May 16, 2020

Apple spent US$60bn with 9000 manufacturers in 2018

Apple
Catherine Sturman
1 min
manufacturers
Just over a year ago, component manufacturer Finisar was awarded $390 million fromApple’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund. To expand production of a criti...

Just over a year ago, component manufacturer Finisar was awarded $390 million from Apple’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund. To expand production of a critical part of the TrueDepth camera system, introduced with iPhone X, Finisar turned an unoccupied building in Sherman, Texas into a bustling operation full of people who will supply that future business.

In 2018, the company has revealed that it spent $60bn with 9,000 American component suppliers and companies, an increase of more than 10% percent from 2017, supporting more than 450,000 jobs.

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The Texan plant will produce vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers — or VCSELs — for Apple, powering breakthrough features of the latest iPhones and iPads, including Face ID and Animoji. VCSEL wafers are nearly as thin as a human hair and contain hundreds of layers measuring only a few atoms in thickness. They require a highly advanced and precise manufacturing operation, as well as skilled technicians with specialised training.

Since 2011, the total number of jobs created and supported by Apple in the United States has more than tripled — from almost 600,000 to two million across all 50 states.

 

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Jun 23, 2021

Hexagon Revolutionises Manufacturing Design Process

Hexagon
Fugaku
fujitsu
Manufacturing
Elise Leise
3 min
Fugaku’s supercomputer allows Hexagon’s clients can use complex CFD simulation to drive innovation in next-gen aircraft and electric vehicle manufacturing

A global leader in sensor, software and autonomous solutions, Hexagon recently announced that complex CFD (computational fluid dynamics) simulations can now be completed with the help of the world’s fastest supercomputer, Fugaku. Before this breakthrough, CFD simulations were far too expensive and time-consuming to run. Now, however, engineers can use these high-detail simulations to explore new ideas, iterate their designs, and optimise next-gen aircraft and electric vehicle manufacturing. 

 

Thanks to Hexagon, manufacturers can now analyse what they’re up against before starting their build process—with one-third the energy use of traditional simulations and a fraction of the cost. This is only the latest step in Hexagon’s mission to use design and engineering data to speed up smart manufacturing. As the company wrote: ‘The idea of putting data to work is part of Hexagon’s DNA’. 

 

What Are CFD Simulations?

Simply put, they’re simulations so complex and powerful that engineers usually have to spend hours upon hours simplifying their designs. 90% of an engineer’s time can centre around this task—but not with Fugaku-powered simulations. Now, original designs can be fed into the simulation software, reaching a much closer approximation of reality. 

 

With the ARM-powered Fugaku supercomputer, Hexagon’s Cradle CFD clients can now reduce simulation cost, conserve valuable energy, and integrate high-detail simulations into their daily operations. At a time when the automotive and aerospace industries are racing to bring safe and sustainable transport options to market, in fact, CFD simulations could be the key to success. 

 

How Does CFD Change the Game? 

As auto manufacturers transition to electric vehicles, they must understand how design adjustments will affect the vehicle in real-time. Instead of physically iterating their blueprints, they’d rather work it out in theory. With CFD, engineers can now pre-test critical safety, performance, and longevity features—for example, how aerodynamics will interact with energy efficiency, or how thermal management will operate under a range of parameters. Essentially, CFD simulations speed up the design process and cut down on costly mistakes. 

 

Said Roger Assaker, President of Design & Engineering in Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division: ‘Simulation holds the key to innovations in aerospace and eMobility. Advances such as the low-power Fugaku supercomputing architecture are one of the ways we can tap into these insights without costing the Earth, and I am delighted by what our Cradle CFD team and our partners have achieved’. 

 

 

How Did Testing Unfold? 

Hexagon collaborated with Fujitsu Limited to create and complete several test situations. Here’s a quick look at two of their trials: 

  • Prototyped a typical family car. This is only possible with enhanced computing power. The car model consisted of 70 million elements using 960 cores and was simulated until it reached a  steady-state using the RANS equation over 1000 cycles. 
  • Simulated transonic compressible fluid around an aeroplane. Made up of approximately 230 million elements, the simulation used 4,000 nodes using 192,000 computing cores and relied on 48,000 processes via Message Passing Interface (MPI). 

Tomohiro Irie, Hexagon’s Director of R&D for Cradle CFD, commented on the recent progress: ‘I expect that these technical developments will contribute to making the power of Fugaku more accessible for general use, bringing huge freedom and improved insights to engineering teams solving tomorrow’s problems today’. 

Overall, Hexagon intends to continue driving product innovation forward, with smart manufacturing that adapts to conditions in real-time, pursues perfect quality, and optimises designs for zero waste. And there’s little doubt about it. With 20,000 employees in 50 countries, coupled with Fugaku’s supercomputing capabilities, Hexagon is uniquely poised to succeed.

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