Automotive and off-highway were the first industries forced by the mechatronics revolution to move their engineering practices out of habits rooted in 1950s-era product architectures, into 21st-century methods grounded in simulation-led, systems-driven product development. Today’s smart, connected, self-aware and situationally aware cars, trucks and agricultural and construction equipment—managed by ultra-sophisticated onboard mechatronic systems-of-systems—are almost as far advanced from earlier-generation mechanical devices governed by primitive electromechanical (if that) control systems as relativity and quantum mechanics were from the classical physics of Newton and Maxwell. Products of that complexity simply can’t be successfully developed, integrated and validated using last-century tools and methods that leave discovery and remediation of system-level design flaws until detail design or even, disastrously, delivery to market. Continue reading
Discussions of how to bring simulation to bear starting in the early stages of product development have become commonplace today. Driving these discussions, we believe, is growing recognition that engineering design in general, and conceptual and preliminary engineering in particular, face unprecedented pressures to move beyond the intuition-based, guess-and-correct methods that have long dominated product development practices in discrete manufacturing. To continue meeting their enterprises’ strategic business imperatives, engineering organizations must move more deeply into applying all the capabilities for systematic, rational, rapid design development, exploration and optimization available from today’s simulation software technologies. Continue reading
Last week’s post surveyed the trend of integration between design exploration and optimization software and systems modeling and 0D/1D simulation tools. This week’s case study shows how the two technologies were used together in development of a new hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) to achieve the competing goals of improving fuel efficiency and meeting emissions targets.
Executive summary—A leading automotive OEM used Noesis Solutions’ Optimus design optimization and process integration software in conjunction with Maplesoft’s MapleSim multi-domain systems modeling and simulation tool in developing the HEV’s combined electric and combustion propulsion system. Optimus was used to automate the traditional guess-and-correct simulation-based design process, its optimization algorithms efficiently directing the system simulation campaign to identify the best HEV configurations. Using Optimus’ capabilities for design of experiments (DOE), response surface modeling (RSM) and multi-objective optimization (MOO), engineers improved fuel efficiency by 21% and traveling performance (legal emissions compliance) by 15%. With MapleSim providing HEV modeling and Optimus controlling simulation workflow execution, the design optimization was accomplished in just two weeks. Continue reading