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ESTECO VOLTA: the game-changer for SPDM & collaborative Design Optimization

Listen to a 30-minute deep dive into our software solution VOLTA SPDM and explore how to enhance your product performance.

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Optimizing the automotive manufacturing system design with modeFRONTIER
In this joint webinar, ESTECO and COMAU present the new outcome of the ProRegio project\*: a new approach for a System Design Platform able to respond to regional requirements while dramatically reducing manufacturing systems design cycle and quoting time. Andrea Ascheri from COMAU Spa presents the case study based on a Car Engine Assembly Production Line, where modeFRONTIER helped optimize the costs and layout responding to the different regional requirements. The webinar focuses on a novel approach to the preliminary design of complex production systems, capable of: Capture, store and re-use the existing technical knowledge Reduce the design time under region and customer dependent conditions with first-time-right design Integrate the design with visualization and analytics tools Improved design quality – evaluation of more design alternatives \*The presented results were conducted within the project “ProRegio” entitled “customer-driven design of product-services and production networks to adapt to regional market requirements”. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement n° 636966.
Introducing the VOLTA SPDM platform part 1 | Collaboration
This 2017 webinar introduces you to key concepts and provides an overview of VOLTA - the ESTECO platform for Simulation Process and Data Management and Design Optimization - with insights on exploiting enterprise engineering data and managing the entire simulation process. VOLTA acts as the engineering hub, where teams benefit from customizable data structures and fine-grained permissions to ensure efficiency for each role involved. Simulation experts can avoid the burden of managing “work in progress” data with the advanced version control system that traces, organizes and makes all kinds of simulation-related data accessible: from models to library files, methodologies, key results and reports. Watch the video and learn more about the VOLTA concepts: Project, Model, Plan, Evaluator and Session, Folder Based Structure, Dataset and Executed Sessions, Tags, Sharing and Notification System. Click here for the webinar Part 2
Integrating XFlow, WB-Sails and modeFRONTIER for olympic sail optimization
In this joint webinar, expert engineers from WB-Sails, Next Limit Dynamics and ESTECO demonstrate the advantages of the integration of their software, illustrating the details of the models, and presenting the results of the optimization. The focus of the webinar is to illustrate the optimization process used to enhance the shape of the sails used for Olympic disciplines and produced by the Finnish WB-Sails. The “flying shape” of the sail is modeled by a parametric CAD (Catia v5), and a non-stationary simulation is performed using XFlow, the CFD software by Next Limit Dynamics, recently acquired by Dassault Systèmes. The automatic simulation process was set up in modeFRONTIER. With only few simulation the optimization algorithm was able to identify the optimal shape, while minimizing resistance and heeling moment on the boat. Agenda: Olympic Sail Parametrization (Catia v5) modeFRONTIER integration with XFlow CFD software Optimization results and post-processing analysis
Success story
Hyperloop Makers UPV, Universitat Politecnica de Valencia. SpaceX Top Design Concept winners
modeFRONTIER helped the team select the optimum design in terms of travel experience, maximizing energy efficiency while accelerating design iterations and development time. The Hyperloop Makers UPV team from the Universitat Politécnica de Valencia was awarded the Top Design Concept and the Propulsion/Compression Subsystem Technical Excellence Awards at the 2016 SpaceX international challenge. The goal of the competition, launched by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, is to perfect its revolutionary land transport system, driven by compressed air and able to connect Los Angeles and San Francisco in 30 minutes. Whereas the majority of the competing teams opted for passive magnetic levitation or designing the passenger pod suspended on air bearings, Hyperloop UPV developed a system that enables levitation through the magnetic attraction of the pod to the top of the tube. This rail-free solution saves up to 30% on Hyperloop tube construction costs. ## Challenge The engineering challenge consisted in providing the base design for a 30-passenger cabin travelling as fast as possible through a vacuumed tube. Solution The technological solutions, in terms of comfort for the travelers subject to such high acceleration and cruise speed, were investigated by the team, assisted by advanced multiobjective optimization techniques. The computations related to the acceleration and cruise phase were set up in Excel and integrated into the modeFRONTIER workflow. The design variables mainly related to the compressor and the turbine (pressure ratio and discharge velocity) were automatically adjusted by the software to optimize the output results: acceleration time, specific energy required, pod mass and travel speed. ## Benefits “The effects of modifying even a single variable were, at best, difficult to explain as the physical models regarding the behavior of the system were highly interconnected and interdependent. With a traditional approach, this fact would have lead to a slow and difficult system optimum. modeFRONTIER on the other hand, enabled the team to obtain a family of optimum solutions for a range of inputs in a mere fraction of the time” said Germán Torres, Technical Director at Hyperloop Makers UPV Team. In terms of specific energy per passenger/km, the results show the pod consumes ten time less energy and travels ten times faster than traditional road transport. “We are developing a small levitation demonstrator for the next phase of the SpaceX International Challenge”, continued Torres, “in fact we plan use modeFRONTIER again to optimize the new Hyperloop design proposal”.
