Rakowska, J., Chator, A., Barthelemy, B., Lee, M. et al., "An Iterative Application of Multi-Disciplinary Optimization for Vehicle Body Weight Reduction Based on 2015 Mustang Product Development," SAE Int. J. Mater. Manf. 8(3):685-692, 2015, doi:10.4271/2015-01-0470.
Designing a vehicle body involves meeting numerous performance requirements related to different attributes such as NVH, Durability, Safety, and others. Multi-Disciplinary Optimization (MDO) is an efficient way to develop a design that optimizes vehicle performance while minimizing the weight. Since a body design evolves in course of the product development cycle, it is essential to repeat the MDO process several times as a design matures and more accurate data become available. This paper presents a real life application of the MDO process to reduce weight while optimizing performance over the design cycle of the 2015 Mustang. The paper discusses the timing and results of the applied Multi-Disciplinary Optimization process. The attributes considered during optimization include Safety, Durability and Body NVH. Several iterations of MDO have been performed at different milestones in the design cycle leading to a significant weight reduction of the already optimized design by over 16kg. Some examples of additional MDO studies optimizing parts of the Body structure for performance improvement or additional weight savings are also provided.