Study proves that supercomputing can make Portuguese industry more competitive

The use of supercomputing leads to substantial gains in simulation time, boosting productivity and competitiveness gains in the development of new products in the industry, particularly in the mold and plastics industries, concludes a study carried out jointly by the University of Coimbra (UC) and the Technological Center for the Molds, Special Tools and Plastics Industry (CENTIMFE), in Marinha Grande.

The study was carried out under the TOOLING4G project, the first Portuguese project with the stamp of the SHAPE initiative of the European advanced computing network PRACE (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe), which aims to demonstrate the advantages of using High Performance Computing resources (HPC, from English High-Performance Computing), commonly called supercomputing, for solving complex industrial problems, in particular of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The case study focused on a computational fluid dynamics simulation of interest to the molds and plastics industry, namely in the development of a new generation of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems for cars, much quieter than the than the current ones, ensuring greater acoustic comfort for users. The numerical model considered uses a formulation of the Detached-Eddy Simulation (DES) type that allows capturing the unstable movements related to the flow turbulence, but requires a high degree of refinement of the mesh.

The simulations carried out on the supercomputer Navigator Plus at the Advanced Computing Laboratory of the University of Coimbra by CENTIMFE showed great time savings. While the simulation on a traditional 4-color computing workstation would take 74 days, on the Navigator Plus supercomputer, using 64 colors, the process was completed in just 6 days (144 hours).

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