Industry views on simulation software: What are R&D professionals looking for?

12 May 2021

Experimental researchers across several industries work with data – and a lot of it at that. They look to understand how ingredients work, and try predicting the behaviors of ingredients under various circumstances. However, data from this information largely comes from work done in the physical lab where time, costs, and the availability of resources are vital to the success of experimental outcomes. In some cases, time and resource investments can be so high that certain findings are beyond a scientist’s reach.

This is where innovative digital resources can make a real difference. Simulations have the capability to curb bloated costs and time spent in the lab, while cutting down the number of live experiments needed. The digitization of R&D comes with many positive possibilities, and simulation solutions are key in going digital. So what are researchers precisely looking for in these solutions? 

We decided to directly ask them. In April we gathered input from the professionals who would most likely utilize virtual lab programming, and these were the results.

What is a common base shape for the particles experimentalists are working with?

Using virtual particles becomes much easier here in a simulation platform. The ability to use and dig into various shapes is a basic part of an experimenter’s toolkit. For example, when studying the thickness and uniformity of a product (i.e. sunblock), researchers look into the particles of ingredients used. We asked our group what shapes they worked with in their R&D programs, and ellipsoids took the top spot. Ellipsoid particles emerged as a key particle shape in experimentation, followed by tetrahedral and cuboid.

Where does rheology play the biggest role in product development?

Rheological data is used in experimental R&D for product development. A variety of  key applications were highlighted such as brushing with paint, or smoothing with a butter knife. These play the largest role in product development for our poll respondents. Production and sensory outcomes were also deemed important, making up just a few of the many observations and factors utilized in experiments.

The #1 reason for using simulations in experimentation

The most notable win from simulations was for researchers to gain better insights on ingredients. A virtual simulation has the ability to uncover hidden data and markers that aren’t clearly visible in lab work alone. While experts noted they are eager to cut down on experiments needed and save time, their priority is on discovering the behavior of ingredients. Industry experts know that behavioral predictions and data are an indispensable core of experimental R&D. With this knowledge, product development becomes a more smoothened journey with other facets of the experimentation process following suit.

Final Thoughts

The possible experimental outcomes of using a virtual lab are substantial. It’s been interesting to see what the pain points are across various industries, and the role of a virtual lab in addressing the challenges of a rapidly changing market. Industry experts know what they need. In this case, they wanted a better look at the data on ingredient use. The predictions made on particle interactions and behaviors can uncover hidden insights that expedite product development. As a result, researchers save time and resources which frees them to progress experimental R&D outcomes. Industries can be better prepared to carve innovative paths in their product development and experimentations for the lab of the future.

Interested in how simulation software can progress your R&D? Talk to our experts today to learn more about RheoCube.