How digital prototyping is cutting development time and expenses for new models. Computer simulation for crash testing, aerodynamics and fuel economy is shaving years off of the time it takes to produce a whole new vehicle, that is helping save automakers an incredible number of euros.
The move to so-called Automotive Prototype has helped decrease the development time of a brand new model (from design freeze to Job 1) to 24 months from 36 months in comparison with the 1990s, in accordance with 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 since the three most sophisticated regions of computer simulation. He explained that the amount of crash-test prototypes needed per new model has reduced to about ten to fifteen from 30 to 50 when testing was mandated.
“Crash simulation is carried out more than a maximum of two days nowadays, which has taken the time out from the development cycle,” Epple told Automotive News Europe. With each prototype costing about 500,000 pounds (about 685,000 euros), that reduction has saved lots of money. The JLR executive added that it also has improved crash performance: “Now you can hit a wall at 50 mph leaving the automobile without being injured.”
JLR desires to push simulation even further. By 2020 it aims to engineer new models entirely on the computer prior to the tooling phase, a source close to the firm said. In a few areas the automaker is definitely close to this goal. The aerodynamic styling for the Jaguar XE midsize premium sedan was finalized with no need to create a prototype to check in a wind tunnel, JLR said. That helps because JLR doesn’t own a wind tunnel, a situation that’s not likely to change for about another year, Epple said.
To test the XE’s aerodynamics JLR utilizes 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. However are limited on the experimenting they are able to do over a prototype in a wind tunnel, Exa CEO Stephen Remondi said. “There’s only an inch of clay on that model. If you wish to dramatically modify the rake of the windshield, you can’t,” he told Automotive News Europe.
Exa also uses its CFD program, Powerflow, to handle a variety of other issues on new models, starting from reducing dirt kicked up by the wheels to cutting wind noise and aiding cooling. Remondi said thermal simulation will help reduce the chance of cooling issues arriving at light following the design continues to be frozen. “You stop that situation where, suddenly you can’t turn this part out of plastic anymore because it’s melting. It’s now reached be steel and suddenly the gain margin has dropped,” he stated.
Simulation’s single-biggest weakness is failing to give accurate dynamic feedback regarding how a car drives, JLR’s Epple believes. With regards to honing a brand new model’s handling characteristics, a driver in a real-life car is still the best validator, he stated.
Jaguar avoided the wind tunnel test as a result of computer simulation completed to measure airflow on the car. UK-based Ansible Motion, which develops vehicle dynamics simulators, believes it offers solved this challenge with its so-called Automotive Molding which costs between 1 million and 2 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 neglect to do. “They’re mechanically not capable of offering the right sensations towards the driver,” he said. “With our system you can develop vehicle dynamics in a virtual environment to some sufficient level that it’s actually useful.”
Ansible a year ago delivered certainly one of its systems to Ford. Ansible has made seven other systems, five have been sold to automakers and 2 to customers utilizing Formula One racing. The company declined to reply to its other clients. The automotive industry is currently dealing with a transformative period. Carmakers today must act quickly and smartly, anticipating market changes to bring affordable, exciting new products to consumers. To do so, companies now count on rapid prototyping, which is completely transforming just how engineers create and test car designs, affecting a number of different auto careers during this process.
Whether it’s to validate a futuristic concept for a vehicle or perhaps a refresh a timeless car to accommodate the needs of today’s drivers, three-dimensional rapid prototyping accelerates the creative process and decreases the time and money used on clay modeling and molding of expensive prototype parts. Designers and engineers around the globe have the ability to see and touch their creations faster as well as at less expensive, which then enables them to receive real-world feedback on their designs making hbvpyy to enhance them.
Before a part is made within the China Plastic Molding, your computer model itself is tested for proper airflow in a simulation environment. The 3D prototyping environment can produce a fully detailed vehicle, like 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 develop a new part for wind tunnel testing, permitting them to test more iterations of the identical part in less time. Ventilation with the engine compartment and underneath the car is crucial to both cooling the engine and lowering drag, which is why the wind tunnel is utilized for advanced tests.
In comparison to old-style clay models that had to be re-sculpted each time, this can be night and day, as engineers now receive feedback at multiple stages along the way. More time is spent evaluating the impact of the changes than waiting around for changes in be produced. This will make it much better to test an unconventional idea, as all is needed is manpower.