CONSELF | FAQ
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FAQ

This page aims at asking common questions our customers may have. It is divided in four sections for general questions and inquiries related to the three different services we offer. In case your question is not present in the list, please write us via the contact form or through our contact references.

General

What is a virtual simulation?

A virtual simulation software can be considered like a virtual laboratory. Inside it it is possible to carry out virtual experiments in a similar way they are performed in real testing facilities, with some additional advantages. Mathematics models inside the software can simulate physical behavior like fluid motion, object deformations, temperature transport and so on. Thus, it is possible to replicate real tests inside the platform, with major benefits given their virtual nature, for example: no need of expensive prototyping, parallelization of experiments,  possibility to measure all variables in all domain space, real scale experiments, hazards simulations (explosions, chemical reactive environment) and much more. Virtual simulations are used in almost every major product design. Applied through the whole design process, they are a key player in reducing uncertainty and resulting in higher quality, improving robustness and successfully meeting customer requirements.

What is a Computational Fluid Dynamics simulation?

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is a simulation technique that allows users to predict product performances when exposed to fluid flow, that can be internal (such as the flow of water through pipe or a valve) or external (such as the aerodynamic flow over an airplane or a formula one car). This powerful tool can simulate problems involving gases, liquids, solids and a combination of these (multi-phase problems); it can model rotating machinery, flows with dispersed solid particles, contaminant dispersion, non Newtonian flows, porous media, and much more. If you want to know how to apply CFD in your specific context, contact us.

What is a Stress Analysis simulation?

Stress Analysis are carried out via Finite Element Model (FEM) simulations. They allow users to predict product structural performances when exposed to loads and solicitations, that can be locally applied (such as force loads) or distributed (such as pressure loads). This powerful tool can simulate problems involving different materials with different behavior (isotropic elastic, hyper-elastic, plastic); it can model static or dynamic loads, natural frequencies and modal response, and much more. If you want to know how to apply FEM simulations in your specific context, contact us.

How can I contact CONSELF?

All CONSELF contact details as well as the contact form can be found in the contact page.

Simulation on the Cloud

What do the different software packages include?

 A general description of the software can be found in this brochure, additional info are available on the Simulations on the Cloud page an a collection of all release notes can be found on this page. In general, every feature OpenFOAM® and Code Aster have can be added to CONSELF Cloud Simulation Platform. Dedicated developments are also available, to let us know a specific need you may have, contact us.

Can I have a trial period for the Software? If yes, how long would it last and what features would be available?

Of course! CONSELF offers a WELCOME plan to every new user. It will give fresh new simulation credits every month free of charge, and the user will be able to use the platform with all its available features! It is limited for non-commercial: for CFD simulations the number of iterations is fixed and does not allow to reach convergence and for FEM simulations it is not possible to edit material properties.

 

This plan is free and it will always be, no expiration dates nor hidden costs. No payment data will be requested during the checkout. To sign up for the WELCOME plan click here.

I'm looking for a manual for the Simulation on the Cloud: is it available?

A complete wiki have been created to guide the user in CONSELF Cloud Simulation usage. It is a detailed interactive page that describes all settings which are presented to the user inside the web application with the help of video and images. Particular topics are also presented, describing for example how to prepare CAD files and how to deal with software error messages. The wiki can be found at http://wiki.conself.com.

 

Another fundamental resource to learn how to setup state of the art engineering simulations are Webinars and Tutorials. CONSELF regularly holds live webinars on both general and specific topics. In all of them the theory is presented in a practical setting and real application simulations are performed with CONSELF Cloud Simulation. When new events are scheduled, you can book your ticket in the Events page. Past events are all available as YouTube videos in the Webinars & Tutorials page on this website. You can follow them step by step to replicate specific cases in your own work space.

What are the "credits" and how does they limit the customer? Do they have an expiration date?

Credits are the unit of measure of every user simulation time. In particular they measure CPU time, meaning that if you run a simulation on 2 CPUs that lasts 1 hour, your credits consumption will be 2 (CPUs) x 1 (hour) = 2 CPU hours = 2 simulation credits.

 

Credits have also an expiration date, for example if you buy 100 credits for one month, after that period you will have 0 credits remaining, even if you use just 80 credits of the total amount of 100. Simulation credits can have different expiration dates depending on which solution have been selected during purchasing. At the moment, there are two different expiration dates for simulation credits: 1 Month and 12 Months. Other solutions can be obtained through custom plans. More information on Simulation on the Cloud page.

How accurate and reliable are results obtained?

The engineering designing tools provided by CONSELF are state of the art, high technology software. The core of CONSELF application for physical calculations is based on two software libraries: Code Aster (FEM) and OPENFOAM® (CFD).

These codes have been chosen to guarantee the best available accuracy and reliability. The quality of their performances can be compared to those of major commercial packages available in the market. They are under constant quality control and recognized by the scientific and industrial community as tools that meet the highest quality standards. One of the major benefits of relying on third party libraries is the availability of official documentation about verification and validation studies. Additional information can be found on codes official websites:

 

Defects technically cannot be excluded (e.g., bugs). They will be removed in each case immediately upon their discovery. Sometimes these defects can produce false results, that can also be produced in case of erroneous modeling of the technical system, that is full responsibility of the Customer. For these reasons, CONSELF recommends purchasing insurance.

