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Automotive companies are always under pressure to optimise designs and reduce weight of products and components

Image: Altair HyperWorks

Automotive Lightweighting Achieving light weighting with simulation

May 25, 2018

In recent decades, automotive companies are under pressure to optimise designs and reduce weight of vehicle parts in order to increase fuel efficiency. The article talks about how an automotive component supplier achieved light weighting and performance targets with the help of virtual validation technologies.

Sujan Cooper Standard manufactures (anti-vibration) NVH products for leading automotive companies. The company is the collaboration between the Sujan Group and Cooper Standard; both leading component suppliers in the automotive industry. Hence, the potent partnership brings together the quality experience of Sujan and the design and engineering knowledge of Cooper-Standard.

Challenges faced

Currently, the automotive industry is under extreme pressure because of environmental norms and has to adhere to stringent government policies related to pollution control. When it comes to minimising pollution and increasing vehicle efficiency, it is imperative that vehicle weight be reduced. Automotive companies are, thus, always under pressure to optimise designs and reduce weight of products and components.

Added to this effort is the pressure of tremendous competition among automotive companies to launch new products in quick succession. Meeting strict timelines to innovate and produce quality components is a big challenge. Also, because there is no margin for error, OEMs want suppliers to develop new parts by optimising processes and get them right the first time.

In such a scenario, it all boils down to the time required, cost incurred and quality of components being produced. Traditional method of design, development and testing of products is not enough to meet the aggressive deadlines set by automotive companies. Hence, to accept the biggest challenge of meeting deadlines, Sujan Cooper Standard needed state-of-the-art virtual validation technologies that would help them to reduce new product development time and cost and yet maintain the product quality standards set by the OEMs.

Investment in CAE solutions

The Sujan Group did not have an R&D set-up prior to their collaboration with Cooper Standard of France. After joining hands in 2008, Sujan Barre and Cooper Standard set up a small design team with two engineers. By 2012, the team had 12 engineers. Cooper Standard introduced Altair’s HyperWorks Suite to the Sujan Group after their joint venture. As it came in the form of a reference from a partner company, Sujan Group explored the solutions offered by Altair software technology. Thereafter, being convinced on the return of investment, Sujan decided to invest in the comprehensive CAE suite - HyperWorks®. The company started using Hyperworks suite from 2012 and now has a strong team of 30 engineers enabled with the requisite set of HyperWorks Units.

“Initially, we started using Altair HyperWorks only for pre-processor. After being introduced to the overall capabilities of the HyperWorks software over a period of time, we started using it extensively, both for pre-processing and postprocessing. Lately, our team at the design department have started using Altair technologies for concept design validation, which are easy to use and robust in comparison to those currently available in the industry,” said Brijesh Sujan, Head – R&D, Sujan Cooper Standard. The implementation of Altair optimisation technologies like OptiStruct® and solidThinking Inspire® helped the company to achieve weight reduction and performance enhancement of the designed parts.

Meeting performance targets

As part of their product-development process, Sujan gets the product concept from their partner in France. The company’s target is to meet the specified model, stress, and weight criteria. They have to optimise processes to meet the targets and stay competitive inspite of stringent norms, cost pressures, and time constraints. Using HyperWorks suite helps Sujan Cooper Standard in getting the products right the first time.

“Our engineers usually do a bit of fine tunning of the products on the vehicle. But with the usage of HyperWorks simulation technologies prior to the tooling and product testing activities, engineers are able to meet the performance targets by 80% right the first time. Thus, our investment in HyperWorks Suite enables us to deliver quality and cost-effective products to our customers within the reduced time durations,” opined Brijesh Sujan.

Developing world-class components

“Our R&D team evolved with the systematic implementation of HyperWorks suite. The team is now a strong pillar of their product development processes and meticulously utilises Altair HyperWorks software to develop world-class components and optimise their performance,” he added. Sujan Cooper Standard has successfully delivered engine mounts for Renault Kwid, Mahindra TUV 300 and Mahindra KUV 100 within the specified time limits by using HyperWorks Suite. It validated components such as torsion vibration damper, engine bracket and exhaust mounting (along with damper) with the help of simulation technologies.

The team at Sujan Cooper Standard is pleased with the rigorous and meticulous training and implementation activities provided by DesignTech and Altair teams. “We highly recommend HyperWorks Suite and also vouch for the extensive post-implementation support of the DesignTech team,” concluded Brijesh Sujan.

Courtesy: DesignTech Systems

Image Gallery

  • HyperView post-processing results of various automotive components like engine bracket, torsional vibration damper, etc

    Image: DesignTech Systems

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