Table of Contents
Operating System: Windows 2000 or XP
Hard drive: 40+ GB
Video Card: Something with some OpenGL acceleration
DVD or CD Writer
Processor Comments: You want to get a processor with a good on chip cache (1mb) and high clock speed.
The program does not take advantage of multi processors so a duel processor machine will not run the simulation significantly faster. It will however improve the response of the computer if you try to do other work on the machine while a simulation is running.
The Intel "Hyper threading" (HT) Chips will also help the response of the machine but not the simulation time.
The recommendation would be to buy a high, but not the very top ($$) end processor, a graphics card with some OpenGL acceleration, but again not extreme, and then set it up in a configuration where very little else is running on the machine (Virus checkers, data base engines, chat programs, sync programs for PDAs, network traffic etc.)
Right now Chute Maven is running on Windows XP and 2000.
The machine Chute Maven is developed and runs on is an IBM T40p laptop with an OpenGL graphics card built in. With this configuration a typical transfer point with 2-3 inch particles for 10 seconds will run in 6-7 hours. The output data files for each simulation can be 200+ MB so it is recommended to use CDs or DVDs to archive. Creating videos on this machine takes 2-4 minutes per video and the model can be rotated using the mouse with quite a few particles.
Ten seconds of simulation time, which is good for a "typical" size transfer, 2"-3" diameter particles, on a reasonable computer takes about 6 hrs to simulate. It is expected 3-4 iterations per chute are done before you are happy with the design.
A single computer license is for sale there is the ability to do a license transfer from one computer to another.
Technical support via internet and phone and minor upgrades are part of the SMA. The support is on how to use the program and for "I want to model this type of situation - any ideas?" We will either offer some suggestions, let you know it's a bad idea, or add something to the program to make it easier for you to do.
SMAs are optional after the first year.
**The improvement may be via quicker designs, better designs, reduced errors etc. It depends on your utilization of the program.
We are the only company actually selling a program and not just renting it. We are the only company with a program that is specifically designed and easy to use for modeling transfer points. Once you have the model drawn in AutoCad it takes < 4 minutes before the simulation is running. One the simulation is done you can have your first AVI movie of the material flow in another 4 minutes.
There are a lot of things people would like the DEM to be. It can do a lot more that what we are offering, however today these things are totally unreasonable given the computer time and cost for the problem we are trying to solve the material flow through transfer points. The DEM model, today, is good at looking at the overall volume of material flow through the chute, in general how the material is going to flow, and what forces are acting on the boundaries in the model.
The users of our program comment on several things:
1. Just doing the design in 3-D forces decisions to be made that are sometimes over looked in 2-D.
2. The modeling process is simple enough that you can quickly try things and see potential problem areas. Your designers can then spend time on thinking about ways to change the design to avoid the problems seen in the modeling.
3. This leads to learning where when they see something happening in the model that develop a "tool box" of solutions to fix it.
4. By having you, the engineering firm, develop and run the simulations the "tool box" of solutions remains your proprietary information. When working with consultants your tricks become theirs and incorporated into other customers designs.
5. I save 20-45 minutes per setup over the competitor's program that we are leasing. I wish we could purchase your program; it would save me a lot of time.
ChuteMaven uses the .dxf file from AutoCAD. Different layers are used in AutoCAD to identify separate items and group them together. Reserved layer identifiers include "Belt", "Pulley", and "Injection".
The program can automatically read in most of the 3D surfaces in AutoCAD, such are ruled, revolved, and 3d mesh. It automatically recognizes the belt and pulley setting and their velocity vectors internally.
We have written two papers on DEM modeling of transfer points. They are available for download on our web site, www.ChuteMaven.com.
- Hustrulid, G.G.W. Mustoe, "Engineering Analysis of Transfer Points Using Discrete Element Analysis", Presented at 1996 SME Annual Meeting, Phoenix, AZ, February 1996.
- Hustrulid, "Transfer Station Analysis", Presented at 1998 SME Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL, February 1998.