THE CHALLENGES FACING THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY

Automotive

The Automotive industrial sector is characterized by the intrinsic complexity of its products, and the continuous need to contain costs within the industry in order to make the vehicles produced accessible to a broader range of customers and to compete with cheaper labor costs in the emerging economies.

The Automotive Challenges

Players in the automotive industry must consider:

  • a customer driven market both in terms of pricing and features
  • ever more stringent regulatory requirements to improve safety, with the aim of reaching zero accidents and zero casualties when accidents do occur, and the environment with the aim of lowering carbon emissions and increased recyclability of the totaled or decommissioned vehicles

In this scenario OEM car manufacturers are competing based on their ability to best address strategic changes related to the:

  • improvement of time-to-market processes for new vehicles that meet their consumer’s demands
  • re-engineering of business processes aimed at reducing product development and manufacturing costs
  • creation of “virtual enterprises” that comprise the OEM and tier 1 partners, where there is a sharing of risks and economic benefits

Computer-based Engineering in the Automotive Industry

The automotive industry has been using computer-based engineering since the 1980s.

Initially simulations were limited to structural verification of single components, with the first simulations for production processes such as foundry, deep-drawing and plastic molding. Since then, technological advancements have made the computer processing power available at lower costs. This has led to the virtual simulation, of both components and complex systems, with a high degree of confidence, making it an integral part of the product design and development process for both the OEM and tier 1 and tier 2 suppliers to the automotive industry.

For the last several years the industry has been investing in simulation based engineering projects and OEMs and their suppliers are now putting more emphasis on multiobjective optimization.

Today, numerical simulation models are indispensable tools for:

  • reducing the time to market and product development costs, especially in the design phase of a product when crucial choices are made and where the subsequent reversal of those choices can prove to be extremely costly
  • facing new technological challenges related to:
    • the use of new materials such as light alloys, high strength steel, composites and  nanomaterial coatings
    • new manufacturing processes and joining technologies
    • new methane, biogas, fuel cell, hydrogen or electric fuel systems that are either running solely on that fuel or as a hybrid system
    • new vehicle architecture for city driving or hybrid vehicles
    • optimization, driven by the need for improved components, systems and the entire vehicle – this has inevitably led to the use of numerical simulation in the design phases as opposed to using it just in the verification phase

What can EnginSoft do for you?

EnginSoft has been a player in virtual simulation since its inception. With years of consultancy projects behind it in the automotive industry, EnginSoft boasts a broad range of multi-disciplinary expertise which spans from  mechanical and resistance analyses, deformability and durability, crash analysis and ride comfort to the thermal, fluid dynamic, acoustic, electromagnetic and optical fields. Using the best commercial tools for the job, and writing custom routines when necessary to complete the job, we cover simulation and the optimization of the entire production processes.

Case Study

  • Woodrail Road Barrier Impact Analysis

    The Woodrail® road barrier is designed to improve vehicle safety blending in with the surrounding environment. The barrier has been thoroughly tested and certified against car and bus impact conditions. Since road barriers are built to improve safety of larger road vehicles, they are potentially very dangerous for motorcyclists. For this reason, Woodrail designed a protection system to explicitly account for impact of a human sliding on the road surface and hitting the road barrier Learn more ...

  • Drag Optimization of the E-1 Electric Racecar

    A FIA E-1 class racecar was being developed by Brigham Young University to set a world speed record for Electric Vehicles. The car is designed to race on the ultra-flat Salt Flats in Bonneville, Utah. The racecar weighs less than 500kg so increasing the downforce was critical. Reducing aerodynamic drag was also critical due to the power requirements of the racecar. Learn more ...

  • Multiphase CFD Analysis of condensation in automotive headlamps

    EnginSoft implemented a new 3D CFD multi-phase model to simulate the water condensation-evaporation processes inside automotive headlamps for Automotive Lighting, a leading supplier of quality headlights to the OEM market. The scope of this project was to provide the company a simulation tool that would assist in the design of an advanced headlamp with a reduced propensity to form internal condensation. Learn more ...

  • Cold Forging of a Silent Block Bush Steel Sleeve

    The object of this study was simulating and optimizing the cold forging process for a silent block bush steel sleeve. A block bush consists of two concentric steel sleeves with rubber securely bonded between them to fill up the void and absorb torsional, axial and radial loads. Silent block bushes are typically used in suspension systems in the automotive industry to absorb load and minimize suspensions. Learn more ...

  • Cold Forging of an Hex M26 Nut

    The scope of this study was to simulate the entire production process of a Hex M26 nut, manufactured on a four-station automatic press. The aim was to replicate the die filling routines at each station in order to evaluate and ultimately improve the quality of the part. The insertion of the nylon washer into the hex nut was also simulated in order to identify the most suitable die design that would guarantee a correct snap-fit. Learn more ...

  • Integrated Design of a Steel Wheel Hub

    This study deals with the optimization of a 42CrMo4 steel wheel hub used by FIAT and was conducted by EnginSoft on behalf of the Fiat Group Automobiles (FGA). The aim of the study was to optimize the design and manufacturing process to improve the strength of the hub, reduce defects and save on material and material waste. The first part of the study rotated around an improved geometry for the part and an optimized forging process. Learn more ...

  • Gravity Die Casting of Motorcycle Components

    The advent of the Naked Motorcycle has changed the way we look at motorcycle parts. In addition to being of excellent quality, reliable, efficient and cost-effective, they now also need to be aesthetically pleasing because they are mostly visible to the naked eye. Learn more ...

  • Front Cover High Pressure Die Casting

    FORD was producing front covers using high pressure die casting in aluminum alloy using a single cavity die. Due to high production requirements they needed to become more efficient in the production of their front covers by creating two at a go using a dual cavity die, while maintaining the existing quality level of their front cover. This meant that they needed to attain a filling behavior that was more or less identical to that of a single cavity die. Learn more ...

  • High Pressure Die Casting Optimization of a Connecting Rod

    Connecting rods connect the pistons to the crank shaft in automotive engines and are vital components of the engine. Connecting rods are traditionally produced in ferrous metals by forging or die casting. The Abor foundry, long time suppliers of connecting rods to the automotive industry, engaged EnginSoft to carry out a multi-objective engineering simulation study of the connecting rods manufacturing process. Learn more ...

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