Browse Publications Technical Papers 2019-26-0104

Stabilizer Foot Optimization for Backhoe Loader 2019-26-0104

Continuous improvement and weight reduction are key contributors to success of most of the Product Engineering Organizations. This helps to keep the product competitive in market from cost, weight and performance stand point. It needs to be ensured to have enough strength in the structures to support the external loads along with quality requirements. This can be ensured by removing material from redundant zones and provide it at necessary areas carrying loads.
In current paper, author covers information about utilization of topology optimization tool to achieve the weight reduction and in turn cost reduction to contribute in the organizations Value Improvement efforts.
Stabilizer foot optimization is an opportunity explored in construction vehicle (Backhoe). Current stabilizer foot is a common design across multiple models that range in performance and weight capability. The stabilizer foot function is to stabilize the machine transferring the load from the backhoe through to the ground surface. The foot is also used as a primary vehicle lifting point. Machine performance varies 40% from the largest to smallest models which presents an opportunity to develop an optimized solution targeting the smaller machine performance requirements.
This paper covers information about confirming opportunity from existing FEA and physical testing reports. It is followed by providing envelope geometry to optimization tool to get optimized geometry. The geometry from optimizer is further used for development of stabilizer foot geometry from manufacturing, strength (FEA) and design mistake proofing point of view. Topology optimization methodology helped to offer new design with following advantages 1. Target weight reduction (12%), 2. Design with required strength and functionality, 3. Reduction in FEA iterations time.
Author recommend to perform physical test of Stabilizer foot to increase confidence to go to production and use of this methodology on projects of similar nature.


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