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January 2019

The End of the Powertrain Bias

Internal Combustion Engine vs. Electric Machine, this seems a famous game these days. Media, politicians, OEMs, car owners - all of them have their arguments and for one or the other reasons, they have their vision of where they place themselves in this fight. There is a lot of emotion and mistrust, misinformation and the claim of misinformation, aggression, and response. Diesel bashing here, pointing to insufficient range, burning batteries and recharging of plugin battery-electric vehicles with mobile ICE devices there.


The worrying thing to me is that even in our engineering world you get the impression that you have to choose and you have to choose apriori. It seems that even the world of powertrain engineers has become bipolar, you can either be pro-ICE or pro-E, you can either hug your internal combustion engine or tell the people ICE is dead, you can either tell people there is not enough Lithium on earth or oil, you say a V8 is music or it’s noise, you say too much NOx, Soot or CO2 stems from traffic or from power plants, there’s nothing in between. ICE engineers seem to fear someone takes away their beloved baby, E-guy seem to claim the work of thousands of engineers should go to the trash bin right away.


I call this the powertrain bias!


Now, honestly, like with many topics I have faced in my life I don’t know who is right and I would claim it’s not easy to tell that for anyone. We live in an increasingly complex world and there are many forces at work, legislation, customer expectation, politics, financial interests and finally human emotions. So, as an engineer, you try to rely on something that should give you the answer: pure science. Then you realize: even numbers can be bend, misinterpreted, miscommunicated. It’s clear that oil won’t last forever and that Lithium doesn’t. It’s clear that some may love the sound of an engine and others love the sound of silence. It’s like with anything – even in science - any party will come up with their study of proving they are right.


I truly believe it is this powertrain bias that is the most dangerous thing an engineer can jump onto in a world of incredibly fast-paced change.


That said, as powertrain engineers, we should share only one common goal and that is, make the move of a person from A to B as efficient, comfortable and – not to forget - enjoyable as possible thereby minimizing the negative impact on other people. I understand there are multiple trade-offs in this performance function and the weighting of the individual performance factors is a highly individual thing. Yet, we all should agree on one minimum consensus: As engineers, it is our job to push the limits of efficient, healthy, enjoyable and comfortable movement as far forward as we can without limiting ourselves in the design space by a-priori (bias) decisions.




Therefore here’s my call to all of you: Don’t get caught in that romantic vs. progressive powertrain trap! ICE guys, get over it and hug an electric machine, it won’t hurt. E-guys, step back and look at the amazing piece of engineering an IC engine effectively is. Let’s stay engineers in first place, push the Pareto front forward and make the best we can within the range of our expertise. Stay cool and fair when doing so. Get in touch with the other side and understand their reasoning. This is not a call for becoming emotionless, but it’s a call to reconsider what we should be emotional about: And that is creating great engineering value with our powertrain solutions. Here is my scientific study on the topic: In all times, 100% of all cars will have a powertrain!



So let’s all get together at the Simcenter Conference in Prague to celebrate the end of the powertrain bias. With two days of powertrain presentations from ICE to E, from system- through CFD simulation to test the table is all set. Siemens PLM is there to help you, with simulation- and test solutions on the ICE AND the E, there is no either-or in our portfolio, and hey, for those that are already in the middle of it, we have a solution for all you hybrids!

Together, we can make Prague the Woodstock of Powertrain Engineering. Looking forward to seeing you there.


With that, I leave it with a



the first powertrain-hippie on earth






[3] study by the first powertrain hippie on earth



Towards a unified Simcenter solution for electric machine design

Electric motor.jpgHaving a scalable model enables you to use your favorite system simulation tool for various simulation purposes, all along different design stages.


