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Paul Goossens, VP application engineering, Maplesoft

MapleSoft, based in Waterloo, On, Canada, has just launched its Driveline Component Library.

MapleSoft has been around as a technology problem-solving company since the mid- 1980s, producing our core product Maple. Considering the average car of today as a whole machine, one can estimate its overall energy conversion efficiency to be as low as 10 per cent, so there is huge scope for improvement. A notable MapleSoft client is Toyota.

In 2007, Toyota and MapleSoft entered a multi-year partnership to produce new tools for knowledge-rich physical modelling. One of the key things that a Toyota engineer said to me is that as a design model gets more and more complex, we are pushing the finite capacity of today’s computers to be able to handle or improve on this model. Moore’s Law does apply any more in terms of improved computing power over time. What evolved from that experience

was our relatively new software suite called MapleSim, a block-diagram based solution. Another key challenge facing this sector is how to combine different software packages together for working in different domains; the traditional ‘signal flow’ method is cumbersome and limited. Another problem to solve is that fidelity may need to be compromised to achieve performance. Our tools have strengths in the

mechanical and electrical markets. They are especially suitable for EV and HEV (electric and hybrid) vehicle technologies, where there is currently a lot of innovation happening. When it comes to the market place, all the simulation software

companies are competing for the same dollars, but we all have our strengths. What is coming out of the economic situation is that all parties are generally working towards better compatibility between the diverse packages – there is a greater willingness to cooperate. In September 2011, Maplesoft

announced the MapleSim Driveline Component Library, a collection of components for driveline modelling applications. Built with the involvement of several transmission manufacturers, this MapleSim add-on covers all stages in the powertrain, from the engine to the differential, wheels, and road loads, as well as vehicle dynamics.




MapleSim is a physical modelling and

simulation tool built on a foundation of symbolic computation technology. It efficiently handles all of the complex mathematics involved in the development of engineering models, including multi- domain systems, plant modelling and control design. With MapleSim, engineers develop high-fidelity, high-performance models in a fraction of the time it would take with other tools. By using MapleSim together with the MapleSim Driveline Component Library, engineers can mix the best of physical models and empirical data to maximise model fidelity, optimise designs, and improve overall vehicle fuel efficiency.

Chris Hayhurst, consulting manager for EMEA, MathWorks

MathWorks is a developer of mathematical computing software for engineers and scientists. Founded in 1984, the company employs 2,200 people in 15 countries, with headquarters in Natick, USA.

Over the past five years, manufacturers’ and designers’ demands on powertrain performance simulation have increased dramatically. Until about five years ago, the historical hydrocarbon-only engine design modification process was to look at the previous design and tweak it, but that could not continue when hybrid engines started to arrive. One of MathWorks’ primary products

is Simulink, a block diagram modelling technology, where the user can simply drag ‘blocks’ from a library to develop a graphical model, which can then be simulated to show system performance and allow every aspect of the system to be inspected and analysed.

The feature that makes Simulink a

great tool is that it can simulate different physical and functional domains, including combustion engine; clutches and gearboxes; electronic control systems; electrical motors; and dynamic vehicle behaviour, such as the acceleration of the vehicle that a certain engine torque will cause. Simulink can simulate the whole path between the driver and the road. Different manufacturers have adopted

very different architectures for the so-called hybrid powertrain whereas the ‘conventional’ petrol/diesel engine powertrain had a relatively standard design. There are at least three different approaches to hybrids: 1. Mild hybrid: For example Honda’s early entry into the market, the Insight, employs a relatively simple linear


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