As I am writing those lines, the days of 2017 are fading out. 2018 is around the corner. May I already wish you a year full of happiness, joyful moments with family and friends, and much, much testing and engineering excitement in your professional life. At Siemens PLM Software, we have a few milestones coming up. We’ll bring Simcenter Testing Solutions to the next level of testing efficiency and productivity. I won’t say too much and spoil the game, but this year again, we’ll be meeting our customers around the world and expose our best and newest testing technologies at some of the biggest automotive testing events worldwide.
We’ll kick-start the year by showcasing our Simcenter Testing Solutions at Automotive Testing Expo India.
The event takes place at the CTC center of Chennai, India, from the 10th to the 12th of January, 2018.
Stop by our Siemens stand, number 4021, and take the opportunity to chat with our testing experts and learn:
If you’re an automotive engineer involved with NVH, acoustic or durability testing, do not miss this opportunity to meet with us. Register here to get your free pass to the exhibition or contact us for a personal appointment.
Enjoy a great year 2018 and may Simcenter Testing Solutions bring a lot of testing excitement to your professional life!
I’m stuck in the office as I am writing this post. Even though officially my working day is done, I can see through the window that leaving right now is probably not the best idea #snow
I’m cursing those who have been praying for a white Christmas, and indirectly put me in this misery. Yet at the same time, I’ve decided to #dealwithit and spend some time stalking the digital twin of each of my friends on Facebook #metime #nosingaround
♫ Oh the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful
And since we've no place to go
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! ♫
Facebook mirrors the real life. I see friends proudly post pictures of their children’s first adventures in the white gold. Others share cozy indoor sceneries, or the trouble they experience on the road #notme
Digital aliases have once more gained importance in 2017. By becoming influencers, Jane and John Doe can become powerful people, Time magazine elected the women behind #metoo as ‘person of the year’ and some say Russians even successfully manipulated US elections using online violence. #fakenews or not? I wouldn’t bet my bitcoins on this one.
The digital editions of ourselves are often enhanced versions. They generally tell us more about who we want to be than about what we actually really are. Our digital twin optimizes our lifestyle and gives us a certain form of control, or at least the illusion of control.
For us at Siemens, this continued digitalization proves our idea of what the future will be like: #digitaltwin #connected #cloud. It’s the main idea behind the creation of our offering. We develop tools that will enable manufacturers to create digital versions of their products, and to stay connected when they are out in the field.
Such digital twins bring major advantages during the entire product lifecycle. At every stage they can be used to evaluate or optimize product behavior, to predict things like maintenance for example, to keep control, or just to lose control by letting them work autonomously #interestingthought
With Simcenter, we can offer you, our customer, the most complete toolbox for digital twin. Simcenter uniquely combines system simulation, 3D computer-aided engineering (CAE) and test to help you predict performance across all critical attributes earlier and throughout the entire product lifecycle. By combining physics-based simulations with insights gained from data analytics, Simcenter helps you optimize design and deliver innovations faster and with greater confidence #bam!
Of course you, our customer, plays a crucial role in the success of our story. It is only thanks you your continued commitment during 2017 that we could prosper. We recognize and value that, and would like say thank you. We hope to stay connected in 2018.
Meanwhile, on behalf of the entire Simcenter Community team, I wish you #MerryChristmas and a #HappyNewYear!
Traffic noise is a major source of nuisance in cities. Of the many sounds that resonate in a metropole, the constant drone of traffic is probably the most annoying one. Wouldn’t it be nice to wander around in Paris, London or Roma and hear nothing but the lively echoes of an animated city? In many parts of the world, authorities take measures to reduce traffic noise. The issue at stake is an important one: lower noise levels would not only improve the quality of life of urban residents but also reduce the number of health problems suffered by the population due to excessive noise.
There’s a choice of actions to reduce traffic noise: local authorities may decide to simply cut down urban traffic by enlarging pedestrian zones or implementing a toll system in the city center. At the European level, the European Commission has issued regulation ECE 51.03. This regulation states that the noise level of passing-by cars, measured according to urban traffic condition (as defined in the ISO 362 standard), should be reduced to a maximum of 68 decibels by 2024.
How will car manufacturers meet this demanding objective? By predicting pass-by noise levels early in the design process and setting exact noise targets for components and subsystems. Exterior pass-by noise testing is currently the only valid technique to certify vehicles according to the ISO 362 standard. Yet vehicle manufacturers will rely more and more on interior pass-by noise testing techniques to ensure that their designed vehicle does not exceed the limits set by the European regulation.