If I look in particular at electric machines, the possibilities are numerous:

  • Simple quasi-static machine models are well suited for power budget or energy management assessment.
  • Simple dynamic models are typically used for machine controls development.
  • Non-linear dynamic equivalent circuit models can give more insight into the motor behavior with high current or under fault conditions.
  • You can also include the machine spatial dependency to take into account the effects of the slots or the magnets shape. This will give you access to torsional vibration analysis and winding current distortions. It could help you validate a controller with a very realistic motor model at early development stages.
  • Co-simulation is an interesting solution in case you need to assess imbalance conditions or high frequency dynamics.Various levels of model complexity in Simcenter Amesim.pngVarious levels of model complexity in Simcenter Amesim

On the downside, setting up all those different models require much information which is not so easy to get. Datasheets provide partial data on the main machine behavior. To go further and to fully take benefit of the Simcenter Amesim Electric Motors and Drive solution, this is largely insufficient. To address this challenge, you can use Simcenter Amesim in combination with a finite element tool to obtain a reduced model. This is a major enhancement we focus on to reinforce this Simcenter Amesim solution.


Thus, Simcenter Amesim offers co-simulation capabilities with Altair Flux and JMAG-RT. Moreover,  recently released Simcenter Amesim 17 supports the import of reduced Simcenter SPEED models, as you can see in the following video:




What is the value for the Simcenter Amesim Electric Motors and Drive solution users? 

They can now smoothly pass from a finite element model to a system simulation model without spending hours trying to understand the different software conventions, developing or maintaining complex scripts.


The link with other Simcenter solutions such as Simcenter SPEED, Simcenter Motorsolve and Simcenter MAGNET will be continuously strengthened in the upcoming Simcenter Amesim versions. 

Neural networks & digital twins change the O&M in the wind industry

Today wind power represents 4.4% of the total generated power. By 2030, this is to increase up to 20%. The challenges for wind turbine manufacturers are wide-ranging: the aerodynamic performance of the blades, reduce weight, keep noise and vibration levels under control, ensure a durable design and improve its overall system performance.


The gearbox is the most critical part of the wind turbine. Either you send a technician up the turbine and do a manual check, or you attach sensors to the gearbox and monitor the results remotely on a computer. Both approaches work to anticipate failures and allow turbine owners to schedule for repairs. Obviously, this comes at a price. A high price. Can’t this be done more cost-effective?


Predicting the remaining useful lifetime of each wind turbine gearbox


Winergy, a global key provider for wind energy in Germany, teamed up with the Simcenter Engineering experts of Siemens PLM Software to estimate the remaining useful lifetime (RUL) of a complete wind park. Let’s be a bit more specific: 78 wind turbines – 35 SCADA channels – historical data stored over 4 years.


The Simcenter Engineering specialists tackled this issue by combining 2 approaches:


  1. Neural Networks
    The neural network was fed with information from different SCADA channels on the gearbox in combination with service data. Gearbox temperatures were defined as the most representative signals for a possible failure. Next, the neural network was trained on how a turbine reacts in healthy and faulty conditions. Winergy and Simcenter experts used the technique to accurately predict and detect failures early on.

  2. Digital Twin
    A digital twin makes the bridge between a virtual representation and the physical product. It helps to understand and predict product performance characteristics. Wind turbine modeling was combined with physical validation measurements in 1 turbine to validate the digital twin model. The digital twin model is fed with historic loads extracted from the SCADA in order to predict the remaining useful lifetime of the bearings and gear teeth in each gearbox.


This combined approach limits the need for physical prototypes, reduces development time, and improves the quality of the finalized product. 


Want to know more? Join us next week at the 11th Annual Offshore Wind Europe Conference & Exhibition in London, UK. Wim Hendricx, Simcenter Engineering expert for the Energy sector, will present this application case on November 28 at 9:20 AM.   




Interesting links:



Is this the electric vehicle that we’ve all been waiting for?

Uniti One is an EV that just makes more sense.

I have to confess: I have caught the Uniti fever. It all started last April when Werner Custers and I shot a little movie at the Uniti headquarters in Lund, Sweden, a hip university town about 30 minutes from Malmo. At this point, Uniti Sweden was still oozing that start-up vibe, but, unlike other stories I have followed over the years, the idea of the Uniti One, well, to paraphrase CEO Lewis Horne, it just made sense. Needless to say, I was hooked.



You probably noticed that Uniti One is a different kind of car. In a way, it is more of a driving experience than an automobile. Sure, it is a completely wired EV with four wheels, but it is designed for the new era of high-tech car ownership that includes things like car-sharing, subscription programs and possibly delivery-on-the-spot autonomous programs.


