You have the need for CAE, in order to ensure your company’s products perform as intended by meeting their design requirements. You might or might not currently be doing CAE in-house.
How do you know that you have the need to use an external CAE services provider? You do if:
Each of the above situations benefits from using an external CAE services provider:
The benefits of using an external CAE services provider can be summarized as delivering CAE results by providing the expertise and resources you lack. Resources includes not only people but also software (for example, your in-house team might not have access to specific software modules needed for the analysis).
Now that you’ve established the need for an external CAE services provider, what do you look for in choosing one?
First, define your high-level needs, as described above. Are you after expertise, resources, processes, or all? What is your timeframe of need? The answers to these define the “why” and “when.”
With respect to analysis expertise, what—specifically—is needed? What types of performance requirements and design criteria need to be met? What does the typical operating environment look like? What materials are your products made of? How do you need the CAE results delivered?
If you need CAE process improvement expertise, do you have an idea as to current process bottlenecks and inefficiencies? If not, are you willing for the services provider to work with your team to determine them?
After the above have been considered, you’ll have another selection criterion: services provider track record in successfully doing CAE projects similar to yours. Has the candidate done projects as large—or as small—as yours? Have they done projects as long—or as short—as yours? You don’t want to be the guinea pig to have the CAE services provider learning on your time and dime.
Once all of these have been answered, you use these as “must have” criteria in selecting your CAE services provider.
There are also some “nice to have” selection criteria that can be considered:
The benefits of using an external CAE services provider are many, as long as you make sure that the company you choose provides—at a minimum—your “must have” criteria.