Romanian space startup OX Origin can count on Simcenter and other Siemens Xcelerator tools thanks to the Siemens Startup Program

Product: Simcenter
Industry: Space components

Scrolling through LinkedIn one evening, Ilie Ciobanu saw a post fly by for the Siemens Startup Program, part of the Siemens Xcelerator solution portfolio. He and his partner, Alex Bugnar had recently created their space startup, a design and simulation analysis consultancy, OX Origin, located in the heart of Transylvania in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. As experienced space experts and digital natives, OX Origin designs complex space systems and components that are high-tech one-offs, engineered to space environment performance standards.

“When we started own consultancy in 2019, we wanted to offer our space customers that same seamlessness between NX and Simcenter that a lot of space specialists count on, and also the ability to work with all the Siemens solvers and pre-post processors, like Simcenter Nastran and Simcenter Femap.” Co-founder Ilie Ciobanu, OX Origin adds, “I knew that Simcenter offered — by far — more and better connectivity between the design and analysis processes. It was much more integrated compared to other tools.”

Ilie Ciobanu had worked extensively with Simcenter and NX early in his career for Thales Alenia and as a digital native knew the power and excellence of the NX/Simcenter combo when it came to space design and qualification.

“Thanks to its accuracy and built-in simulation validation tools, you find Simcenter and NX all over the space landscape, whether you are working on the first preliminary design review of a complex electro-mechanical components for solar arrays or preparing for final qualification testing on an opto-mechanical system for an observation telescope,” explains Ciobanu. “So naturally, when we started, we invested in two licenses for Simcenter 3D, which were tailored according to our work requirements — typical space engineering projects in the mechanical and systems engineering field.”

“We wanted a couple of full licenses, and we were curious about integrating some of the other Siemens tools into our internal and customer processes, but as a startup, the budget was just out-of-reach at the time,” explains co-founder Alex Bugnar, OX Origin.

A startup program tailored to advanced engineering

You could imagine their enthusiasm when they discovered that Siemens offers several startup program options tailored to various product development needs – and budgets. One that caught Ilie’s eye was Siemens Xcelerator for Design that included NX for Design, an advanced engineering package of Simcenter simulation tools as well as Teamcenter software.

Ilie Ciobanu dropped an email saying he was interested in the Siemens Xcelerator startup programs and especially the digital tools that he knew were frequently found in the space industry including Simcenter simulation and testing solutions, NX and newer tools like Teamcenter Share (formerly Xcelerator Share).

A Siemens partner ready to help space startups

He shortly heard back from the Siemens Xcelerator Startup Program via a Siemens partner based in Bucharest, Romania, Digital Twin.

Together, they consolidated an affordable package of dedicated space solutions from NX, Simcenter and Teamcenter and adapted them to the OX Origin workflow.

“Digital Twin really helped us regarding the start-up program and software support. Simcenter is a very advanced tool and there are always new things coming up that the team at Digital Twin were happy to help with,” explains Ciobanu.

“From my time at Thales Alenia Space, I experienced the power of the Simcenter/NX combination and the excellent connectivity and integration between NX for the design aspect and Simcenter for more advanced analysis like finite element and system work. The baked-in, step-by-step workflow in the software is very intuitive, but we needed help getting up to speed on the new advances, like space thermal analysis, cost calculations and cloud-based collaboration tools.”

A quest for a better process

As the guys know at OX Origin, the space industry is an exacting place to engineer: everything, every step and every minute detail is scrutinized, double and triple-checked, verified and quality controlled. The rules do not bend. Everyone involved in the process follows strict and specific step-by-step development processes, which can be time-consuming.

Being a small company, OX Origin was surprised to discover that they could save significant time using Teamcenter as well. They had been under the impression that Teamcenter worked well at the bigger aerospace companies to trace data and processes, so they were happy to discover Teamcenter Share, a scalable, secure, cloud-based collaboration version.

“Teamcenter Share was a nice surprise. It is a good solution for the space industry because you can easily add external partners and sync files with extra security and data integrity; I had an excellent hands-on experience with that tool and we tried it out right away with our major customer projects,” says Ciobanu.

“As consultants, it is so difficult to find time. Anything that helps save us time, like Teamcenter Share, is highly valuable.” He adds, “Less admin-hassle in our process frees up engineering time for other customers and projects as well,” adds Bugnar.

Safe and secure in the cloud

OX Origin appreciated the fact that the Siemens Xcelerator platform is securely in the cloud. Not only did this make life easier for customer collaboration and vital security guarantees, it also made working internally a snap.

“We aren’t always in the same place or country and our subcontractors and customers are spread around Europe,” explains Bugnar. “With the Siemens tools, you can have two guys working on the project almost simultaneously from practically any location without affecting each other’s work or crossing wires. We can look at 2 problems or more at the same time,” concludes Bugnar, “It’s like a 2-for-1 engineering coupon for our customers. It not only saves 50% percent of our time, it also saves money.”

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