Interior pass-by noise testing, performed in state-of-the-art acoustic chambers like the one of UTAC-CERAM in Linas-Montlhéry, will shape the future of vehicle pass-by noise design:
Now, some may object that the future of urban traffic lies in vehicle electrification. Sure, it might be, but electric vehicles are also subject to environmental sound constraints. In the short term, electric vehicles may have to be fitted with a noise-generating warning device that alerts pedestrians to the presence of a passing-by car. Designing and validating these acoustic vehicle alerting systems (AVAS) will require dedicated facilities like the UTAC-CERAM acoustic chamber - facilities where disturbing background noise is absent.
Eager to learn more about the topic? Watch the video and discover how French technical center UTAC CERAM helps silence vehicles with advanced pass-by noise techniques.
If details are what you’re after, please read the full case study on our website: UTAC-CERAM case study
Also, visit the UTAC-CERAM website for more information.
You are an industrial machinery builder and are asked to bring to market machines which are answering to multiple attributes in balanced way?
You are expected to design a machine which will be at the same time: productive (maximizing output while reducing the cost of production), accurate (limiting the reject rate), reliable (maximizing in-service time) and efficient (reducing the cost of energy and comply with local environmental regulations)?
System simulation might be one of your key solution to meet all the requirements, and this at stage of you development cycle. You want to figure out how you can meet the right balance for machine performance requires optimization of the complete mechatronic system?
Nothing easier! Attend this on-demand webinar which will introduce you with our system simulations solutions part of Simcenter and explain how you virtually design and simulate new machine architectures early in the development process so that you get a complete understanding of how your system performs
As the old saying goes, in order to run, first you must walk. Whilst this may sound like the advice of a wizened old Jedi Master (although that might be something more like “to run, walk first you must!”) the idea must still hold true that in order to jump into hyperspace, first you have to fly. Prior to the release of the Force Awakens* this got me thinking, given how much time is spent flying around in any given planet’s atmosphere – could the Millennium Falcon, arguably the most iconic spaceship of all time, actually fly? Given how easy it is to predict aerodynamic performance with STAR-CCM+, and how quickly the surface wrapper can be applied to complex shapes, I felt it would be fun to try and find out.
It may not look very aerodynamic at first, however given the ratio of its cross sectional area to its length, the Falcon already has a basic aerodynamic shape. If you sketch it in 2D it's already approaching a “symmetric” aerofoil shape. Symmetric aerofoils are useful, however when they have no angle of incidence to the oncoming airflow they produce next to no lift, given this I decided to give it a modest 2° nose-up pitch at 600 km/h. It wasn’t until I analysed the aerodynamic forces “live” within the simulation that I could see that it may actually fly.
Perhaps not a piece of junk after all?
Quite how that lift is generated owes itself to one of the most iconic aircraft of all time, the Concorde. The wings of the Concorde were “Delta Wings”, producing strong vortices from its sharp, angled leading edge that allowed it to fly at both very low and very high speeds. To my surprise I could see that from the animation of the vorticity (Q criterion in the animation provided) is that there are 4 strong vortices formed at the very front of the wedge shaped structures at the front of the ship. So depending on the actual amount of cargo it was carrying (and also the density of the atmosphere and gravity), as long as Lift is greater than or equal to Weight then it would indeed fly! Drag is of concern though, but if you can jump into hyperspace thrust is clearly not an issue, but with all the turbulent flow over the ship this would generate considerable noise.
What once seems like science fiction gradually over time becomes fact. So whilst I would not recommend anyone start building one tomorrow, it would stand to reason that at least if you won a considerable amount of money and decided “to heck with it I want to quit my job and become an intergalactic smuggler” at least in the right circumstances it would fly in level flight, as for a working hyperdrive I can’t help with that. Armed with this knowledge you could then go and destroy any type of planet sized space station you wanted to. And with Simcenter STAR-CCM+® you might be able to make that Kessel run just that little bit faster….
*We are now up to episode 8 and I thought a "re-run" was neccesary, as re-runs and Star Wars go hand in hand... some may say re-runs and CFD also go hand in hand
Today’s vehicles aim at being more energy efficient whilst remaining durable, powerful and less noisy. The most challenging factor among these performance requirements is noise, vibration & harshness (NVH). Simply because less noisy is perceived to be more comfortable by customers. ‘Less is more’ refers to a simplification, a minimization. Unfortunately, this doesn’t relate to optimizing powertrain acoustics.
