Stillages – Computer Simulation in Stillage Design

JS BURGESS ENGINEERING

JS Burgess has the capability to use Solidworks Simulation and CAD to design bespoke stillages in the most cost efficient and timely manner possible.

Upon receiving an enquiry that has specialist lifting or loading requirements, the design team is able to build a 3D computer model of the stillage and when required, apply virtual loading conditions to analyse and optimise the result using a technique called FEA.

What is FEA?
Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is a technique which has existed in theory since the 1930’s. Work continued on the topic as an academic exercise until the 1970’s but designers lacked the necessary computing power to use it in a timely and effective manner with real world engineering problems.

Although modern applications of FEA still requires highly trained engineers and powerful CAD workstation computers, JS Burgess Engineering are able to use these modern techniques to optimise stillage design for the benefit of customers.

Below is an example of how FEA optimisation was used to decrease deflection in a long stillage without adding unnecessary steelwork. Design teams inexperienced in the design of stillages tend to over engineer frameworks or use uncommon steel sections which can not be economically obtained.

In this particular example, the original framework is found to deflect to unacceptable limits. Various solutions can be rapidly prototyped in a virtual environment which decreases costs and lead time. The result is a much stronger frame using minimal materials with all of this determined without spending money on physical prototypes and testing.

Stillage-FEA-Before-After

Types of FEA Elements

Solidworks FEA makes three types of simulation elements available to users; Shell, Mesh & Beam.

  • Shell meshes are typically used for thin walled surfaces such as sheet metal bases and thin walled containers.

  • Beam elements are often use in weldment construction and allow rapid beam bending analysis and displacement results to be obtained.

  • Solid elements are computationally expensive but provide very accurate stress analyses of solid items like lifting hooks and bars.

Proper use of FEA
FEA is a powerful tool when used by experienced engineers but its wide availability means that it can be often be used 

The information on this website is not exhaustive so please don’t hesitate to call us on 01663 719 300 should you have any questions, require a quotation or wish to discuss a specific project with us. We’d be delighted to help. Or alternatively please fill out the form below and we will respond to you shortly.