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Robert Roe finds that divergent safety regulations are forcing car manufacturers to turn to integrated simulation


safety standards


Electro-magnetic simulation from ESI L


egislation on car safety, performance and emissions varies across the world, with very little coordination between different regions. Although it may seem


paradoxical, one response has been for the providers of engineering simulation soſtware to link the different components of their soſtware more tightly together. Because the requirements in terms of energy,


emissions, and fuel efficiency have not been globally standardised, vehicle manufacturers are making use of increasingly sophisticated simulation to get new vehicles developed as quickly and cheaply as possible while making sure their newest models meet these standards.


Crash testing Maurice Linscott, UK country manager at ESI said: ‘Automotive engineers in particular tend to do a lot of simulation because of the legislative requirements. Te legal requirements for vehicles have become very onerous. Simulating against these requirements gives manufacturers a fast


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ARE USING INCREASINGLY SOPHISTICATED SIMULATION


track to overcoming that problem.’ ESI produces soſtware solutions ranging from CFD, vibro- acoustic and composite, to electromagnetic simulation tools and even virtual reality visualisation technology. Linscott stated ESI is focusing on linking these systems together providing a more in-depth analysis than was previously possible. Linscott explained that, in the company’s


virtual product solution (VPS), ‘you can link together the deformation of a vehicle when it crashes; how the body of the dummy behaves; how the airbag deploys when an impact occurs; and how the seatbelt system works, for example. We can link many different aspects to create a


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model that represents the body-in-white and all the trim, with the engine, gearbox and other major assemblies – every assembly if you wish – and crash it, and then evaluate that crash. We are able to link together different simulations, not just within the crash environment but also within the manufacturing environment as well.’


Optimising designs Esteco has also embraced this philosophy of linking systems together. However, its approach is to provide a system that links third party simulation tools, running many or even hundreds of design iterations within a given set of parameters, to optimise the design, in a process referred to as multidisciplinary design optimisation’ (MDO). Carlo Poloni, president of Esteco said:


‘Automotive engineers need to do a lot of simulations, for design but also to fulfil regulations for the safety of a car, as well as the performance of the car. In order to develop the product as quickly as possible, there needs to be a


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