Check out this great little article from Derrek Cooper on the many hidden (and not so hidden) uses for upfront CFD. I totally agree with what he’s saying. Because it’s my job/passion, I am extremely attuned to all things flow & thermal. The target user for upfront CFD, however, usually is not.
I once visited a valve company, for instance, that was having fantastic success slashing the cost & time associated with physical prototyping and flowbench testing using upfront CFD. During a plant tour, I noticed a gigantic heatsink on a workbench out back and asked about it. “Oh, we also make a bunch of electronic controllers that are really sensitive to over-heating.” It actually took quite a bit of doing to explain how their upfront CFD “valve tester” could be used to attack that electronics design problem, too!
Check out Derrek’s article, then take a fresh stroll around your test facility.