Kennings, P., Senapati, U., Fothergill, D., and Syred, F., "A Novel Use of Acoustic and Vibration Simulation Techniques to Develop Better Ride Comfort for a Luxury Cabriolet Car," SAE Technical Paper 2013-01-1956, 2013, doi:10.4271/2013-01-1956.
There has always been a challenge to reduce product development time and costs due to physical prototyping. This technical paper details a novel approach used to develop aspects of the ride comfort performance for a luxury cabriolet vehicle. The approach makes use of Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) techniques to predict the ride comfort performance differences due to a change in specification and then uses a physical reproduction technique so that the customer can assess the effect of those specification changes.Specifically, the vehicle is created in CAE using all of the dynamic characteristics that influence the ride comfort performance such as mounting characteristics, rigid body mechanical properties and, particularly important in the case of the Cabriolet car, body structural performance. Specification change filters are then created in simulation that helps assessment of the effects on performance.Traditionally, Ride Comfort development involved the results from CAE, which limits the engineer to producing graphs and animations that represent the tactile point responses. This approach has been taken a step further by linking this objective data to subjective feel by using a Full Vehicle Simulator (FVS).This approach enables the engineering team to engage senior management in this development process. Attributes important to customers can be evaluated in a laboratory-based car which helps select the desired specifications. To strike a successful attribute balance, experiments were conducted to compare the subjective performance of compliance systems for all attributes whilst including the influence of the flexible bodyshell. This physical simulation approach is now being used on all new projects at Bentley Motors and has become the key approach for the development of the car for Ride Comfort owing to its cost benefit and early influence in the design process.