Brief History of Optimization


Optimization is a word that tends to get misunderstood as each person seems to have their own interpretation of what optimization means. Engineers and technicians instinctively think of optimization as “trial and error.” Others believe that the optimization process is exhaustively listing the design possibilities and picking the best one. Then there are those who perceive that optimization is simply making qualitative suggestions that lead to a better product design.

However, are these methods optimization? They are optimization methods in a broad sense, but they are not proper ones if you follow the definition of optimization as a quantitative and systematic methodology to search for the best design among numerous possibilities while satisfying given constraints.

Why You Should Care About Optimization

From increasing the resource yield to strengthening your value chain, the diligent execution of optimization within the design process can mean the difference between thriving and declining.

Optimizing early and often has the following key benefits:

  • It creates a lasting ripple effect on the designs and on the financial impact throughout the design and product life cycle.

  • The number of designs explored increases drastically while empowering engineers to understand their models better to improve results.

  • The data gained from multiple iterations opens a whole new vista of insight.

In this article, we’ll guide you through these areas of opportunity while contrasting the traditional vs. modern optimization mindset.

Empower Introduces CAD-Embedded Optimization Plug-In

In attendance at the recent CAASE (Conference on Advancing Analysis and Simulation, cohosted by NAFEMS and DE, June 5-7) was Dr. Gary Wang, CEO of Empower Operations. An ASME Fellow, Wang is also Professor of Mechatronic Systems Engineering at the Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada.

Wang and his colleagues believe the time is ripe for CAD-embedded optimization. So they went after what seemed like the largest pool—SolidWorks CAD users—with a plug-in called OASIS.

Optimization for Competitive Advantage


…the overall standard in today's markets are creating an increasingly competitive landscape. Companies are frequently pressured to cut costs while maintaining high standards. Often quality, price, and safety must be carefully considered.  For many industries, changes in regulatory standards loom over while these pressures exist. Adding to an already complex state, manufacturers have to consistently and carefully innovate to remain relevant - not just on their products, but also internal processes to strengthen their value chain while managing at the margins.