Blue Collar Computing Applications

Blue Collar Computing Applications Available to Industry
Blue Collar Computing was established by the Ohio Supercomputer Center in 2004 for focused, collaborative industrial solutions.  BCC provides solutions for:

  1. Experienced HPC users who need access to larger systems for specific tasks (“peaking” facility) or additional expertise
  2. Novice users who are exploring use of supercomputing to increase their bottom line

OSC’s primary motivation for providing HPC service to commercial firms is to improve the overall economic competitiveness of these firms and the State of Ohio.  To that end, several programs that support BCC – including application hosting services, portals and shared remote instrumentation – are being offered to industry.

Application Hosting Service
Commercial clients can have their hardware and software applications installed on-site for use with an OSC system. OSC consulting staff will work with users to resolve problems, port and optimize codes.

  1. Priority access to resources
  2. Code analysis and scaling
  3. Software development
  4. Proposal development
  5. Project management

OSC has created special packages of service to address several common use scenarios that are available upon request. 

OSC’s Blue Collar Computing (BCC) program provides high performance computing capabilities and applications to businesses of all sizes through the development of portals and other information-sharing mechanisms.  BCC’s approach to novice – and some experienced – users is to develop industry-specific portals in collaboration with industry trade groups and industry-focused consulting firms.

Through the BCC program, OSC can assist companies on a per-project basis by creating a portal application.  An example is the E-Weld Predictor portal, an easy-to-use web-based interface that allows welding engineers to simulate “virtual” welds, thus reducing the time and material wasted with physical prototypes.  Currently, experimental welding procedure trials can be cost prohibitive due to the myriad of geometrical, process, and material combinations. By using E-Weld Predictor, engineers can explore a wide range of “what if” combinations and simulations.  The over 115 companies who have signed on to the service can see a decrease in prototype costs and quicker production because E-Weld Predictor manages the “heavy-lifting” associated with analytics. The number of trials will also be reduced since only the most promising welding procedures are sent to the mock-up stage.

Another industry-specific application, the Polymer Portal, will be available to more than 2,800 polymer-related facilities across the state.  OSC staff is working with PolymerOhio to develop web-based applications targeted toward helping polymer companies, including companies from the plastics, rubber and advanced materials segments, increase productivity.  The applications will transparently access the Center’s supercomputing systems and software.

The Polymer Portal provides:

  1. Expertise in polymer science and engineering
  2. Computational resources and software for modeling and simulation
  3. Databases with relevant material properties
  4. Advanced instrumentation
  5. Training
  6. Vendor relevant material
  7. Business intelligence and strategy

Shared Remote Instrumentation 
BCC has developed the infrastructure to allow expensive instruments such as scanning electron microscopes to be remotely usable over the public broadband network by academic and industrial partners around Ohio.  OSC has developed and deployed a dedicated cyberinfrastructure, integrating instrument access, data storage, and computation for the following applications:

  1. Tele-observation and tele-operation tools for remote access to instruments and sensors over OSCnet
  2. Tools that allow for the collaborative planning and execution of experiments, data analysis, and code development
  3. Web portals for easy access to models, simulation and data

For example, OSC is developing web portals that integrate the Center’s Remote Instrumentation Collaboration Environment (RICE) software. The web portal and RICE software together support multi-user session presence, user control management, live video feeds between Ohio labs, and collaboration tools such as Voice over IP and chat.  As an extension of this technology, The Ohio State University’s Analytical Spectroscopy Laboratory has been working with OSC to develop a RICE software variant that addresses dual-screen resolution and collaboration tool requirements of their FTIR-Raman Microprobe in order to work more closely with their partners in Alabama and California.

Who can I contact for more information?
For additional information, please contact Dr. David Hudak at or  (614) 247-8670.