Success story
M-Fly. The University of Michigan Team at SAE Aero Design Competition
Long, freezing winters in Michigan leave the M-Fly team with only a month and a half to design and test their plane for the SAE Competition. Thanks to modeFRONTIER, the team can save precious time and improve their design. The SAE Aero Design Competition was created to connect engineering students with real-life engineering experiences and prepare them for their professional paths. As of this year, the M-Fly team participates both in the regular and the advanced class of the Competition. The 2016/2017 regular class objective is to maximize the amount of “passengers” on the plane without leaving empty seats - a realistic challenge faced by commercial airliners. The advanced class includes the design of the internal combustion power, static and dynamic payloads that must be dropped on a target during the flight, as well as the use of sensors and other electronic systems. M-Fly has partnered with ESTECO Academy and will benefit from free training and access to modeFRONTIER optimization platform to improve their aircraft design and validate analysis results faster. At M-Fly, our goal is to teach aerospace engineering, specifically aircraft design through competing at the SAE Aero Design competition. We balance winning and teaching, so we try to involve as many interested University of Michigan students in our project, while still designing the best aircraft for the competition. However, our design cycle is brutal as we have two major factors against us: our school year and the weather. If we want to finish the testing phase before we head to competition, we need to get to the final design by Thanksgiving and finish the construction in January: a very tight schedule. In Michigan, from December through March the temperature highs are hovering at freezing temperatures and opportunities for prime weather conditions to flight test are minimal. If we get lucky, we can perform a flight test or two before we head off to competition which is in the much nicer Southern United States (the competition rotates between Florida, Georgia, and Texas). The more time we have with a full aircraft built, the bigger are the chances of us getting more test flights in. That is where modeFRONTIER comes into play - it allows us to explore a much larger design space in significantly less time than we could do by ourselves. Just the Design of Experiments (DOE) runs give us more data that we have ever gotten in our past design cycles in terms of different configurations. We are currently using modeFRONTIER to do two things: iterate through many different configurations to optimize and do multi-disciplinary analysis since it interfaces so well with other analysis and CAD software we have here at Michigan such as ANSYS, StarCCM+, and SolidWorks. Instead of a standard design, analyze, build, test, go back to first step and repeat - design cycle, we can multiply the iterations for each step: design x 10000 -> analyze x 10000 -> downselect design -> build -> test and repeat the last 3 steps, with the first 3 steps taking only a couple of hours if needed. modeFRONTIER also has a superb post processing capability that allows us to analyze our results in many different ways to make sure we are choosing the right design, as well as provide insights into our design problem.
Success story
Optimizing metal 3D printing process at Clemson University
Jingyuan Yan, Ph.D in Department of Mechanical Engineering, used modeFRONTIER to develop his Ph.D research project focused on the design and optimization of the Direct Metal Deposition (DMD) process. DMD is a 3D printing process for metal, similar to welding, using powders instead of wire. It uses a continuous wave or pulsed laser to induce a melt pool on a substrate, and metallic powders are delivered into the pool via injection nozzles. The process is able to deposit different metal powders onto different locations of the powder substrate in order to manufacture multi-material parts according to user requirements at the microscale level. Despite the benefits of DMD, this process is not widely used in industry: the building powder waste, the need for reduction of energy usage and inaccurate material composition in the fabricated parts are still critical issues. The DMD system provided by Optomec was used to implement the research. During his research on DMD, Jingyuan worked on an injection nozzle designing first of all its geometry to maximize the process efficiency and investigate the relationship between the desired part’s composition and the process parameters. Jingyuan also wanted to improve the DMD process parameters considering their effect on efficiency when manufacturing multi-material parts. “In order to make the best use of powders and to minimize the laser energy consumption, we aimed at optimizing the process parameters. The bi-objective optimization problem was set up in modeFRONTIER workflow using the direct node to MATLAB. Eight design variables related to the process parameters (injection angles, velocities and nozzle diameters for the two materials as well as the laser power and the scanning speed) were set and automatically adjusted with modeFRONTIER to minimize the outputs results: powder waste and energy cost.". “The multi-objective genetic algorithm (MOGA-II)” continues Jingyuan, “turned out effective in driving the search process and identify the designs which met the constraints on the deposition of multiple materials. As we see in the scattered chart, the feasible designs show a trade-off relationship between the two objective functions. The Pareto front results, marked with green color, enable the users to rapidly select the configuration with lower powder waste.” “The calculation process took about three hours. Using modeFRONTIER, we saved about three days of calculation time compared to the traditional optimization method. In the future, the optimization method can be applied to analyze other combinations of materials used in DMD, with any powder feed rate ratio. The results will be validated with experimental tests and it will be possible to generate a database of optimal process parameters for any given condition to be reused for future DMD projects. In the long run, modeFRONTIER can help tailor the process parameters during the DMD manufacturing of functionally graded parts, in order to get an accurate material composition as desired.”