Uniti One Fleet _ Photo by Karl-Fredrik von Hausswolff.jpg


Definitely “not reinventing the wheel”

But the cool thing about Uniti is that the team didn’t stop with just reinventing the EV. Everything was up for disruption in the design and development chain. Need your NX model in VR? Just run it through a gaming engine and put on the VR goggles to see what happens. Forget the formal post-design feedback groups. Just put the car in a well-known electronics retailer for a while and ask to-be consumers what they really think. This disruption meant that the team moved fast – really fast.


A key secret to the speedy design process was the fact that Uniti adopted the digital twin idea from day one. The working digital twin, based on NX and Simcenter, was one of the main reasons that a very small team of young engineers could prototype three vehicles in four short months.


So what’s next?

After its start-up success, the team knew they had to change gears, roll up their sleeves and work on a production-ready version of Uniti One. They also knew they needed some serious automotive experience on the engineering side. This is why Sally Povolotsky recently joined Uniti.


As the Uniti Vehicle Development Director, she is working with her team of experienced automotive engineers at Uniti’s new R&D center in the High-Performance Technology and Motorsport (HPTM) cluster located around Silverstone, the iconic British F1 Grand Prix track. With some serious street cred in the EV and automotive industry, Sally knows what it takes to get a car on the roads of Europe and beyond. (See the attached pdf for the full story.)


Uniti One _ small _ Photo by Karl-Fredrik von Hausswolff.jpg


Save the planet

So with Uniti One shaping up nicely and an Industry 4.0 digital factory vision in place, Lewis Horne and the Uniti team seem to have their new automotive ecosystem literally on the right track towards a workable and sustainable future. From our side, we will definitely keep our eyes on events in the UK and Sweden for you. To be continued…


P.S. By the way, if you caught the Uniti fever as well: you can pre-order yours online for 149 euro at






Flutter tests, ground vibration tests, acoustics tests: need help?

So, these test procedures are giving you a headache.


Could you easily answer the questions below?

  • How to improve the flight flutter test using a commercial off-the-shelf solution to extract accurate eigenfrequencies, damping and mode shapes?
  • What are the different solutions (static aeroelasticity, flutter analysis, and dynamic aeroelasticity) used to define the flight envelope and define accurate flutter predictions?
  • How to increase efficiency in identifying modal parameters of large vibrating structures?
  • How to address aircraft environmental noise, from simple aircraft noise level measurements to an advanced sound quality assessment?
  • How to create a sound profile of the aircraft interior in minutes of flight testing?
  • How to clearly identify realistic paths for acoustic optimization?

Or are you currently struggling with your testing tools and processes? Find the answers to these and many others questions in our series of Simcenter on-demand webinars. The lectures are jointly given by Simcenter and industry experts and feature concrete application case studies.


Register today to one (or all) of our free on-demand webinars and learn how to increase efficiency in your flutter, ground vibration or acoustic tests.


Flutter webinar_tcm27-46727.jpg

 “Accelerate flutter clearance process and increase efficiency in the aircraft certification process”  - Register to the webinar.


Image - GE-3360 A&D Ground Vibration Test2_tcm27-32061.jpg

“Accelerate ground vibration tests and increase efficiency in the aircraft certification process.” - Register to the webinar.

16x9_Webinar Aircraft Acoustics_Image 2_tcm27-21885.jpg

“Towards aircraft noise reduction” - Register to the webinar.


Input, feedback on our webinar series? Don't hesitate to reach back to us on the Simcenter community website.




Simcenter Amesim 17: ease the exhaust calibration process

Car-exhaust-system-optimization.jpgTo accurately assess the vehicle tail-pipe emissions, efficient modeling of exhaust systems is becoming a very important but also a very time-consuming task. The chemistry inside a catalyst is complex; that leads to many kinetic parameters to calibrate in order to obtain a predictive system simulation model.


The exhaust calibration tool has been greatly improved to Simcenter Amesim 17. It is designed to ease this calibration stage thanks to a detailed and user-friendly workflow as well as to go faster thanks to its adaptive optimization feature. Regardless of whether you work on a synthetic gas bench or driving cycle test data, the whole calibration process can be carried out through this Simcenter Amesim tool. 


