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degree of information sharing between different design teams so that optimisation can take place quickly, with the best models available. Tis is what our soſtware allows you to do.’ ‘We automate the process of integrating


different models of a car from the manoeuvrability, crash testing, aerodynamics, and performance for example. Building and automating the design process allows the decision-maker to search for the best solutions that they are looking for.’


Designers in control Both strategies for optimising design give designers greater control as they can simulate the interaction between various systems, not just in a crash environment, but also during design and manufacturing. Esteco soſtware focuses on automating the analysis of each design so many more iterations can be created and evaluated – reducing the uncertainty and time in developing complex systems but oſten requiring significant compute power. Although legislation drives many of the


requirements behind automotive simulation, other pressures include strict development times and the need to control the cost of the project effectively. Linscott said: ‘To build a very crude body-in-white for crash is incredibly expensive. It takes a long time, because you have got all of the low-volume tooling, you have to assemble it, and then all you do is run it down a line and crash it.


MASS-


MANUFACTURED VEHICLES ARE COMPLEX SYSTEMS


Tat is one example, but there are a number of examples where previously you would be building physical assets in the industry. If you can replace these physical assets with a digital or simulation approach, you cut vast amounts of money out of the project and you cut vast amounts of time.’ It is for these reasons, Linscott said, that


simulation ‘has become such a powerful proposition, and used so aggressively. It has enabled car developers to cut their development times down to less than three years.’ Mass-manufactured vehicles are complex


systems and this means that there is a constant compromise between various parameters, such as weight and fuel efficiency. Esteco soſtware focuses on this multi-design approach to optimisation, which helps users to decide on the best solution to a given problem by large numbers of designs based on a pre-described set of parameters. Poloni said: ‘Typically you will have a goal, such as fuel consumption – which is related to


32 SCIENTIFIC COMPUTING WORLD


ESI’s ICI.DO virtual reality solution


the engine but it is also related to the mass of the car which, of course, has to be minimised. On the other side, some mass has to exist to protect the passengers. So that is a clear compromise that has to be found. It is the interaction between these design parameters that we enable with our soſtware.’ Poloni continued: ‘Suppose that you have a


car that has to follow different regulations for different countries – for example the NCAP in Europe for the safety of the car – this is something that is a must-have ,it is not something that you can do without. But you want to reduce the weight of the car, less kilograms means less cost at the end, and then you need to identify the areas where you can relax the design to fulfil the constraints. One way you can do this is the small modifications that you can do to pass through all the prescribed regulations. So satisfying constraints is another important issue – that is not necessarily optimising the car, but it just trying to get the vehicle within the design constraints.’


Simulating in-car electronics One of the tools that ESI offers is called the Computational Electromagnetic (CEM) solution for full virtual testing and it allows users to analyse EMC/EMI issues appearing in a wide spectrum of on-board electronics and complex cable networks. Linscott said: ‘Tat is the reason that electro-


magnetic simulation has become so prevalent within the simulation industry, because cars are becoming packed with lots of different types of electronics, both transmitting and receiving.’ Linscott continued: ‘All of those electronic


devices which these days are sitting in your car need to be validated in respect to their compatibility both within the vehicle and when the vehicle is on the road in an environment with many other vehicles. Again, simulation allows manufacturers to short circuit what would have been very difficult to model physically.’ Linscott continued: ‘Our end-to-end solution


is about being able to evaluate systems, but also linking it to more.’ He gave the example of the B-pillar in a normal car; this is the pillar on the side of the car that has the seatbelt attached to it and takes the side impact in the event of a crash. It is one of the more challenging components when designing the body-in-white for a car. Linscott explained that the soſtware can simulate different manufacturing processes from traditional cold- steel stamping, through laser-welding and then compare the benefits and trade-offs that occur when using different processes. Tis kind of simulation early on before manufacturing allows designers to fine-tune the material properties to get the strongest structure for the smallest amount of weight. It is the sort of area where simulation plays a valuable role for companies like VW who use that approach in their simulation and modelling. It was, Linscott concluded, ‘this ability to link things together that creates a much more meaningful simulation.


Cool engines Te transient cooling system of BMW’s six cylinder/225kW diesel engine represents an example of interlinking by Esteco. Te team of BMW engineers developed the air side and coolant circuit model using Kuli, supported


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