Success story
The Naviator. One of the best optimization projects at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
The Naviator, optimized using modeFRONTIER, was the first project to demonstrate an unmanned aerial and submersible vehicle that could operate both in air and underwater. At Rutgers, researchers in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering’s Laboratory for Experimental Fluids and Thermal Engineering, under the direction of prof. Diez, invented a remotely controlled drone similar to those used by hobbyists and professionals globally, but with one key difference – it is able to both fly and move underwater. The drone called Naviator, and funded in part by the Office of Naval Research, could speed search-and-rescue operations, monitor the spread of oil spills and even help the Navy rapidly defuse threats from underwater mines. Marco Maia, PhD candidate in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) working under Prof. F. J. Diez in the Rutgers Applied Fluids Lab and student in the Optimal Design course with Prof. Knight, worked at this outstanding project using modeFRONTIER. Most of our research thrusts involve fluids such as in electrokinetics, microfluidics & nanofluidics, wind energy, turbulence, laser diagnostics with PIV, biological flows. We pride ourselves on the applied nature of some of our research topics, such as in the development of electrokinetic thrusters, AUVs & seagliders and unmanned aerial systems. This vehicle gained a great deal of attention and Prof. Diez was able to secure a grant from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in the amount of ~$600k. Since then, this research project has grown and has been showcased in several news outlets. Recently, National Geographic visited Rutgers University to film our latest multi-medium vehicle in action for use in one of their pieces, which we were told would be unveiled later in the summer. The optimization project in the MAE Optimal Design course with Prof. Doyle Knight was a great opportunity to make the planned improvements to our new multi-medium vehicle platform. We cannot provide too many details on the vehicle itself until its unveiling, but when we designed the new platform we purposely made it into a skeleton that could benefit from aerodynamic volumetric additions. Thanks to ESTECO for kindly making available its technology for the students of this course. With modeFRONTIER I was able to easily integrate several software together, such as MATLAB, Solidworks or ANSYS Fluent and run the necessary simulations to determine the optimal geometry for these volumetric additions using several optimization algorithms. The result was an optimal set of solutions that minimized the drag and weight while maintaining near neutral buoyancy. The autonomy and visual aids of the software were truly remarkable-it definitely streamlines the optimization process. Thank you again for allowing us to use this very useful tool”.
Success story
HI-SEAS. NASA-funded Mars simulation habitat on Mauna Loa volcano, Hawaii
modeFRONTIER helps the astronaut-like researchers develop system models for sustainable living on Mars, in particular in terms of waste reduction and sustainable lifestyle. Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HISEAS) is a NASA-funded research project aimed to help determine the individual and team requirements for long term space exploration missions, including travel to Mars. HI-SEAS V is an 8-month Mars analog isolation mission that begun on January 19th, 2017. Two 8-month missions are scheduled starting in January 2017 and 2018. During the HI-SEAS Mission V, six researchers are studying human behavior on Mars by entering in a geodesic dome in the isolated environment of Mauna Loa volcano on the Hawaii Big Island, including 20-minutes delayed communication and partial self-sufficiency. The purpose of Campaign 3 is to directly address the IRP Team Risk: “Risk of Performance Decrements Due to Inadequate Cooperation, Coordination, Communication, and Psychosocial Adaptation within a Team”. Ansley Barnard is the Engineering Officer for Mission V. She is in charge of monitoring their life support systems and fixing things that break down. “On a space mission, the astronaut crew is very limited on what they can bring with them. Launch mass (fully fueled) is highly valuable, so every item you send on a rocket needs to be weight and size efficient, including food, water, research materials, and personal effects. When you are traveling far away, like a manned mission to Mars, you need more supplies and you have to burn more fuel to get everything there - this makes resource optimization even more challenging”. “Parametric modeling and optimization software tools like modeFRONTIER provide us with faster and more robust ways to optimize. It is possible to find trends that your human eyes might have missed, which can yield better solutions in less time. modeFRONTIER is an easy to learn tool with a lot of built-in capability and modular flexibility. It is possible to tailor the software to specific needs, and the modeFRONTIER support people have always been helpful when I feel stuck”. Moreover, our resources are limited and we have to use them wisely. If we run out of something before we are resupplied, we have to find a way to make do. Sustainable living is important to me on a personal level and is a big motivator for me to use an optimization approach in my engineering work. While in the habitat, I am hoping to learn more skills about efficient living, like using less water and power by making active choices in how I cook, shower or do laundry. These are real skills I can bring home with me. Just like in space, each of us can balance what we use with what resources are available if we have a curious and observant eye. Tools like modeFRONTIER can help us model systems, but changes are carried out through our actions. By building parametric models of our life support system, I hope to balance our resource needs and find ways for the crew to have energy and water available for all our research and personal uses. My goal is to make a tangible difference in how my crewmates live day-to-day in our mission and provide future HI-SEAS crews with updated engineering information on the habitat life support systems.
