Supercomputing in Industry Is Focus of 2nd Industrial HPC User Roundtable

30 January 2019

Simulation provides competitive advantages for companies of all sizes, though industrial HPC users face unique challenges.

Simulation offers enormous potential for industry, helping to reduce costs and accelerate the rate of product development. Nevertheless, simulation demands powerful computing resources and often relies on the use of high-performance computing (HPC).

In an effort to facilitate the exchange of ideas among industrial HPC users, HLRS hosted the second annual Industrial HPC User Round Table (iHURT). Organized by HLRS and Sicos BW, the event focused on the diverse challenges that industrial users of HPC face, including complex programming codes, new technologies, licensing models, user support, and the organization of workflows, among others.

Among the more than 30 participants were representatives from companies spanning a wide assortment of industries, including from Pfinder (supplier for the automobile industry), Putzmeister (cement pumping technology), Bosch, Porsche, Stihl, and BASF. Lectures by HPC users provided insights into a variety of industrial HPC user scenarios, covering topics including methods for simulating fire protection systems, the use of HPC in the development of new cement pumps, and the importance of HPC for the chemical industry.

Facilitating effective knowledge exchange

Following a look at the future of supercomputing technologies, the participants enjoyed open and intense discussion about the challenges companies face in integrating HPC into their activities.

"The Roundtable is a very useful event because in addition to providing insights about HPC usage at other industrial companies, it also leaves plenty of time for personal conversation with colleagues," remarked Dr. Stefan Hildenbrand, Team Leader for Digital Engineering at Pfinder KG.

"The charm of this event at HLRS is the opportunity to discuss typical challenges and their solutions with industrial HPC users across many different disciplines and fields of application," agreed Dr. Steffen Poppitz, who works in the HPC group at Bosch.

Better support for industrial HPC-users

For event organizers Sicos BW and HLRS, iHURT plays an important role in their efforts to better understand companies' needs. "Dialogue with users of high-performance computing in industry is extremely important for us," said Prof. Dr. Michael Resch, Director of HLRS. "With iHURT we established a platform that promotes idea exchange among users and at the same time helps us at HLRS to improve our offerings and our support for industry. The strong turnout and lively discussions that took place are a clear sign that we are on the right path."

"I was impressed with the intensive discussion among the participants." concurred Dr. Andreas Wierse, Managing Director of Sicos BW. "It particularly reflected the value of the workshop part of the event."

The next iHURT meeting will take place at HLRS on December 3, 2019.