Development engineers are rarely IT specialists; writing programs is not one of their tasks. They usually use software merely as a tool to realize new components. Until now, developers still set up every step manually with the help of programs: Geometry, optimization, mesh conversion, cost calculation. However, these sequential work steps require a great effort of coordination, sometimes even with other departments. It would be a major step forward if engineers could have all the steps of the development process automated by software. And they could do so within their own domain as well as across departmental boundaries. The digital toolbox for this future of engineering is provided by the Synera (formerly known as ELISE) development platform.
On Synera, engineers write their own code – even without in-depth IT knowledge. Here, engineers use the software to build workflows that precisely meet their specific requirements. After all, they know these best themselves. Now they can align their workflow to match these requirements directly. In the process, users automate recurring processes and save a lot of time. At the same time, engineers receive significantly more variants and product suggestions. The creative tasks, however, remain unchanged in this process. The developers now have significantly more time for these.
To enable users to put together their own workflow on Synera, the platform works according to the low-code principle. Engineers use this language to create their application software via graphical user interfaces and configurations. For this approach, Synera provides them with a set of visual tools. This makes it possible for all developers to build their customized software using a simple graphical language. They no longer need the classic text-based programming languages that IT specialists, in particular, have mastered. Synera gives engineers the capabilities of a programmer without requiring them to be IT specialists.
Elements of this platform are kernels for all engineering disciplines. Synera thus provides a digital workbench for various functions such as geometry, cost calculation, math and logic operations, 3D printing, FE simulation, or parameter optimization throughout the entire development process. Users control these with the help of components that they operate simply by clicking and dragging. This is how they put together their specific workflow.
This technology greatly accelerates and simplifies development. Until now, engineers have had to operate separate software for each work area. First, geometry is created with the CAD program. Another software converts this, for example, into a mesh. With Synera, on the other hand, the transition from one step to the next is seamless: The geometry is created and immediately processed – on the same interface and without leaving the application. All further steps of the development process are just as simple. ELISE refers to the resulting workflow as technical DNA, since it describes the blueprint for a technical product. Consequently, it no longer defines the component itself, but only the path to it. This can be run through again and again automatically – according to the developer’s specifications. Changed framework conditions can thus be calculated into a new result in the shortest possible time, where previously long coordination loops were necessary.
For the development process, this procedure is a tipping point: The entire development takes place on only one platform, where all steps communicate via the common low-code programming language. And because Synera is open, proprietary or external applications can be easily integrated. Users thus put together their own customized package of programs and data. This automation of coordination loops shortens development time enormously. A joint project with Hyundai, for example, resulted in 80 percent less development time and at the same time a 47 percent lighter component. In this way, the development process with Synera also becomes an important factor in increasing the profitability and innovative strength of companies. By using the development platform, engineers can now finally program and bring out new products faster, cheaper and in higher quality.