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The individual steps needed to simulate a granular process are presented below to provide a better understanding of the numerical simulation techniques.

Step 1: geometry import

The geometry is reconstructed or imported from a CAD file (eg in IGES format).

Complex geometries can be handled by this procedure.

Step 2: mesh generation

A surface mesh is generated on the geometry.

Flexible mesh generation is possible through the use of triangular and quadrilateral elements.

Step 3: initialization

The simulation is initialized.

The geometry is filled with the appropriate number of particles with the required size distribution.

All simulation parameters and the modelling of particles interactions are carefully chosen in close collaboration with the client.

Step 4: simulation

The simulation is performed for the desired period of time.

The motion of individual geometry parts is user-defined and can be changed easily for parametric studies.

Step 5: animations

The flow caracteristics are analysed by visualization and 3D animations.

In this example, the particles are colored according to velocity, however, other relevant values can be displayed.

Step 6: statistical analysis

Detailed statistical analysis is performed.

In this case, mixing rates are illustrated in the top graph and power draw in the lower one. Many other statistical values can be determined, including energy spectra, internal stresses, surface wear and load distribution.

Results are discussed with the client and compared to experimental data when available.

Step 7: optimization

Finally, parametric studies are performed to optimize process operation and/or design.

Simulations are run for each set of parameters, and corresponding results are compared. The best solutions are then discussed with the client.

In this case, mixing rates are illustrated for different blade's shapes.

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