Let me showcase how this flexible integrated workflow helps you to deal with all kinds of test data.


Let's take an example of a three-way catalytic converter. In an ideal calibration process, it will start with synthetic gas bench test data and a simple sketch:Picture1.png


Once you have built the sketch, the entire calibration process will be performed within the exhaust calibration tool, which contains 5 distinct stages and you can go back and forth within these stages as needed:

  • Sketch definition: this step allows you to specify the discretization of the same monolith. In the sketch above, the three-way catalytic converter is discretized into two elements to better capture the longitudinal temperature gradient.
  • Geometry definition: geometrical parameters for all the catalytic components can be edited at this stage and it gives an overview of the volumes and surfaces that characterize the monoliths.
  • Kinetic scheme definition: the flexibility of the monoliths in the Simcenter Amesim IFP-Exhaust library is characterized by the fact that any chemical reaction using the 12 standard gases of the library can be implemented in it. Therefore at this stage, it is possible to load a predefined kinetic scheme or to add user-defined reactions, and even both.




  • Test data import: a database of tests that will be the reference results for the calibration has to be created at this stage. The calibration of a classical three-way catalytic converter on SGB test data requires different light-off tests for different space velocities and probably OSC (Oxygen Storage Capacity) tests: the database can be constituted with all these tests and contains both inlet and outlet data:




  • Calibration: the final stage allows you to run simulations for every test from the database defined in the previous step. The kinetic parameters used for chemical reactions are editable, therefore it enables you to easily iterate on values.





Indeed, this tool has greatly facilitated the process, nevertheless it still takes a long time to calibrate the complete kinetic scheme by hand. That's where the optimization feature can be of great help. You can launch it directly from this last step and a specific window allows you to set up the parameters and the objectives of the optimization, as well as the tolerance and the algorithm to use.


The next and often final step of an exhaust line calibration is the correction and validation of kinetic parameters on driving cycles. The exhaust calibration tool is also perfectly adapted for this task since you can add a new test for each driving cycle. In the same way, you can move until the calibration step and use concentration, mass flow rates or even cumulative masses to find how to fit your experimental data.Picture5.png

To sum up, the Simcenter Amesim exhaust calibration tool now enables accelerated test data import, batch processing and automated optimization of model calibration. 


Watch this video to see how it works:


Check out this article & learn more about aftertreatment simulation with Simcenter Amesim

Flying through the city: navigating on digital water

Humans have used rivers for transportation ever since we worked out how to build boats: letting the water take the strain means we can transport more goods or people over greater distances using less energy. The famous 17th century diarist Samuel Pepys mentions travel on the Thames almost every day, chartering a boat in the same way that you and I would hail a taxi or an Uber. Venice is famous for its Gondoliers, who have plied their trade for centuries. And in New York or Sydney catching the ferry across the bay is not just a tourist trip, but a commuter route too.


However, while many cities, like New York or Sydney, have a network of regular ferry crossings, we no longer have the ability, like Pepys, to hail a boat-equivalent of a taxi.  The quick trip from point A to point B no longer happens on the water, but on land, on longer routes constrained by bridges as crossing points. What if we could go back to using the river as a taxi route? In crowded modern cities, it would speed up journey times and help relieve congestion on the roads.


This is the vision of Seabubbles, who are aiming to ‘make our cities flow again’ by developing an innovative bubble taxi, a small, fast & very efficient electric hydrofoil craft that can carry up to 5 people. The vessel is designed to travel at a maximum speed of 25 km/h, while producing no waves and no noise. And as it is powered by a Lithium-Ion battery there are no emissions either.


Moving from proof of such a concept to reality requires a lot of analysis, to ensure that the design will work, and work well, under all operating conditions. To help with this, Seabubbles turned to Caponetto-Hueber, a marine design consultancy who specialise in high-end CFD methodologies. Using Simcenter STAR-CCM+ the team were able not only to predict the performance of the vessel, but also to optimize the design to ensure smooth foiling and a comfortable ride. Both the CFD results, and the prototype in action, can be seen in this video:



The maritime industry is often described as conservative and resistant to change, especially when it comes to design methods.  In the fast-paced, environmentally-aware world of today, companies like Seabubbles are using digital design to help bring their innovative products to market. If they can do it, others can – and should - look to the same methods.  And while my diary may never be as historically significant as Pepys’, I look forward to noting ‘thence by boat’ on a future visit to Paris!