For internal combustion driven vehicles, the engine remains the dominant source for cabin noise at low to moderate vehicle speeds. Even though the sound and vibration of the engine can be a last resort for young parents with an inconsolable crying baby (driving their baby up and down the street hoping it finally falls asleep), this doesn’t apply to the majority of drivers or passengers.
At Siemens PLM Software, we know that sound is an important parameter of quality. Our NVH & Acoustics solutions help automotive OEMs and powertrain suppliers to minimize powertrain noise and optimize sound quality by simulating interior and exterior acoustic radiation.
So how do we improve powertrain acoustics and increase the perception of quality? In this video we explain which techniques are being used throughout the development cycle; from target setting of brand-new powertrain virtual designs, over detailed component and system analysis to evaluating system sensitivities and proposing a set of realistic and effective design ideas or countermeasures for troubleshooting existing physical prototypes. Additionally, our services offering couple test, 1D and 3D simulation to balance powertrain NVH with fuel-consumption and emission concerns.
A better NVH performance immediately and directly influences your customers’ perception of vehicle quality and value. And yes … this also applies to the desperate parent, seeking a solution for its inconsolable baby. After all, it is not only the noise that sooths the baby. Strapped in its baby seat, the little one gets limited visual or audible input. In combination with the safe feeling of a parent close by, it will not take long before his senses are lulled into relaxation.
The latest version of Femap is 11.4.2 and it contains a number of updates to the thermal and flow capabilities, including enhancements to the parallel processing capability for the thermal and flow solvers. Parallel processing has now been extended to the entire solution sequence for thermal and flow analyses. Solver distributed memory parallelization (DMP) extends to both CPU and RAM separately, and you can execute up to eight processors with the advanced thermal and flow modules.
See how to take advantage of parallel processing and watch the thermal and flow coupling with parallel processing video. Find out more about Femap 11.4.2 from the What’s New website.
Greener, quieter, faster, lighter and more durable
Owners and operators of machines are looking to drive down the cost of ownership and to complete projects faster while being faced with tighter regulations.
The key question that manufacturers need to answer is how to increase machine capacity while also increasing fuel efficiency? And going deeper in the questioning, you can split your question mark into more engineering specific questions:
We call this heavy equipment performance engineering. The results are clear and include benefits like:
>> Want to know more? Check out this 30-minute webinar and opt for a new engineering approach
The latest version of Femap – 11.4.2 – was released earlier this week and contains a number of enhancements to the thermal and flow simulation capabilities. Highlights include a solution efficiency increase with solver parallelization, an improved adaptive time stepping capability and enhancements to the thermal coupling solution. The advanced thermal module sees the addition of an enhanced orbit visualizer, and you will see some expanded output options for simulation results. Some new capabilities added include the analysis of homogeneous gas mixtures and immiscible fluid mixtures.
Watch these videos of the thermal solver enhancements and the flow solver enhancements to find out more. Also, stay tuned as there is more to come regarding the new capabilities of Femap version 11.4.2.
Pretty much everyone in the aviation industry knows that planes need to get quieter, more efficient and less reliant on fossil fuels. But how do you do this when the current concept really hasn’t been updated since, well honestly, the Boeing 707 in the late 1950s. Clearly, this calls for a bit of disruptive innovation, which seems to be happening as we speak.
Enter the E-Fan X
Expected to fly in 2020, the E-Fan X, co-developed by Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens, is actually a flying test plane (or demonstrator as industry experts like to say) designed to prove the technical feasibility of hybrid-electric propulsion applied to a 100-seat passenger plane. Right now, the plan is to use a 100-seat BAe 146, a British short-haul jet. The first step will be to replace one of the BAe 146’s four gas turbine engines by a two-megawatt electric motor from Siemens.
As you can guess, this is not the first time that Siemens has worked in this area. Quite a few innovation breakthroughs were made the past two years with the record-breaking Extra 330LE, equipped with a Siemens eAircraft propulsion system. Weighing in around 1000 kilograms, the Extra 330LE holds a world record for ascent, a top speed record of 337.50 km/h, and the privilege of being the first electric aircraft to tow a glider into the sky.
