Blue Collar Computing in Action

How can Blue Collar Computing benefit my organization? The examples below highlight some of the benefits of High Performance Computing.



An automotive company was interested in leveraging cluster computing to speed up current finite element computations. OSC consultants worked with the IT staff to explain the technology and the possible options for clusters. The group also discussed the type of models that were of interest and were able to determine which models might benefit from parallel execution. They ran several of the customers models in parallel and provided a performance analysis report. The automotive industry is increasingly simulation driven and component suppliers are required to provide models of parts to their customers for approval. Engineers were very interested in the use of HPC for reduction of their component design cycle time, including detailed computational models of seemingly simple components such as grommets and gaskets.

Industrial Consortia

An engineering applications software developer wanted to obtain benchmark data for one of their main metal forming simulation products. This product currently has two parallel solvers, but they are testing a new parallel implementation. They currently have a five-processor development cluster that uses the Infiniband high performance interconnect, but they would like to examine the performance of several large models using their new implementation beyond 5 processors. OSC consultants installed and provided benchmark information using the Infiniband connected nodes of the Intel P4 cluster at OSC, at higher processor counts. This product is currently used by the aerospace, automotive, off road, general transportation, fastener and oil field engineering sectors. In a recent study the product was used to simulate the production of Mk 84 bomb cases. It allowed the engineers to isolate the root cause of each defect. The resulting modifications to process control lead to an 85% reduction in the number of defective parts produced.

Research and Development Organizations

A plastics research and development company was interested in testing the utility of HPC machines for finite element analysis. OSC consultants ran several of their models in parallel and provided a performance analysis report. As a small manufacturer, they were extremely interested in rapid time-to-market for customer designs. They feel HPC would be a tremendous advantage in this market.

North Central State College

OSC and North Central State collaborated emerging opportunities with PolymerOhio, a statewide industry consortium dedicated to promoting global competitiveness for Ohio’s polymer firms. OSC is currently determining how to provide training and technology in support of Ohio’s polymer firms, which include more than 2,800 companies, 140,000 employees and $49 billion in annual revenue.

Technical Computing Software Vendors

OSC is working with a university researcher to establish new algorithms studying diseases affecting soybeans. The studies will include linking pathogens that afflict the soybean host, with the promise of further understanding mechanisms critical to the plants own internal defenses. With the increased understanding, production of a critical agricultural commodity will be better safeguarded.

OSC is also working with an Ohio researcher to employ new experimental and computational methods for understanding diseases afflicting corn. Experimental tags have been identified on the corn plant and have been used to link to specific plant functions, including disease susceptibility. With the increased understanding of the genome (which is presently being sequenced), the production of corn can be safeguarded and improved to suit both future food and energy needs.

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