Optimizing a delta robot design and performance using system simulation


Handling delicate pieces of chocolate with care so that they arrive intact in their box requires a lot of thoroughness. For manufacturers, the packaging process is no longer done manually and is now an automated process performed by machines for the sake of productivity. However, combining the two concepts of automation and manipulation of delicate foods does not seem obvious.  The end product could get damaged.


This is what Raymond Clavel and his colleagues from the Polytechnic University of Lausanne acknowledged during a visit to a chocolate factory. Specialized in robotics, the team of researchers investigated on how to move small, light elements as smoothly as possible while achieving throughput and reliability targets set by the manufacturer. This spawned the idea for developing a new type of robot: the delta robot.


industrial_machinery_deltapicker_illustration2.pngDelta Picker manipulating chocolate bars

A robot composed of three arms able to handle small objects at up to 300 movements per minute. This ensures excellent throughput for the manufacturer that requires packaging within industries such as pharmaceuticals or foods ...  but how do you make sure that the machine will minimize rejections, be precise enough or not consume too much energy? Of course, physical testing can be performed on prototypes, but it is expensive and time-consuming.

This is why the use of simulation to design a machine like a delta robot and to analyze its performance in the early design phase, appears today as essential. Introducing simulation into your product design process allows you to define the optimal architecture based on the best balance between performance attributes. Luckily, this balance and optimization can be achieved through analysis using system simulation.


In the webinar: Improve machine productivity while focusing on energy efficiency using system simulation, Lionel Broglia first introduces the machinery market trends and challenges, and how Siemens’ system simulation solution, Simcenter Amesim, can be a key tool for industrial machinery players.

In the 2nd part of the webinar, Lionel jumps into the topic of interest: showing a live demo of how using Simcenter Amesim can help you pre-design your delta-picker architecture and analyze the drive performance on the whole system so that you can meet and balance all of your performance requirements.

industrial_machinery_deltapicker_illustration3.pngOptimizing Delta picker design using Simcenter Amesim

The demo is done on 3 parts

  • First Lionel shows how you can do early sizing of a multi-physics system and start creating a model without having CAD geometry.
  • Then you will learn how to evaluate specific performance requirements by the computation and analysis of requests for speed and torque
  • Finally, once the motors are selected you’ll understand how to do a virtual integration into the whole system. By performing simulation over various working scenarios, you will see that you can check and compare performance, precision and energy consumption.

Connect and learn more about optimizing the size of electric drives for a delta picker robot while enjoying a nice – non-squashed – confectionery.

Why transfer path analysis is not established technology

280.000.000 results. That’s what you get when typing ‘transfer path analysis’ in Google Search. No wonder. The TPA methodology exists for over 20 years and is widely applied across all industries. How do you make a meaningful selection of these 280 million resources?


Last week at the Simcenter Conference in Prague, key note speaker Nancy Rademaker said: ‘We did not invent the light bulb by continuously optimizing candles.”


BLOG_post_TPA_WhitePaper_Image_Nancy2.jpgKeynote speaker Nancy Rademaker at the Simcenter Conference in Prague.

This also applies to transfer path analysis. At first, it was a troubleshooting method using test only. Although these traditional test approaches to TPA are still relevant and widely employed, new solutions have been developed to qualifying and quantifying vibro-acoustic transfer paths. Just like the story of the candles and the light bulbs, Siemens PLM Software keeps improving existing technologies on the one hand side, while developing new techniques to identify the root causes of noise issues and optimize the design on the other.


Is transfer path analysis truly established technology?


No, it is not. At Siemens PLM Software, our NVH engineering experts, test and simulation engineers are working together to find new methodologies to perform TPA analyses faster and more accurate. Depending on the structure, single or multi-reference sources or the stage of the development, they have developed new methodologies that are applied next to the traditional troubleshooting TPA techniques. Methodologies are either test-based, simulation-based or a combination of test & simulation-based.