Pushing the drivetrain technology to the limit
Not only is the Extra 330LE a record-breaker, the electric drive system is world-recorder holder as well, holding the title for power/weight ratio in its class with a continuous power output of 260 kilowatts. Weighing only 50 kilograms, this is an unprecedented power-to-weight ratio. Working from this world-record drive system, Siemens plans to develop a two-megawatt electric propulsion system for the BAe 146 regional aircraft. The system needs to be about eight times more powerful than the system that currently drives the Extra 330LE.
The basic tech idea
The idea would be that the final E-Fan X would have four to eight motors on its wings that would drive the aircraft’s propellers or fans. In the first flying demonstrator, the electric propulsion system will get its power from a generator that will be powered by a turbine in the fuselage. Take-off and climbing will happen with the help of 700 kilowatt lithium-ion batteries.
From a tech perspective, the E-Fan X is a big deal, but there is quite a bit of work to be done. Even though electric propulsion will take care of a huge part of the noise pollution issue, all these engines and batteries will still take up a lot of weight. Even with all the technology advancements like advanced lightweight engineering and high-tech materials, the final E-Fan X needs to be lean-and-mean to succeed. Throw in the 2020 first flight into the development cycle and you can see how things can get rather tricky.
So when will we e-fly?
When we interviewed Dr. Anton and Dr. Leuridan last July at the Paris Air Show and asked them when we would all be flying hybrid-electric, I had my doubts that we would be flying Paris-Nuremberg in a 50-seater hybrid-electric aircraft in a matter of years.
Record-breaking disruptive innovation and hyper-lean product development cycles aside, it just didn’t seem possible that a hybrid-electric commercial aircraft would happen this quickly. Look at how long it took the electric automobile market to take off. But today, technology is better, materials are becoming more advanced and development cycles are faster, but is this enough?
The Secret is Simcenter
According to the head of eAircraft at Siemens, Dr. Frank Anton, the secret recipe is not materials or topology, “The kinds of extremely light propulsion systems we are talking about can be developed and built only thanks to Simcenter, a Siemens PLM simulation suite software that takes all known physical and technical effects into account. Using this technology, we iteratively build digital twins and thus virtually optimize our prototypes. This not only accelerates development, but also results in more powerful machines.”
Well, thanks to Simcenter, it seems that I have happily been proven wrong. With 2018 right around the corner, development of the E-Fan X demonstrator is already underway. And these three companies have a serious road map. Airbus is earmarked for the overall integration as well as the control architecture of the hybrid-electric propulsion system and batteries, and its integration with flight controls. Rolls-Royce will be responsible for the turbo-shaft engine, two megawatt generator, and power electronics. Along with Airbus, Rolls-Royce will also work on the fan adaptation to the existing nacelle and the Siemens electric motor. And Siemens will deliver the two megawatt electric motors and their power electronic control unit, as well as the inverter, DC/DC converter, and power distribution system. This comes on top of the E-Aircraft Systems House collaboration between Airbus and Siemens, launched in 2016, which aims at development and maturation of various electric propulsion system components and their terrestrial demonstration across various power classes.
So in a nutshell?
The E-Fan X looks like a serious test plane capable of answering some of the current e-aviation challenges. I think I am going to change my mind. I think we will all be flying hybrid-electric in our lifetimes as well. And sooner than we all think.
E-Fan X images and photo op courtesy of Airbus.
More about Siemens eAircraft:
In Femap version 11.4.2, released earlier in the week, the thermal and flow solver user interface has been updated to match existing UI workflows in Femap. The updated contemporary graphical user interface serves to improve thermal and flow simulation processes for model setup and postprocessing, and includes a dedicated model info pane analogous to the regular Femap model info pane. A right-click capability extends and facilitates load and constraint creation methods, and the solution set up for thermal and flow analyses now matches that for NX Nastran and other solvers with a consistent analysis set manager.
Watch a video of the graphical user interface updates, and stay tuned for more blog posts to come outlining the new capabilities of version 11.4.2 in greater depth.
We’re very pleased to announce the availability of the latest release of Femap – version 11.4.2. The software is available from download from the GTAC support site accessible with your webkey.
Femap 11.4.2 focuses on updates and new capabilities for the thermal solver, advanced thermal solver and flow simulation capabilities. Improvements include an updated contemporary graphical user interface that improve workflows for model setup and postprocessing, new solver capabilities, and parallel processing through distributed computing.
Watch an overview of new features, and stay tuned for more blog posts to come outlining the new capabilities in greater depth.