How to Optimise your Vehicle Design using Outsourced CAE
Continuous Drive for Optimisation
As a designer or manufacturer of complete vehicles or vehicle components you are under constant pressure from both customers (internal and external) and the government to improve performance, reduce price and meet ever changing legislative requirements. This creates a few challenges.
Challenges to Optimisation
- First, these requirements are often competing and some level of trade-of is inevitable. For example meeting the latest safety regulations may require the addition of advanced driver aids and electronics which will add cost and potentially reduce performance through reduced reliability or increased weight.
- Second, even within the Performance category there are tradeoffs to be made between the different attributes. For example, one way to improve safety is to increase the strength of the structure of the vehicle. This could be achieved by increasing the size of the structural members. However by increasing the size of the member will the weight of the vehicle be negatively affected. Additionally by increasing weight what impact will that have on the dynamics and braking?
CAE as an Enabler to Optimised Engine Design
There are two ways to test whether your design changes have successfully met the objectives: physical and virtual.
Physical testing requires building a prototype and testing either in a rig that represents real world application conditions or in a vehicle. Whilst physical testing can give you the truest feedback it can be incredibly time consuming and expensive.
Testing the component or assembly virtually using Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) tools can reduce the cost and time of your validation considerably. The accuracy of CAE tools and techniques has improved significantly over the last ten years and specialist tools have been developed to model specific products, physics or attributes.
Building In-house CAE Capability is Expensive
However building and maintaining a full CAE capability in-house can be expensive precisely because the discipline has become so specialised. Several types of software are typically required to cover each of the physics (e.g. 1D and 3D CFD, linear and non-linear FEA, multi-body dynamics, fatigue, chemical reactions); products (e.g. BIW, chassis, suspension, brakes); and attributes (e.g. weight reduction, performance, emissions, NVH). Each software can be expensive in its own right. On top of that is the expense of hiring and training each of the engineering specialists.
Outsourced CAE – A Cost Effective Solution
A solution to this is to outsource some or all of the CAE activities to a company that already has all of the tools and techniques required. For more on the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing CAE click here. There are many companies that can provide a range of these activities. Please download our handy guide to choosing the correct provider for you.
Unfortunately when outsourcing there is usually a compromise to be made between expertise and price.
The Caepro Advantage
Caepro has eliminated this compromise through implementing a unique business model. As one of our clients commented:
“The methodology followed was state-of–the-art and comparable with that of any international consulting houses [but] at lower cost”, Deputy General Manager, Indian Commercial Vehicle Engine Manufacturer. To view more client testimonials and see who some of our clients are please click here.
At Caepro we have a comprehensive set of software tools and procedures for simulating the performance of each component, both in isolation and in an assembly, to optimise their performance in each attribute whilst ensuring we minimise any negative impact of its performance in others. To get more information or to request a quote for Vehicle CAE please submit an enquiry.
Please click on the link on the left hand margin to find out more about each of the attributes and Caepro’s approach to optimising performance in each.