BLOG_post_NVH_TPA_WhitePaper-Image2.jpg.jpgGuideline to qualifying and quantifying vibro-acoustic transfer paths.

Want to know which TPA method is best applied for your NVH issue? Read the free white paper: Transfer path analysis: a guideline to qualifying and quantifying vibro-acoustic transfer paths. It describes the various transfer path analysis methods and their application domains.


The white paper describes the following methodologies: airborne loads estimation, acoustic source quantification, structure-borne loads estimation, multi-reference TPA, energetic power-based ASQ, as well as new approaches such as component-based TPA, using blocked forces, or model-based TPA. These methodical approaches to vibro-acoustic design are applied to benchmarking and target setting, vehicle development and pass-by noise engineering.


I couldn’t have said it better than Nancy. Just like candles and light bulbs emit light, established and new TPA methodologies provides complete insight into NVH behavior. They hereby lead to faster troubleshooting, better product refinement and a more systematic approach to vibro-acoustic design.


Interested in new TPA methods? Apart to the white paper, I kindly invite you to the free on-demand webinar: Better & faster vehicle NVH insights using the latest transfer path analysis methods. With this webinar, Steven Dom, Automotive Solution Manager, explains how new transfer path analysis methods are a game changer in the relationship between OEMs and suppliers.


For more information: 

Webinar: Sound Quality Fundamentals

Join me on the 20th of December for a free webinar on the Fundamentals of Sound Quality. I will be talking about the human hearing system, how we perceive sounds and how different the classical measurements done by a microphone are from what we actually hear. 


After the webinar I will be available to answer all of your questions on the sound quality evaluation.


Subscribe now!



Sound is an important aspect of product design and development. It acts as a brand differentiator and can strongly affect the consumers' preference for the one or the other product. Take the example of a car: while it should be durable and efficient, the sounds it makes often influence the buying decision. The same is true for a wide range of products, mainly in the consumer goods industry.


JT.jpgSound has a big influence on our preference towards certain brands.

The challenge with sound quality analysis is that perceived sound quality is strongly related to the human hearing mechanism. The mechanism of the human auditory system differs from the one of the most common acoustic test equipment, the microphone. A microphone can measure the sound pressure levels (SPL), but will not take into account the subjective preference of a human brain towards, for example, an SPL with less energy in the high-frequency ranges. Acoustic engineers need to apply a process that addresses these aspects to improve their product's sound design.


sqprocess (1).gifSound Quality Process

A typical sound quality process starts with binaural acoustic measurements. The collected data is analyzed by means of objective and subjective evaluations. In order to objectively rank and rate sounds, engineers use sound quality metrics. These metrics are often based on the psychoacoustic theory, which takes the mechanisms of the human auditory system into account. A parallel subjective evaluation, such as a jury testing procedure, helps to further link preferences for certain sounds with design variants or benchmarked solutions.



Subscribe to the webinar here!


Join us in order to understand how the human hearing is the first step towards implementing a sound quality evaluation process into your product development cycle. It will help you design a strong, successful product with its own compelling acoustic signature.


Key Take-Aways:

  • Learn why sound quality is important
  • Discover how the human auditory system works
  • Understand the differences between a "class-one" microphone and our human ears
  • Learn how different sensory phenomena affect what we hear

Energy efficiency at the expense of NVH and driving comfort … no way!

Dear automobile constructor,
Dear automotive supplier,


I’m writing you in response to your request for information on addressing vehicle NVH integration issues early in the development. You are kindly invited to the free webinar on January 23 on “how to use model-based development to push the boundaries of evaluating NVH performance”. With model-based development or in short MBD, you will be able to address NVH integration issues from concept to validation and evaluate different architectures and variants at reduced time and cost.


Boosting fuel economy ranks high on your agenda, but design modifications that reduce fuel consumption inevitably impact other performance attributes. In an effort to keep every energy efficiency modification in check, you ran isolated campaigns targeted at separate attributes. Besides cumbersome, this approach also generated redundant and sometimes conflicting models and data sets.


Energy efficiency, yes! But, not at the expense of NVH or driving comfort!


