Automation in Simulation Process: Simplifying the Complexity in Vehicle Design 2018-01-0471
General Motors (GM) vehicle design operations group has envisioned that all designers and Design Engineers (DEs) should be able to analyze simple and single components and produce robust subsystem parts to support full vehicle system analysis. This vision is achieved by developing the Smart Simulation Tool (SST) within the Siemens NX CAD system. This tool empowers the designers to take charge of simple parts and produce high quality parts first time. This tool will also make both design and engineering analysis organizations at General Motors more efficient and productive.
This paper describes the Smart Simulation Tool that was developed to automate the pre and post processing tasks of the Siemens NX Advanced Simulation process. Generally, the simulation process consumes a lot of designer’s time for building the Finite Element Analysis (FEA) models, typically one to two hours and is very tedious and has the potential for errors. The Smart Simulation tool has automated analysis tasks within NX system such as selecting a component, creating the finite element model and simulation files, assigning material properties, calculating size of mesh, meshing the model, applying loads and boundary conditions, solving the analysis model, and finally post processing the model. The Smart Simulation Tool also generates the analysis report in PowerPoint format with no further input in to the system. The report includes model setup with loads and boundary conditions, stress plot, strain energy density plot, and embedded 3D modal analysis frequency animations and contour displacement plots. It also has the option of uploading the deformed shapes, results files and the reports back into the Simulation Data Management and Siemens Teamcenter.
The targeted users of the Smart Simulation Tool are designers, designing engineers, simulation engineers across several GM organizations, such as body design, interiors, exteriors, chassis, closures, electrical design, propulsion systems etc. The Smart Simulation Tool can be used for performing single component and assembly analyses (Linear Static Solution 101, and Modal Frequency Solution 103 and basic Nonlinear Analysis Solution 106) to assess stiffness, structural performance and permanent set. The main benefits of this Smart Simulation Tool are improvement in efficiency (10 X times faster), 70% reduction in modeling time, and tremendous cost savings. This tool can handle both 2D shell elements and 3D tetra mesh elements. Pre-determined mesh criteria is loaded into the Auros data base system and can be accessed through the Smart Simulation Tool when the component is selected. Other rules that are incorporated in the tool are: when determining maximum stresses, the elements directly attached to bolt connections will not be considered; and when using SHELL elements, the tool disregards stresses on triangular (TRIA) elements. The Smart Simulation Tool also ensures consistency in analysis results and simplifies the complexity in vehicle design by reducing the design iterations. It has also built-in automated tools for quickly creating bolts spiders and different type of weld connections. Simulation analysis models can now be built in less than five minutes for simple assembly components. This paper discusses the features incorporated into the Smart Simulation Tool such as One Click Simulation, Gage Optimization, and Material Recommendation through some actual design examples and also correlates the analysis data with test results and other solvers. Finally, the Smart Simulation Tool enables the designers to develop better products faster, cheaper and with higher quality every time.