 

Software defects, that customarily occur and therefore cannot be excluded, shall be kept to the lowest level possible by CONSELF regularly revising the code. Such revision shall be carried out outside of the main usage periods insofar as technically possible.

 

CONSELF also uses third-party software for individual parts of simulation runs. This software is selected to the best knowledge and belief of  CONSELF professionals.

What if I encounter errors or I need support, how can I receive it? On which aspects are you able to assist me?

We provide full support to our customers on two different levels: technical support in order to deal with software issues (meshing errors, simulation divergence, etc) and also know-how support in case customers need us to check for their simulation accuracy, verify setup, outcomes, validity of inputs and so on.

 

We provide it mainly via web call, it is the most effective way to identify issues and solve them together, making support a fundamental learning opportunity. It can also be provided via mail or chat. In case of specific needs CONSELF can be contacted via the form in the contact page.

How many users can use the same account? How many users can work in parallel on the same account?

There is no limit to the number of users working or using the same account, even in parallel. They will all refer to the same amount of credits that will be decreased as they run simulations.

Privacy and data security: should I be concerned about how my sensible data are stored?

Cloud services always bring concerns about privacy problems. CONSELF takes in serious consideration its customer privacy matters. In general, data stored on state of the art cloud providers (as those CONSELF is based on) are in a safer place than in a privately owned server. All sensible data (typically personal and payment information as well as geometry files and simulations results) are stored on servers with the highest security standards. These servers are continuously updated to assure the maximum protection against intrusions and fraud. We also have an additional SSL encryption on our website, as you can see from the green lock near the URL bar, to provide the safest environment. 

 

Every user who subscribes to CONSELF has a NDA enclosed with the Service Terms (https://conself.com/privacy-nda-and-sla/) that protects him from the privacy/IP/IA point of view. Using CONSELF is safer than outsourcing a consulting activity (common procedure in the manufacturing and design industry) where you provide your consultant with more information than a simple CAD file, that is all you need to upload inside CONSELF. Privacy issues are always been present in the industry, even employees are a problem in this sense, they access sensible information every day, people are just familiar with some of them and so they are easier to accept. Cloud services are more controlled and monitored, they are way safer with respect to some everyday activities.

 

We do not want to convince our prospects about this point, we are confident that when they will see their competitors moving to this solution lowering production costs, they will join us eventually, with the disadvantage of being a follower instead of a first mover.

 

To ask additional information contact us via the contact page.

What is the minimum connection speed needed to properly use the platform?

There are two phases of CONSELF usage involved with this aspect: CAD upload and simulation solution download. Both of them are strongly dependendent on your internet connection speed. In general every modern cable ADSL connection is perfect for the platform.

 

From the CAD upload point of view there are different solutions, as an example CONSELF is already interfaced with On-Shape, a full cloud CAD, you can directly import the CAD file from their servers, without passing through your local machine. The maximum CAD size allowed is limited to 50 mb.

 

About solution file download, you have the possibility to perform complete post processing directly online, so you won’t need to download a single byte. Anyway the download, with standard ADSL connections, is really fast and it is not a big problem.

In how many currency do you accept payments? Which are the accepted payment methods?

At the moment, all prices are shown in Euro. Nevertheless, as long as the payment method accepts it, payments can be completed in every currency of allowed countries, the price in Euro will be automatically converted by the payment method to local currency.

 

All major credit cards can be used to purchase CONSELF products. In case you need different methods, contact us.

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Accessibility: from what kind of terminals can I access the CFD on the Cloud?

CONSELF Cloud Simulation can be accessed from any internet connected device via a simple web browser, but in order to exploit all software capabilities it is recommended to use it with a terminal with a minimum resolution of common tablets up to largest desktops.

What is the failure rate of the server?

We have the best providers in the market because we want to provide our customers with the best simulation experience. By contract they assure 99.999% of uptime, these numbers are also included in our Service Level Agreement that can be found in the dedicated page: https://conself.com/privacy-nda-and-sla/.

Cloud Computing

Which software can be used on the Cloud Computing servers?

A very wide set of libraries, packages, applications and suites are available and can be configured to be used on our Cloud Computing infrastructure. A quite complete list can be found on the cloud computing page. For specific inquiries contact us.

Can I use licensed software on the Cloud Computing servers?

Yes, but you have to bring your own license. For additional details contact us.

Engineering Consulting

On which sectors can CONSELF provide consulting activity?

CONSELF has a wide expertise in engineering designing tools and optimization of processes and products. Its core competencies are in the field of virtual simulations, in both Computational Fluid Dynamics and Stress Analysis sectors. During the years, many projects in numerous fields have been carried out by CONSELF, from hydraulic pumps optimization to HVAC simulations for smoke extraction, from natural frequencies identification to simulation of impacts, from estimation of wind loads on buildings to optimization of industrial fans. More information available on consulting page.

Did not find what you were looking for?

Disclaimer: This offering is not approved or endorsed by OpenCFD Limited, producer and distributor of the OpenFOAM software and owner of the OPENFOAM® and OpenCFD® trade marks. OPENFOAM® is a registered trade mark of OpenCFD Limited, producer and distributor of the OpenFOAM software.