All posts by Bruce Jenkins

Maximizing aircraft economy through multidisciplinary winglet optimization

Winglets increase the lift generated at the wingtip by smoothing the airflow across the upper wing side near the tip. Winglets also reduce the lift-induced drag caused by wingtip vortices, improving the lift-to-drag ratio of the aircraft.

Executive summary—Wingtip devices are intended to reduce aircraft drag through partial recovery of the tip vortex energy. Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) used Noesis Solutions’ Optimus to automate and couple FEM and CFD simulations to identify optimized winglet design configurations offering operational and environmental benefits. Optimus realized a 1.2% reduction in aircraft takeoff weight for a typical mission profile at 1G cruise speed. It achieved this by balancing the aerodynamic benefits and weight penalties of a passenger aircraft model integrating wing reinforcement to withstand winglet induced loads. Optimus’ design of experiments (DOE) and response surface modeling (RSM) capabilities helped FHI engineers understand the impact of winglet characteristics on aircraft performance up-front. Global design optimization enabled them to reduce the aircraft’s cruise drag by 4% and its takeoff weight by 676 kilograms, while respecting the shock induced separation (SIS) airflow constraint. Continue reading

NAFEMS Simulation 20/20 webinar series

NAFEMS announced an initiative to collaborate with industry thought leaders and end-user companies to develop and deliver a webinar series titled Simulation 20/20—The Next Five Years. This year-long program offers 14 webinars aimed at advancing the understanding, usability and application of current and emerging CAE technologies and methodologies. The series commenced Thursday, August 27 with a webinar titled Democratizing CAE that discussed how CAE analysis is being deployed to a broadening group of users throughout product development using template-based simulation applications. Webinar presentations and recording available here. Following will be three webinars based on case studies related to the democratization topic: Expert Knowledge Capture & Reuse, Usability and Accessibility. Continue reading

Benefits of a managed hardware/software HPC appliance for CAE design exploration

Source: Stanley Black & Decker

Last week’s case study looked at how Stanley Black & Decker’s DeWALT Industrial Tools brand optimized the efficiency and user comfort of its products at the same time as their robustness and durability with Altair’s AcuSolve, HyperMesh and HyperStudy software. This week’s story is how Stanley Black & Decker chose Altair’s HyperWorks Unlimited appliance to optimize its CAE processes for power tool design. The fully managed HPC system includes unlimited license for the HyperWorks suite of solvers, design exploration, meshing and visualization products as well as the PBS Works suite for HPC workload management.

Challenge: Improving the capacity for design optimization and innovation

As a global power tool leader, Stanley Black & Decker (SBD) is constantly seeking ways to maintain a competitive edge and bring better-performing products to market faster. In particular, when it came to optimizing the hammer mechanism design for their top-selling rotary hammers, SBD engineers knew they needed a CAE-based approach. Continue reading

Fan optimization in industrial electric power tools

Industrial electric hammer. Source: Stanley Black & Decker/DeWALT

Development of modern electric power tools for professional applications requires simultaneous attention to two sets of product attributes: those that determine a tool’s efficiency and user comfort, and those that determine its robustness and durability. To optimize both sets of attributes together, Stanley Black & Decker Deutschland GmbH relies on computer-aided simulation using Altair’s AcuSolve CFD flow solver in combination with its HyperMorph mesh manipulation tool and HyperStudy multidisciplinary design exploration, study and optimization software. In a paper presented at the 2013 European Altair Technology Conference in Turin, Italy, the company described how these simulations were used throughout the product development cycle—from the pre-development phase, through testing near-series prototypes, and beyond to improving designs based on product-failure returns. Continue reading

Bi-objective optimization of a waveguide


Waveguides are structures that guide electromagnetic waves, sound waves or other kinds of wave. Their function is to propagate a signal while minimizing energy loss by restricting its expansion to one dimension or two. A common application is signal transmission between components of a system such as a radio, radar, or other electronic or electro-optical device. This case involved bi-objective optimization of a waveguide for correct power split with minimal reflection loss. Continue reading

Aerodynamic optimization: Automotive engineering’s next strategic frontier

Source: Exa

With the unprecedented demands on today’s vehicle engineering organizations, auto makers face a daunting challenge to reach their next targets for aerodynamics drag using traditional tools and methods. Trial-and-error development using wind tunnel testing achieved a coefficient of drag of 0.3. Introducing digital simulation to sequentially improve designs brought CD down to 0.24 for today’s best performing cars. But most companies have the next target set to 0.2. Without either a radical increase in time and resources—not a realistic solution for most—or else a radically more efficient and effective approach to aerodynamics engineering, this target will remain all but out of reach. Continue reading

North American modeFRONTIER Users’ Meeting 2015

ESTECO issued a call for presentations for the 4th edition of the North American modeFRONTIER Users’ Meeting, which will take place November 4-5, 2015 at the Sheraton Detroit Novi Hotel in Michigan. The gathering of modeFRONTIER enthusiasts provides a unique forum for sharing knowledge and learning about the latest applications, methods and techniques used to advance product innovation through simulation and design optimization. Event information here.

Structural optimization for automotive chassis weight reduction

Figure 1: Ferrari F458 Italia front hood: reference model and new layout from optimization results. The optimization was performed in three stages: topology, topometry and size. (a) Reference model, top view. (b) Reference model, bottom view. (c) Optimum layout. Source: MilleChili Lab

Executive summary—Improvements in design of vehicle structural components are often achieved through trial and error guided by the designer’s know-how. Although the designer’s experience must remain a fundamental element of design, this approach is likely to yield only marginal product enhancements. Design processes can be improved through structural optimization methods linked with finite element analysis. This study of weight reduction in automotive chassis design is based on approaches developed at MilleChili Lab, part of the MilleChili Project created by the University of Modena Engineering Faculty in collaboration with Ferrari to research and design a lightweight automotive chassis for high-performance cars. Continue reading