To understand how LOVATO Electric has changed the way it designs its products, we need to review the original process. In the past, each new product was the result of a rigid multibody analysis, based on experience gained over the years by designers, and from both mechanical and electrical experimental tests. This method was very expensive in terms of time and resources and sometimes, too many iterations were needed to meet the specifications because of the use of inappropriate engineering tools.
Traditional embedded multibody CAD software lacks the threedimensionality of the contact and cannot take into account the flexibility of the parts. These aspects make them unsuitable for applications where the contact surfaces are highly processed (such as in the switch control assembly), and the deformation of the body affects the delay with which the quick-break, quick-make operations are carried out.
LOVATO Electric was looking for a tool that could address all these aspects from the beginning of the design process, helping it to reduce the number of prototypes. That was when RecurDyn came into play with its unique features for detailed contact analysis (GeoSurface) and its proprietary technology for Multi Flexible Body Dynamics (FFlex).
Fig. 2 - Leaf-springs in the pole mechanism
After a period in which LOVATO Electric, shadowed by EnginSoft’s multibody team, tested RecurDyn’s capabilities, it was able to insert RecurDyn correctly into its product design cycle. LOVATO Electric is now able to predict the dynamics with high accuracy, and to identify the optimal configuration, increasing effectiveness and requiring the use of the laboratory for validation purposes only.