Vibration analysis added to PCB simulation package

March 07, 2017 // By Graham Prophet
Mentor Graphics’ Xpedition vibration and acceleration simulation software joins its suite of tools for printed circuit board (PCB) systems reliability and failure prediction, augmenting mechanical analysis and physical testing by introducing virtual accelerated lifecycle testing much earlier in the design process.

This, Mentor claims, is the first PCB-design-specific vibration and acceleration simulation solution targeting products where harsh environments can compromise product performance and reliability, including the military, aerospace, automotive and industrial markets.

 

Traditional, physical HALT (highly accelerated lifecycle testing) is conducted just before volume manufacturing, and requires expert technicians, which can result in costly schedule delays. Bridging mechanical and electronic design disciplines, the Xpedition product provides vibration simulation significantly faster than any existing method. This results in increased test coverage and shortened design cycles to ensure product reliability and faster time to market.

 

The extensive Xpedition component modelling library comprises over 4,000 unique 3D solid models which are used to create highly defined parts for simulation. The 3D library allows users to match geometries to their 2D cell database. Designers can assemble the parts models on board and automatically mesh them for performance analysis, including stiffeners and mechanical parts. The system modelling tool is ultra-fast and can model over 1,000 components per minute.

 

Mentor adds that the Xpedition technology provides an easy-to-use, automated environment using a finite-elements engine developed for quick, accurate analyses. The technology is optimized for the PCB layout designer, enabling simulation and improved redesign at the desktop. The intuitive pre-processor and wizard allow users to set-up simulation in quickly and easily, for fast and accurate virtual prototyping. The post-processor technology lets designers quickly see high-failure-probability components and analyze boundary conditions, material properties, and environment profiles. The illustration above is a still from Mentor’s explanatory video, showing animation of the flexing modes of a PCB, and predicting points of failure.

 

The Xpedition product can also perform acceleration stress simulation for specialized applications. This feature provides safety factor simulation for constant acceleration conditions, pin-level Von-Mises stress, detailed stress and deformation plots, and three- axes user-defined force vector (X, Y, Z) simulation. These features are developed for safety-critical applications such as those targeting the mil-aero markets.