Success story
Optimized Engine Calibration at Toyota TDC
Toyota has virtualized a significant portion of its calibration and testing process, reducing dramatically the development time and man-hours dedicated to it. Mr. Goh [Project manager, TMC Laboratory Automation System, Toyota Technical Development Corp.] and Mr. Goto [Group Manager, Power Train Company, Engine Management System Development] talk about the benefits of using automated Design Exploration techniques to verify actuator responses and identify the best control values. “It’s easy to find the optimal control value for a single actuator but when looking to improve EGR, supercharging, VTT, direct injection, etc. With the number of actuators and consequently of the output variables and constraints, manually identifying the optimal control values would require a massive amount of time due to measurement tasks.”, says Mr. Goh. ## Methodology To test the engine, temperature and pressure sensors, torque and fuel consumption (gauge) meter and exhaust gas analyzer are installed and the control systems are implemented accordingly. The combined software iTEST and ORION – the automated control and measurement system for engine bench test implemented at Toyota – manages the controls equipment and collects the output from each instrument. These values are then validated by checking the reference maps. The complexity of the calibration procedure is streamlined by including modeFRONTIER for Calibration (mFC) in the process, directly integrated with ORION – that is used for automatic measurements. This replaces all the manual measurement tasks conducted at the engine test bench (laboratory) and relieves the team from the burden of the repeated iterations between the “design room” and the “laboratory”, where now measurement, modelling and accuracy evaluation can be automatically repeated. “To understand the output trend and find the optimal solution with experimental points, we used mFC to create a Design of Experiment, measure data, train and compare metamodels (RSMs). The next step of the process consists in determining the optimal Engine Control Units maps and finally test again on the real engine.” “mFC succeeds in reducing the difficulties experienced by calibration engineers when using tools for model-based calibration by providing a dedicated graphic interface to directly set parameters, lower and upper bounds. mFC automatically generates designs and RSMs, then iteratively evaluates the accuracy levels and stops the evaluations when the target model accuracy is reached.” Mr. Goh says. Since real engine test is influenced by the variability of control variables and by measurements error, sometimes the combination of temperature, pressure and torque cause the stop of the testing for safety reasons. ## Benefits By using a visual filter in mFC, this issue is easily identified and the DOE is automatically substituted with a more suitable dataset. “In any case, during the evaluation, it is easy to stop mFC and change the DOE. Given certain scenarios, with this technique we can reduce the number of evaluation by 50%” Mr Goh says. This method empowers the system engineering process by adding the capabilities of simulation and automation in the right side of the V-cycle, the experimental evaluation phase of the Verification and Validation model, where is hardly used. ESTECO modeFRONTIER technology has been widely used in the engine modeling phase, in combination with GT-SUITE. Mr. Goto says that by reciprocally using optimization result as continuous feedback between the design and testing phases, there is great potential for further accuracy improvement. “By performing optimization with real engine data, we can leverage the efficiency and accuracy gained during the testing back in model design. Thanks to the common use of both data and models, designer and calibration experts can work together and further improve our operations” concluded Mr. Goh, stressing collaboration among experts as a major benefit of this technology.
Integrating modeFRONTIER with Enventive and ANSYS Workbench
ESTECO and Enventive Engineering Inc. present the integration of modeFRONTIER, Enventive®, and Ansys Workbench to optimize the shape of an electrical connector. ​In this webinar Alexander Duggan ( Senior Application Engineer, ESTECO) and Kristin Dawson (Product Manager, Enventive Engineering, Inc.) demonstrate using Enventive® to analyze variation of the forces and friction between a pin and connector, coupled with using Ansys Workbench to determine the stress in the connector as it is deflected by the pin. By integrating Enventive® and Ansys Workbench, modeFRONTIER can optimize design parameters to ensure that the pin insertion force and contact reaction force fulfill design requirements while ensuring that the stress in the connector component does not exceed the yield strength of the material. Agenda: ANSYS Workbench for finite element analysis (FEA) Enventive's force and dimentional variation analysis modeFRONTIER integration with Enventive and ANSYS Workbench