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Computational methods in mechanical engineering product development


Computational methods, modelling and simulation, have been identified as one of the most important key factors to success in both research and product development. Yet, computational methods, procedures and tools development is often "someone else’s business," and the computational tools and systems are a necessary evil and unfortunate cost without which, however, we do not get along with. If we could turn this situation the other way around, so that we would try to take full advantage of the computational methods, and in particular the new information and overall understanding, we could significantly improve our product processes and, thus, our position in the competitive markets.

Efficient utilisation of computational methods consists of the management of computational infrastructure, including computer hardware and computational management systems, efficient computational methods, skilful users, and efficient work processes and practices. More power to the computational methods can be achieved when the used methods and algorithms are studied and optimised for the application in hands. There is plenty of useful knowledge and tools available and we only need to channel it into our use.

Importance of the product information management process will increase in the future. This can be justified by the rapid growth of the mere information production rate as well as the increase of the number of parties using and utilising the information. The amount of the information is not important if we cannot take advantage of it. For this, we need efficient information management and interpretation tools.


The SIMPRO project focused on four main themes related to mechanical engineering in product development:

  1. High-performance computing in mechanical engineering:

    Computational infrastructure and high-performance computing, automation of computational processes, computational process and resource management.

  2. Optimisation, design studies and analyses:

    Improving the efficiency of utilising computational methods by using large design analyses and optimisation.

  3. Requirement- and customer-based product development:

    Requirement- and user-oriented design in simulation-based product design process.

  4. Modelling and results data management:

    Application of simulation, and modelling and simulation data management in the scope of the whole product lifecycle.

In the project, the research themes were studied and communicated by using case studies. With this approach, the newly gathered knowledge was concretised and transferred into use in the industry.


The project produced new knowledge e.g. on optimisation and its applications in mechanical engineering and new methods in requirements-based product design. The objective of the project was to introduce a large number of computational methods in practice and the latest computational technologies directly applicable to industrial use.

The project provided added value by e.g. improving companies’ ability to get more benefit from their IT investments, improving the efficiency and quality of the simulation-based product process, and to maximize the benefits of information produced in the product process.

Results highlights

Below are some selected examples of the SIMPRO project's results material. More results material is available on the subprojects' pages. For the most of the scientific articles, a link to the publisher's website is provided.

The SIMPRO research project final report:

The SIMPRO subprojects' highlights presentations:

About the project

The SIMPRO project was a Tekes “public research networked with companies” type of a research project. SIMPRO was one of the five projects that was funded as a project set by Tekes. The other projects were the SCarFace research project and three Tekes funded company research and development projects. The SIMPRO research project itself was divided into eight subproject. Details and results material of the subprojects are available in the separete subproject pages (see the links on the left side).

The SIMPRO project facts:

  • Startind date: 1.8.2012
  • Ending date: 31.10.2015
  • Budget: 2.415 M€
  • Project coordinator:
    • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd
  • Research parties:
    • Aalto University
    • University of Jyväskylä
    • Lappeenranta University of Technology
    • Tampere University of Technology
    • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd
  • Company members:
    • CSC – IT Center for Science Ltd.
    • Dassault Systèmes Oy
    • EDR & Medeso Oy
    • FS Dynamics Finland Oy Ab
    • KONE Oyj
    • Kuava Oy
    • Mevea Oy
    • Patria Land Systems Oy
    • Process Flow Ltd.
    • Techila Technologies Ltd
    • Wärtsilä Finland

Contact information:


Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, and the participating organisations (Aalto University, CSC – IT Center for Science Ltd., Dassault Systemés Oy, EDR & Medeso Oy, FS Dynamics Finland Oy, KONE Oyj, Kuava Oy, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Mevea Oy, Patrial Land Systems Oy, Process Flow Oy, Tampere University of Technology, Techila Technologies Oy, University of Jyväskylä, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, and Wärtsilä Finland) are acknowledged for the funding of the project and the provision of valuable information for the research work, constructive comments, and other support during the planning and implementation of the SIMPRO research project.