We can help you to avoid late troubleshooting of NVH integration issues and shift the workload emphasis from test and troubleshooting to system simulation. That’s where our MBD solution comes into place. We address vehicle NVH integration issues already in the concept stage of the development. Doing so, we address a variety of noise and vibration issues such as judder, booming, rattle, tip-in/tip-out, engine start-stop or electric motor torque ripple at the design stage!




From driver input to evaluation target, from concept design up to full vehicle verification, this approach pushes the boundaries of vehicle NVH performance.


What you are looking for are solutions to:

  • Address vehicle NVH integration issues early in the development
  • Evaluate different architectures and variants at reduced time and cost
  • Balance NVH with drivability and energy management at early stage
  • Obtain quantifiable results such as gaining up to 50% time reduction when troubleshooting new NVH issues or no more judder in the design of your new transmission

What we are offering:

  • All of the above!

Interested to hear more? Join the live webinar: “Address vehicle NVH integration issues from concept to validation through model-based development” on January 23 and discover how to push the boundaries of evaluating vehicle NVH integration.


During this webinar, we will explain how to incorporate NVH performances by means of a model-based development approach, demonstrated with real application examples. Additionally, we will describe how to balance NVH with energy management and drivability.




Looking forward to meeting you,

The Simcenter team


Webinar link:

Simcenter SPEED – Rapid electric machine design software

As medias and governments are pushing for 'Electrification' as a global hype solution against Global Warming... industry players have to quickly embrace this pushed revolution nobody can ignore anymore to still be part of the game.


For example while combustion engines today performances are the results of several millennia of studies and researches from discovery of fire by first caveman engineer to direct injection combustion engines, Automotive electric engineers need to design electric powertrains reaching equivalent performances based on a mid-17th century experiment by Otto von Guericke. 


This development speed, dynamism and those new challenges for electric machine development can only be overcome using extensive CAE simulation.

 Untitled picture.png


Simcenter SPEED software supports engineers in virtually validating design choices via detailed analytical simulation, quick and smart usage of 2D finite element magneto-static analysis. It includes all necessary theoretical and physical models for a rapid e-machine design with a flexible approach and a seamless interface with links to even more precise and detailed electric machine analysis and simulation such as multi-physics 2D and 3D Finite Element/Finite Volume (FE/FV) magneto-static or magneto-transient, thermal, mechanical or vibro-acoustic. 


Simcenter SPEED benefits and features at a glance: 

  • Electric machine template: set-up an electric machine model in minutes 
  • Multi-physic software link: seamless import to Finite Element software
  • Design exploration: automatically optimize electric machine performance
  • System level simulation: model export to system level model within Simcenter Amesim


Most industrially used machine programs

Untitled picture 3.png


Simcenter SPEED supports most common machine types covering motor, generator and includes as well inverters. 


User can benefit from pre-defined templates for following machine technologies:

  • Synchronous machines (PC-BDC)
  • Induction machines (PC-IMD)
  • Switched reluctance machines (PC-SRD)
  • Brushed PM-DC machines (PC-DCM)
  • Wound-field commutator machines (PC-WFC)
  • Axial flux machines (PC-AXM)




Seamless link with Multi-physics software


Untitled picture 4.pngIn order to improve simulation accuracy, Simcenter SPEED provides links to several general-purpose 2D and 3D electromagnetic finite element solvers such as Simcenter STAR-CCM+ and Simcenter MAGNET or to Simcenter SPEED dedicated 2D magneto-static program, PC-FEA. These enable modeling and studying of the electric machine more precisely if needed, for example in cases of high saturation, under fault conditions, and non-SPEED template-based geometries.


In general, users can connect Simcenter SPEED with other tools required for the complete electric machine solution using various scripting or programming languages. More specifically, automation makes use of the scripting capabilities as driving Simcenter SPEED on its own or together with other programs such as STAR-CCM+. This automated workflow follows the scripting approach and uses STAR-CCM+ and its multi-physics solvers for electromagnetic, thermal (full 3D conjugate heat transfer) and mechanical stress analysis along with Java scripts to provide and feedback additional information.


Vibro-acoustic can also be studied combining stator and housing subsystem FE models with a surrounding free space BE model in order to assess electric machine sound quality. Objective being to eliminate annoying tonal noise through simulation within Simcenter 3D Acoustics.


