The Finite Element Method (FEM) is a numerical method in which structures, e.g., a machine part, are subdevided into a finite number of geometrically simple elements. The continuum mechanical equations can be formulated more easily for those elements, which typically have simple geometrical shapes. The overall behavior of the structure can be computed from the behavior of the individual elements by appropriate algorithms.
This approach contains some approximations. A simualtion engineer has to have thorough knowledge of the loading conditions of the component and the involved physical effects to set up a useful model. In addition, knowing the basics of Finite Element methods, mainly the understanding of the capabilities of different element types and the knowledge about possible nonlinearities are required for a successful application of this method. The knowledge and experience coming from the successful completition of about 50 projects per year are our basis for creating valid and efficient computational models.