Q. Since simulation is majorly based on assumptions, what kind of accuracy can an engineer expect from COMSOL?
A. Well, COMSOL is a first principle-based modelling tool. The only assumption made is the continuum assumption — we assume that we are in the continuum domain (which we all are). So, the solution you get out of COMSOL is a highly accurate one because it’s based on laws that exist in physics. It is seen when you look at how people use COMSOL. We have our annual conferences where people present their work (done using COMSOL) and most often they have validated it with experiments or analytical approaches and so on. You always see that the validation is very good. In that sense, as far as the physical phenomena is concerned, there are no real assumptions because if the process is a continuum process, then it will be accurately modelled by COMSOL.
Q. How has the tool evolved in recent years? What exciting features have been added?
A. We have a well developed GUI for different applications. The way we have evolved is that we have come up with lots of application-specific models because we realised that this is what is needed for faster product development; modules which are closer to the applications. In the past year, we have come up with several new models. In 2012 itself, more than 6 or 7 products have been released by us. This is one way we are evolving.
Apart from that, even the way we partner with other products, we do realise how important it is to have a strong link with other CAD and modelling related products. So, the links that we are developing are strengthening day-by-day.
Q. What are these other modelling tools that COMSOL is currently linked with?
A. We have a very strong connection with MATLAB so you can closely link MATLAB with COMSOL; you can run one within the other. We also have an ECAD module for electronics and electrical engineers where they can import their layouts into COMSOL and they can create 3-D geometries from the ECAD layouts. We also have several MCAD products, which can directly import your MCAD geometries into COMSOL and optimise them and so on. We recently released a live link with Excel and now you can use COMSOL within Excel.
Q. Do you feel that Indian industries are receptive to scientific modelling?
A. Like I said earlier, India is one of our most robust markets. An example of that would be the attendance you saw at the COMSOL conference today. It was a very vibrant, young and keen audience. The COMSOL users are growing by leaps and bounds every year. We foresee the same pattern for the near future as well. It’s definitely a growing market and we see that the industry is being very receptive to modelling.
More and more people from the Indian industry realise that research is essential for future product growth and they are adopting new technologies very well. The service industry is also looking a lot at engineering services because they realise that the value that they can provide by giving engineering services is much better and will help them sustain their growth over a long period of time. So, there are different areas in which India is growing like research and services among countless others. All I would say is, the future for India industries looks very bright.