Simplified CAE Models for Upfront Development of Instrument Panel 2016-01-0524
The Automotive industry’s use of digital technology such as Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) to perform virtual validation has progressed to effectively replace a large percentage of physical validation. This is primarily due to the increased accuracy and cost/time efficiencies that virtual validation offers compared to conventional physical prototyping and testing. With product development (PD) cycles becoming more compressed, CAE has assumed a more significant role in early, advanced design and structural evaluation. One of the areas where CAE is widely employed is in development of the Instrument Panel (IP) commonly referred to as the dashboard. For the purposes of this study, the term IP represents the plastic/polymer structure only, and not the full IP sub-system. The IP sub-system includes the structural member, the Cross Car Beam (CCB) assembly and all the IP mounted modules.
The primary objective of this exercise is to guide upfront IP design using a simplified representation of the IP sub-system. The CCB assembly is represented as a parametric, simplified and scalable beam model. This simplified CCB model can then be used to simulate the IP sub-system as soon as the studio “class A” surface data is available in conjunction with assumptions for the masses of key IP mounted modules. The exercise is expected to yield a reliable process to guide the IP design, for structural stiffness objectives, at early stages of the PD cycle. To prove the effectiveness of this process, it is implemented on several IPs from different vehicle classes, and the global frequencies of the resulting simplified models are compared to the fully contented, traditionally built models.