How digital prototyping is decreasing development time and costs for new models. Computer simulation for crash testing, aerodynamics and fuel economy is shaving years off of the time it takes to produce a new vehicle, which is helping to save automakers millions of euros.
The proceed to so-called Automotive Prototype helps lessen the development duration of a brand new model (from design freeze to Job 1) to 24 months from 36 months in comparison with the 1990s, according to research by analysts IHS Automotive. “The obvious benefits are lower costs, time savings and freshness of the product portfolio,” IHS senior manager Matteo Fini told Automotive News Europe.
Jaguar Land Rover head of r&d Wolfgang Epple named crash-testing, aerodynamics and fuel economy because the three most innovative regions of computer simulation. He stated that the quantity of crash-test prototypes needed per new model has reduced to around ten or fifteen from 30 to 50 when testing was initially mandated.
“Crash simulation is performed over a maximum of two days nowadays, which has brought enough time out from the development cycle,” Epple told Automotive News Europe. With every prototype costing about 500,000 pounds (about 685,000 euros), that reduction has saved a lot of cash. The JLR executive added which it also offers improved crash performance: “Now it is possible to hit a wall at 50 mph leaving the automobile without being injured.”
JLR wants to push simulation further. By 2020 it aims to engineer new models entirely on a computer prior to the tooling phase, a source near to the firm said. In certain areas the automaker has already been near to this goal. The aerodynamic styling for that Jaguar XE midsize premium sedan was finalized with no need to build a prototype to test in a wind tunnel, JLR said. That assists because JLR doesn’t own a wind tunnel, a situation that’s not going to change for around another year, Epple said.
To check the XE’s aerodynamics JLR works with a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) program from U.S.-based Exa Corp. Automakers are focusing much more on aerodynamics since they turn to reduce fuel consumption and meet tough new emissions regulations. But they are limited on the experimenting they could do on a prototype in a wind tunnel, Exa CEO Stephen Remondi said. “There’s only an inch of clay on that model. If you want to dramatically alter the rake in the windshield, you can’t,” he told Automotive News Europe.
Exa also uses its CFD program, Powerflow, to address a variety of other issues on new models, which range from reducing dirt kicked up by the wheels to cutting wind noise and aiding cooling. Remondi said thermal simulation may help reduce the chance of cooling issues coming to light after the design has become frozen. “You stop that situation where, suddenly you can’t get this part from plastic anymore because it’s melting. It’s now got to be steel and suddenly the gain margin has dropped,” he explained.
Simulation’s single-biggest weakness is failing to give accurate dynamic feedback regarding how an automobile drives, JLR’s Epple believes. With regards to honing a new model’s handling characteristics, a driver in a real-life car is still the best validator, he said.
Jaguar avoided the wind tunnel test because of computer simulation completed to measure airflow over the car. UK-based Ansible Motion, which develops vehicle dynamics simulators, believes it offers solved this problem using its so-called Automotive Molding which costs between 1 million and two million pounds.
Ansible Technical Director Kia Cammaerts stated that the Stratiform Motion Platform, which faces an 8-meter long wraparound screen, does what the dominant eight-legged hexapod driving simulators fail to do. “They’re mechanically not able to offering the right sensations for the driver,” he stated. “With our system you are able to develop vehicle dynamics in a virtual environment to a high enough level that it’s actually useful.”
Ansible a year ago delivered certainly one of its systems to Ford. Ansible has created seven other systems, five have already been sold to automakers and two to customers dealing with Formula One racing. The organization declined to reply to its some other clients. The automotive industry is currently going through a transformative period. Carmakers today must act quickly and smartly, anticipating market changes to create affordable, exciting new products to consumers. To do this, companies now count on rapid prototyping, which is completely transforming the way in which engineers create and test car designs, affecting a number of different auto careers along the way.
Whether it’s to validate a futuristic concept for a vehicle or even a refresh a vintage car to accommodate the needs of today’s drivers, three-dimensional rapid prototyping accelerates the creative process and decreases the time and expense invested in clay modeling and molding of expensive prototype parts. Designers and engineers around the world have the ability to see and touch their creations faster and at lower cost, which then allows them to receive real-world feedback on their designs making hbvpyy to improve them.
Before a part is produced within the China Plastic Molding, the pc model is tested for proper airflow in a simulation environment. The 3D prototyping environment can produce a fully detailed vehicle, including the engine, brake lines, drive shafts, exhaust system, transmission, suspension as well as other car components.
New techniques like Selective Laser Sintering or Stereolithography allow engineers to quickly create a new part for wind tunnel testing, permitting them to test more iterations of the identical part in less time. Air flow with the engine compartment and beneath the car is critical to both cooling the engine and lowering drag, which explains why the wind tunnel can be used for advanced tests.
When compared with old-style clay models that needed to be re-sculpted each time, this is night and day, as engineers now receive feedback at multiple stages along the way. Additional time is spent evaluating the impact in the changes than waiting around for alterations in be made. This will make it quicker to test an unconventional idea, as all is needed is manpower.