How to Optimise your Engine Design using Outsourced CAE
Continuous Drive for Optimisation
As a designer or manufacturer of complete engines or engine components you are under constant pressure from both customers (internal and external) and the government to improve performance, reduce price and meet ever changing legislative requirements. This creates a few challenges:
Challenges to Optimisation
There are two key challenges to engine design optimisation:
- First, these requirements are often competing and some level of trade-of is inevitable. For example meeting the latest emissions regulations may require additional or more advanced after-treatment devices which will add cost and potentially reduce performance through increased fuel consumption or reduced power.
- Second, even within the Performance category there are tradeoffs to be made between the different attributes. For example, to reduce fuel consumption you may try to reduce the weight of the engine by removing material from the engine block. However, this could have a negative impact both on durability through increasing stress in critical locations and NVH through reduced stiffness.
CAE as an Enabler to Optimised Engine Design
There are two ways to test whether your design changes have successfully met the objectives: physical and virtual.
Physical testing requires building a prototype and testing either in a rig that represents real world application conditions or in a vehicle. Whilst physical testing can give you the truest feedback it can be incredibly time consuming and expensive.
Testing the component or assembly virtually using Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) tools can reduce the cost and time of your validation considerably. The accuracy of CAE tools and techniques has improved significantly over the last ten years and specialist tools have been developed to model specific products, physics or attributes.
Building In-house CAE Capability is Expensive
However building and maintaining a full CAE capability in-house can be expensive precisely because the discipline has become so specialised. Several types of software are typically required to cover each of the physics (e.g. 1D and 3D CFD, linear and non-linear FEA, multi-body dynamics, fatigue, chemical reactions); products (e.g. head and block, crankshaft, pistons and rings; manifolds, turbochargers; catalysts); and attributes (e.g. Weight reduction, performance, emissions, NVH). Each software can be expensive in its own right. On top of that is the expense of hiring and training each of the engineering specialists.
Outsourced CAE – A Cost Effective Solution
A solution to this is to outsource some or all of the CAE activities to a company that already has all of the tools and techniques required. For more on the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing CAE click here. There are many companies that can provide a range of these activities. Please download our handy guide to choosing the correct provider for you.
Unfortunately when outsourcing there is usually a compromise to be made between expertise and price.
The Caepro Advantage
Caepro has eliminated this compromise through implementing a unique business model. As one of our clients commented:
“The methodology followed was state-of–the-art and comparable with that of any international consulting houses [but] at lower cost”, Deputy General Manager, Indian Commercial Vehicle Engine Manufacturer. To view more client testimonials and see who some of our clients are please click here.
At Caepro we have a comprehensive set of software tools and procedures for simulating the performance of each component, both in isolation and in an assembly, to optimise their performance in each attribute whilst ensuring we minimise any negative impact of its performance in others. To get more information or to request a quote for Engine CAE please submit an enquiry.
Please click on the link on the left hand margin to find out more about each of the attributes and Caepro’s approach to optimising performance in each.