Fan optimization in industrial electric power tools

DeWALT0
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

t-waveguide_1
Source: DATADVANCE

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

Ora_auto_aero_opt_image
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

ferrari1
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

Weld and adhesive optimization in vehicle body structure development

Executive summary—Passenger-vehicle structural performance is extremely sensitive to welds and adhesive bonds. Traditionally, multidisciplinary optimization (MDO) has been performed largely using thickness, shape and material grade as variables. This project’s objective was to optimize the spot weld count and linear length of adhesives in the body while balancing vehicle structural performance and weight. Various optimization scenarios were carried out: maintain current structural performance but minimize weld count, adhesive length and body weight; maintain current weld count and adhesive length but maximize structural performance and minimize weight; and others. Including welds and adhesives as variables in the MDO process provided additional design space to improve structural performance and reduce cost through spot weld and adhesive minimization. Continue reading

Optimization at ANSYS Automotive Simulation World Congress

automotive-simulation-world-congressOptimization was a theme running throughout the 2015 Automotive Simulation World Congress organized by ANSYS last week in Detroit. We attended sessions on topology, structural, aerodynamic, adjoint, multi-objective and multidisciplinary optimization that ranged across all the conference tracks—Powertrain, Body & Interior, Chassis, Electrification & Electronics. Continue reading

RBF-based aerodynamic optimization of an industrial glider

rbf1
Figure 1: Taurus glider

Executive summary—Improving the aerodynamic design of an industrial glider flying at Mach 0.08 was the goal of this project: RBF-based aerodynamic optimization of an industrial glider,” Emiliano Costa, D’Appolonia SpA, Rome, Italy; Marco E. Biancolini, Corrado Groth, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy; Ubaldo Cella, Design Methods (www.designmethods.aero), Messina, Italy; Gregor Veble, Matej Andrejasic, Pipistrel d.o.o., Ajdovščina, Slovenia.

The original design exhibited performance-degrading separation in the wing-fuselage junction region at high incidence angles. Using a numerical optimization approach designed to be affordable even with limited HPC resources, the separation was significantly reduced by updating the local geometry of fuselage and fairing while maintaining the wing airfoil unchanged. Shape variations were applied to the glider’s baseline configuration through a mesh morphing technique founded on the mathematical framework of radial basis functions (RBFs). Computational outputs were obtained using a combination of ANSYS DesignXplorer, ANSYS Fluent and RBF Morph software working in the ANSYS Workbench environment. Continue reading

Technology business strategy for 21st-century engineering practice