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Technical Paper

Robust Design of a Light Weight Flush Mount Roof Rack

Roof racks are designed for carrying luggage during customers' travels. These rails need to be strong enough to be able to carry the luggage weight as well as be able to withstand aerodynamic loads that are generated when the vehicle is travelling at high speeds on highways. Traditionally, roof rail gage thickness is increased to account for these load cases (since these are manufactured by extrusion), but doing so leads to increased mass which adversely affects fuel efficiency. The current study focuses on providing the guidelines for strategically placing lightening holes and optimizing gage thickness so that the final design is robust to noise parameters and saves the most mass without adversely impacting wind noise performance while minimizing stress. The project applied Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) techniques to optimize roof rail parameters in order to improve the load carrying capacity while minimizing mass.
Technical Paper

Robust Engineering with Symptomatic Responses

Great work has been done already in developing robust engineering techniques to improve ideal functions for systems and sub systems. Characterizing an ideal function as a dynamic response type is most preferred way to build quality into a product over a range of input signal values. However, when it is difficult to measure ideal functions, symptomatic outputs such as oil leaks, vibrations, and squeaks, are selected and treated as “Smaller-the-Better” response in non-dynamic response manner. A better approach is to reduce the symptomatic responses over the entire usage range. In order to accomplish this goal, engineers often switch output response and signal axes and apply dynamic response formulation for making the design robust. In this paper, a new and better formulation is proposed and compared with the other formulation. These two formulations were applied on a real automotive case study of decklid bobble and inaccuracies associated with the other formulation were discussed.
Technical Paper

Optimum Constraint Strategy for Liftgates

The present study defines the functional requirements for a liftgate and the body in order to avoid rattle, squeak, and other objectionable noises. A Design For Six Sigma (DFSS) methodology was used to study the impact of various constraint components such as bumpers, wedges, and isolated strikers on functional requirements. These functional requirements include liftgate frequency, acoustic cavity frequency, and the stiffness of the liftgate body opening. It has been determined that the method of constraining the gate relative to the body opening has a strong correlation to the noise generated. The recommended functional performance targets and constraint component selection have been confirmed by actual testing on a vehicle. Recommendations for future liftgate design will be presented.
Technical Paper

Development of Robust CAE Modeling Technique for Decklid Slam Analysis

Engineering has continuously strived to improve the vehicle development process to achieve high quality designs and quick to launch products. The design process has to have the tools and capabilities to help ensure both quick to the market product and a flawless launch. To achieve high fidelity and robust design, mistakes and other quality issues must be addressed early in the engineering process. One way to detect problems early is to use the math based modeling and simulation techniques of the analysis group. The correlation of the actual vehicle performance to the predictive model is crucial to obtain. Without high correlation, the change management process begins to get complicated and costs start to increase exponentially. It is critical to reduce and eliminate the risk in a design up front before tooling begins to kick off. The push to help achieve a high rate of correlation has been initiated by engineering management, seeing this as an asset to the business.
Technical Paper

A Displacement-Approach for Liftgate Chucking Investigation

A displacement-based CAE analysis is applied to liftgate chucking noise problems. A CAE simulation model of a small-size sport utility vehicle (SUV) is simulated with a set of realistic road loads as a time transient simulation. The model contains a trimmed vehicle, a liftgate and structural body-liftgate interface components such as the latch-striker wire, contact wedges and slam bumpers. Simulation design of experiments (DOE) is carried out with the model. As performance measures, the relative displacements at the contact points of the interface components are selected, since they are considered the direct cause of liftgate chucking. As design variables, body structure stiffness, liftgate stiffness, liftgate opening stiffness, stiffness characteristics of the interface components and additional liftgate mass are selected. Results of the simulation DOE is post-processed, and response surface models (RSM) are fit for the performance measures.
Technical Paper

Trivial Principal Component Analysis (TPCA): An Improved Modeling Approach

Trivial Principal Component method (TPC) was developed recently to model a system based on measured data. It is a statistical method that utilizes Eigen-pairs of covariance matrix obtained from the measured data. It determines linear coefficients of a model by using the trivial eigenvector corresponding to the least eigenvalue. In general, linear modeling accuracy depends on the strength of nonlinearity and interaction terms as well as measurement error. In this paper, the TPC method is extended to analyze residual (error) vector to identify significant higher order and interaction terms that contribute to the modeling error. Subsequently, these additional terms are included for constructing a robust system model. Also, an iterative TPC analysis is proposed for the first time to correct the model gradually till the least eigenvalue becomes minimum.
Technical Paper

Robust Analytical Methodology for Hood Overslam Travel using a DFSS Approach

Developing a robust model that can simulate all real world conditions a vehicle can experience can be extremely difficult to predict. When working through the engineering process, Computer Aided Engineers (CAE) traditionally set modeling parameters and conditions to a nominal setting. This is done to simplify the models so that it avoided inputting too much tedious details into the system and wasting so much engineering time preparing the work. It was soon realized that this strategy did not capture all the possible conditions a hood on a vehicle could experience. There was a need to develop a formal approach and method to correlate an analysis model to real world conditions. The Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) process was utilized to develop robustness in the techniques used to accurately understand the vehicle environment. The DFSS process is normally used to design and develop robustness into physical parts.