What’s the industry standard CAD/CFD license ratio?

I get this question a lot. It doesn’t exist. Sure, every design engineer should have a dedicated CAD license… but how many CFD licenses should you ask your team to fight over? Every company I’ve ever advised has needed a unique mix of engineering tools based on several factors.

  • nature of your products
  • marketing life/design cycles
  • warranty exposure
  • cost of goods sold
  • need to share simulation results outside of engineering
  • level of available design engineering talent
  • cost (and viability) of physical prototyping and testing
  • # of new products to be designed yearly (or monthly!)
  • potential impact of upfront CFD work on the bottom line

These are some of the few that come to mind, but there are other factors that pop up from time to time. If a vendor’s salesguy flashes his Rolex or pearly whites and says, “Yes Mr. Smith, the IRS [Industry Standard Ratio] is 8 licenses of CFD for every 10 licenses of CAD.” you had better lace up your sneakers and run for the hills!

I’ve seen companies that need 2 CFD licenses for 10 engineers, and some that need 20 licenses for 10 engineers! I’ve seen companies that need more access to just the results visualization portion of the software, but not as many “solver” licenses… and vice versa. I’ve seen super small companies that employ a single engineer who keeps a dozen simultaneous upfront CFD simulations cranking around the clock.

Get your vendor to come up with a customized solution for your needs. If your vendor doesn’t pass the BS test, give me a call at 401-331-5000.


One comment

  1. […] But, what is the right ratio? Some companies need 1 license of CFD or FEA per engineer, some need half that. But, 1 for 8 is insane. It won’t work. At best, you’ll simply create the good old upfront CAE non-specialist specialist. More likely, your software will gather dust. […]