Library over both drive cycles and specific climate control tests.  The last presentation of the day by Raj Maringanti from Ford described MoSuite, a toolchain based on Modelica and FMI for vehicle attribute modeling. Raj described how Modelica and FMI provides not only a capable simulation platform but also a deployable one for large numbers of users (over 250!!) based on a combination of Ford IP, commercial, and open source technology including PyFMI.    

A notable change compared to previous NAMUG events was the growing number of mature Modelica tools among sponsors and in presentations.  ANSYS showed Simplorer, with several examples from Modelon’s libraries. Ricardo Software showed their IGNITE platform, also with a Vehicle Thermal Management Library from Modelon running in IGNITE.  Several user presentations featured MapleSim, and MapleSim also showed Modelon libraries running on MapleSim. Several of these tools are leveraging Modelon’s OPTIMICA Compiler Toolkit as the underlying Modelica compiler.

This event clearly shows how the Modelica community is growing and also that the standard is maturing to a degree that allows industrial grade Modelica libraries to run on top of different commercial tools, with the same results and the same way of interacting with the model. This achievement by the Modelica community is unique in the CAE industry! This tool independence of the technology, including the supporting libraries, gives a freedom of choice to end users that has never existed before.  From the Modelon standpoint, we are proud and excited to support our customers in enabling usage of our libraries across multiple tools to really deliver on the fundamental Modelica philosophy of openness and standardization.

We look forward to seeing you at the next NA Modelica User’s Group Meeting.  If you aren’t a member of the group, head over to the NA Modelica User’s Group webpage and join.


John Batteh is Group Manager and Technical Specialist at Modelon Inc. He holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from University of Michigan and has 15 years experience in physical modeling and simulation, with expertise in powertrain and thermofluid systems. In his current position, he is focused on helping customers leverage the power of Modelica and FMI for model-based systems engineering.