Overcome Material Handling Challenges with Particle Simulation


Equipment manufacturers in various industries recognize the power of particle simulation and modeling in engineering to develop energy-efficient and cost-effective designs. One key principle is to apply virtual engineering at the beginning of the design cycle — before major manufacturing costs are incurred. While the material handling industries have different challenges compared to others, it can benefit from early simulation intervention. In developing innovative material handling technologies, modeling is an important tool for designing and optimizing operational parameters, as well as for controlling product quality and safety. 


Industry challenges 

One good example would be food processors. Food processing incorporates a range of both equipment and processing technologies: conveyor belts, mixing drums, granulation and seasoning processes, crushers that break up food particles, packaging, and end-product optimization. Organizations that pay specific attention to optimizing process capacity and efficiency are ultimately paving the way, but there is always room for growth. Engineers study enhancing mixing and homogeneity of end products, hoping to improve areas that produce poor mixing. System – and component-level analyses look at eliminating particle attrition and breakage, analyzing coating spray patterns, and investigating conveyor loading/unloading patterns and flow rates. 

There are dozens if not hundreds of other examples, like mills and crushers, fibers, pharmaceuticals, building materials. The common thread in all these efforts is predicting how the individual or aggregate particles, each with a distinct shape, will realistically react with each other and equipment that are designed for mixing, coating, loading, sorting, drying, or packaging. That is where computation tools that perform discrete element modeling (DEM) allow experimentation and, most importantly, provide input that is often difficult to capture in real-life validation. Using simulation also greatly improves cost reduction and shortens time to market. 

Best Practices for Particle Simulation 

Particle simulation and materials handling are extremely valuable for studying how materials behave in a confined, often impossible-to-observe, space. In simulating the system and its components, Rocky DEM is a leading software for modeling particulate matter. This software provides real shapes, and realistic physical representation provides accuracy to modeling granular flows, particle breakage, and other complex problems. 

A powerful motion kernel enables multibody dynamics analysis without coupling to external tools. With intense speeds and parallelization in both CPU and GPU allows users to solve large problems. Equally important is having software that can integrate with tools, such as Ansys, within the Workbench platform and provide solutions to multiphysics issues. 

Other examples of particle handling: 

Overcome Industrial Food Processing Challenges with Particle Simulation

DEM-FEA: Realistic Representations of Granular Materials Loads on Equipment

From Pet Hair to Barley: Discover How Rocky’s Fiber Model Expands the Types of Problems that DEM can now solve

A critical tool in simulating real-world experiences and performing experiments on product lines with true physical representations is discrete element modeling. As we have shown, Rocky DEM tools play a critical role in many foods processing applications, giving deeper insight into the design details to make operations more efficient. Get a full understanding of any particle and enable all-inclusive decision-making processes with tools like Rocky DEM. 

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