Automotive Component Development in an Integrated Concurrent Engineering Framework: Engine Maniverter Design Optimization 2006-01-0389
Recently, in the automotive industry, the pressure to improve profitability has been increasing sharply and companies have reacted promptly embarking in aggressive cost reduction activities. While cost cutting may represent a short term remedy, we argue that, long-term profitable growth is achieved only through holistically redesigning man-centric processes and setting up tools that eliminate waste and increase operational efficiency for the maximization of the value added to products. Product Development Computerization (PDC), i.e. the design activity carried out semi-automatically by CAx software, is believed to bring significant (about 50%) development cost and time savings and to enable unprecedented levels of business agility. In the present work, the concept of PDC has been applied to an exhaust manifold including a catalytic converter. The approach features a multi-disciplinary optimization executed in a highly integrated concurrent engineering software framework. Results are remarkably promising: projected development cost and time savings are higher than 70%, with important side effects of increased flexibility and product innovation. Technical challenges include the integration of disparate analysis codes as well as overcoming geometrical infeasibility of parameterized system designs.