21st June 2016 by Richard Yen
In today’s look back at last year’s Altair Enlighten Award, we’re going to review the first entry by automotive equipment supplier, Faurecia.
This nomination focused on the exhaust system for GM K2xx Light Duty Truck. The company employed a simulation led approached to identify areas of the system that could potentially use less material and as a result, save weight. Dubbed Analysis Led Design and Virtual Validation, ALDVV is a novel process to virtually validate the Proving Ground (PG) durability life. A durability assessment process is deployed, calculating the PG life for all joints. From those results, three areas can be categorized:
i) very large durability life (potential over design)
ii) minimum PG life; durability concerns
iii) balanced design
Areas with durability concerns are identifies as requiring design modifications. Areas with potential over design are identified as candidates for weight reductions through down gauging the material thicknesses.
Lower weight exhaust systems are becoming a requirement from the OEMs and Faurecia’s ALDVV process is being successfully deployed to quickly identify and reduce exhaust weight in a reliable, repeatable manner. The team was successful in reducing the total weight of the system by 1.15 kg (2.53 lbs) through the reduction of material thickness for the muffler inlet pipe, oval axle pipe and tail pipe from 1.5mm to 1.2mm.
In addition, Faurecia estimate that the total cost saving of the new design would total as much as $1 million compared to the baseline. The weight saving in itself is impressive, but aligning the weight save with a cost advantage is crucial to justify the additional design effort to a company’s business focused, rather than engineering focused teams.
Download a PDF of this nomination via this link – Faurecia