Towards a One Day Frame Model Build

Paper #:
  • 2017-01-1314

  • 2017-03-28
Virtual Verification (VV) of engineering designs is a critical enabler in the Product Development (PD) process to reduce the time-to-market in a cost efficient manner. Reliance on cost effective VV methods have significantly increased with increased pressure to meet customer expectations for new products at reduced PD budgets. Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) is one such VV method that affords an engineer to make decisions about the ability of the designs to meet the design criteria even before a prototype is built. The first step of the CAE process is meshing which is a time consuming, manual and laborious process. A solid mesh for an automobile powertrain engine mount can take between 4 to 8 days for an expert meshing engineer to complete. This paper proposes two meshing techniques that significantly speed up this meshing process with systematic automated procedures. The first proposal deals with meshing seam welds that are ubiquitous in an automobile frame structure. Efficient usage of apriori generated mid-surfaces with CAD tools improves the time taken to mesh in a CAE tool by as much as 50%. Similarly weld curves generated in a CAD tool are used to convert the welds that are traditionally represented as solids into surfaces. This surface representation of welds is then used as the input to the CAE tool to make the meshing process further efficient. Key techniques for weld quality correction, base metal meshing, freezing significant surface features before zone-cut, deleting cross welds, zone-cut for seam welds, and automated assessment of the quality of the resultant meshes are shown to reduce the overall turn-around-time from CAD to mesh by > 60%. The second proposal involves a geometry based tool selection process that exploits the repetitive nature of the modeling tasks and also the fact that different software have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Tailoring the component geometry to suit the modeling tool in order to exploit and leverage the strengths of the particular tool can significantly reduce the time required for meshing with that particular tool. The proposed process exploits the best qualities of the various available tools; ANSA for automated geometry cleanup and its batch mesh capabilities, simlab for template based automated meshing, and HM for its ability for finer quality correction towards the end of the meshing process. Examples using powertrain engine components show the proposed combination of tools can reduce the meshing time by as much as 80%.
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