This article serves is an introduction to Simcenter Testlab Neo (Figure 1), the new generation software of Simcenter Testlab. Simcenter Testlab Neo offers increased user friendliness, a reworked approach to processing data, and new capabilities that were not available previously.
Figure 1: Simcenter Testlab Neo has a new interface and a reworked approach to data viewing, analysis, and processing.
The word “Neo” is from the Greek. It means “a new or revived form of”.
In this article, sometimes the current version of Simcenter Testlab (official name) will be referred to as Simcenter Testlab “Classic” to differentiate it from Simcenter Testlab Neo.
Article Contents: 1. Overview 2. Getting Started 3. Displays and Pivot Table 4. Processing 5. New Capabilities
With Simcenter Testlab Revision 18 and higher, both Simcenter Testlab and Simcenter Testlab Neo are delivered together. Some quick facts:
Installation: The installation files contain both Simcenter Testlab “Classic” and Simcenter Testlab Neo software. Both are installed during the installation process.
Licensing: The Simcenter Testlab Desktop license and token licensing can be used to run either Simcenter Testlab “Classic” or Simcenter Testlab Neo.
Data: Simcenter Testlab project files (*.lms) can be opened in both “classic” and Neo. For example, after opening the project file in Simcenter Testlab Neo, it can still be opened again in Simcenter Testlab “Classic”.
As of Simcenter Testlab 2021, Simcenter Testlab Neo is mainly aimed at processing spectral data, sound quality metrics, and fatigue life from time files. Simcenter Testlab Neo Time Data Acquisition (not discussed in this article) can be used to acquired time data. With the subsequent release of Simcenter Testlab 2206, geometry creation and operational deflection shape analysis was added.
Eventually, other functions like impact testing, modal analysis, etc will become part of Simcenter Testlab Neo.
2. Getting Started
When double clicking on the Simcenter Testlab start icon, the start folder contains several selections as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Start folder of Simcenter Testlab. The Simcenter Testlab Neo applications are outlined in orange and contain the word “Neo”.
The names of the folders indicate whether they are Simcenter Testlab “Classic” or Simcenter Testlab Neo:
Folders containing the word “Neo” start new Simcenter Testlab Neo.
Folders without the word “Neo” start Simcenter Testlab “Classic”.
Examples of how to start Simcenter Testlab Neo and Simcenter Testlab “Classic” are shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3: Left – The icon “Desktop Standard & Advanced” start Simcenter Testlab “Classic”. Right – After opening one of the folders with the word “Neo”, the icon “Desktop Neo” starts Simcenter Testlab Neo.
The Desktop application can be started as follows for the two different versions:
Simcenter Testlab “Classic”: Click on the “Desktop – Standard & Advanced” icon in the start folder.
Simcenter Testlab Neo: Open one of the folders with “Neo” in the name and start the “Desktop Neo” icon.
The Testlab Desktop (both in classic and Neo) is used for viewing data. They have similar yet different features as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4: Simcenter Testlab Neo has a ribbon (right) that is like current versions of Microsoft Office products. Both the Neo and Classic version of Simcenter Testlab also have workbooks that can be navigated along the bottom.
Simcenter Testlab Neo has a ribbon across the top, like the latest versions of Microsoft Office. Both software packages have navigation tabs along the bottom.
In the lower right corner of Simcenter Testlab Neo, there is a “Guide Me” button as shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5: The “Guide Me” (initiated in lower right corner), steps users through common tasks.
The “Guide Me” button provides a step-by-step instruction for performing tasks. The guide highlights the menus to be used in the order they are to be used. Each tab has a different task.
3. Displays and Pivot Table
The display layouts of Neo and “Classic” are the same, just activated in different ways as shown in Figure 6:
Figure 6: Display layout files are common between Simcenter Testlab Neo and Simcenter Testlab “Classic”.
The layout files are exactly the same between “Classic” and Neo. If new custom displays are create in either version of software, they are automatically available in both versions.
Simcenter Testlab Neo has some added features to make displaying data more convenient:
Preview Pane: In the display area, there is a tab called “Preview” which automatically shows data when it is selected. Shows multiple graphs automatically if more than one piece of data is selected.
Auto-Display Settings: Simcenter Testlab Neo remembers display preferences for data (dB, amplitude, axis ranges, tick marks, etc)
These features are shown in the animation in Figure 7.
Figure 7: Data (even with multiple selections) appear automatically in the preview pane display of Simcenter Testlab Neo.
Neither the preview pane nor auto-display settings was available in Simcenter Testlab “Classic”.
Simcenter Testlab Neo has data processing capabilities. As of the Simcenter Testlab 2021 release, the processing mainly aimed at calculating spectral and fatigue results from time files.
Similar to Simcenter Testlab “Classic”, processing capabilities can be turned on via “Add-ins” as shown in Figure 9.
Figure 9: Left – In Simcenter Testlab “Classic” processing capabilities are added to the Desktop via “Tools -> Add-ins” from the main menu bar. Right – In Simcenter Testlab Neo, add-ins are activated via “File -> Add-ins” from the main menu.
The add-ins do not have the same names or functionality between Neo and “Classic”. In both cases, the number of tokens to use a particular feature are shown in the add-in menu.
One of the key add-ins to process data in Simcenter Testlab Neo is called “Process Designer”.
The Simcenter Testlab Neo Process Designer is a new approach to processing data. It allows users to chain “Methods” together to process time histories as shown in Figure 10.
Figure 10: The Simcenter Testlab Neo Process Designer allows users to connect methods from a library to create comprehensive processing algorithms.
Methods are drawn from libraries. Functionalities in the libraries include:
Simcenter Testlab Neo also can directly utilize time files from the simulation software. An example with a Simcenter Amesim simulation software file (*.ame) is shown in Figure 13.
Figure 13: Simcenter Testlab Neo can view and process time data from simulation software including Simcenter Amesim. In addition to the time data, the sketch view of the Simcenter Amesim model (upper right) can also be viewed and used to select data.
Time history data can be used from numerous simulation packages:
Simcenter 3D Motion (*.mres)
Simcenter Amesim (*.ame)
Universal files (*.unv)
Outputs and inputs of a model can also be part of Simcenter Testlab Neo Process Designer. Using the Functional Mock-up Interface standard (https://fmi-standard.org/), the following can be accessed:
Inputs: Test time data can be used as input to a simulation model
Outputs: Newly solved time domain outputs of a simulation model
Model Parameters: If exposed in the interface, model parameters can be adjusted from Simcenter Testlab Neo. For example, the spring rate of a damper could be adjusted and the results calculated.
To use the Functional Mock-up Interface, a *.fmu file needs to be generated from the simulation model. A solver license might be required as well.