Automated Design Space Exploration and Optimization

What is expected final outcome of such Model Based System Engineering approach? Answer: a support in making best design choice, and by ‘best’ this means optimized feasible choice, again through an efficient and seamless workflow.

As mentioned previously, Simcenter SPEED provides nearly instantaneously results thanks to its analytical approach, which makes it very suitable for Design Space Exploration programs supporting customers with so to speak “What if” studies and optimization runs.

HEEDS is a powerful software package in the Simcenter portfolio that automates this design space exploration process and Simcenter SPEED provides a built-in graphical user interface to access HEEDS.


Untitled picture 5.png



Machine performance export to Simcenter Amesim

Simcenter SPEED offers a dedicated Simcenter Amesim export capability for the in-built System Simulation models. The export function computes the important e-machine parameters or flux linkage and iron losses data files which are then automatically used by Simcenter Amesim machine models. Outcome for user is the capability to consider electric machine electromagnetic non-linearity in the context of electric machine integration, early in development cycle, as you can see in the following video:


For more information: 

Santa Claus Customs lifting the hood

Santa Claus Customs lifting the hood: revealing “FROSTY-ICE” - the first Ultra-Cold-Combustion Engine 


North Pole Motor Show, Arctic: “This is a true breakthrough for us!” says a broadly smiling Santa Claus, CEO of Santa Claus Customs (SCC) as he lifts the hood of his brand new hybrid sleigh in front of selected journalists.


While in the 1920s Santa was still dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh the parcel delivery vehicle had to accommodate for ever-increasing speed demands resulting from human population growth. This finally led to the sleigh being powered by nine reindeers arranged in a V-shape (classical V9) for the last decades. But the times they are changing and not even Santa Claus can any longer neglect the challenges of today’s mobility industry to increase fuel economy and reduce emissions. “So this is Christmas and what have we done?” Santa asks and pauses, “It was obvious we had to start reducing our Methane footprint and kick off a corresponding sleigh efficiency project”.


The first stage of the efficiency project was focused on the vehicle: “Last Christmas we introduced CFD to improve the sleighs aerodynamics. I was skeptical about this whole CFD and Design Exploration thing, I am an analog man, you know” says Santa, CEO and Chief Sleigh Test Driver, ”But I trusted the engineering elves and had them apply Simcenter STAR-CCM+ and Design Manager to optimize the sleighs aero. And - guess what - when I saw the first virtually optimized prototype thanks to the advanced reinderring and the VR capabilities I immediately realized: Those guys had done something great!” So the very next day SCC had that thing built. “And as the digital twin had promised, the test ride with the new sleigh blew my mind, it even exceeded our expectation!”


But that was just the beginning of the SCC success story! “We had to do more, we had to roll out the simulation technology not only to the vehicle but also to the powertrain!” says CTO Wrapping Layer and continues in excitement: “So we decided was to right-size the sleighs powertrain. We ran the sleigh on nine reindeers for ages: You probably know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen – and maybe you even recall Rudolph. But we understood running on nine methane-blasters is no longer acceptable if we take our mission seriously. On the contrary we have to meet speed targets. The whole present delivery has to be done in one night, covering the whole globe, kids expect that from us and there is NO compromise on that constraint. “

“To meet the targets we needed an efficient, long-range yet – for the last bit of the journey - locally low emissions solution, we needed a hybrid sleigh!” With rapid system simulation using Amesim they figured out to ideally do the long runs between cities on only four reindeers and then switch over to an alternative propulsion system once they reach the local hotspots of present delivery. And – again - simulation was the key to develop this key component:



Within one year Santa Claus Customs developed the first Ultra-Cold Combustion System on the planet: FROSTY-ICE. “We used STAR-ICE and Design Manager to develop that engine from day one onwards.” says Wrapping Reynolds. “The baseline architecture is pretty similar to a human IC Engine, so the tool was just right for us as it delivers quick and easy set-up for exactly that.”

“Plus as STAR-ICE is an add-on to STAR-CCM+, and we had all the experience from the sleigh aero project, the effort of training on the tool was close to zero” says newly hired SCC IC expert Walter Burns “and we had all the design exploration and brilliant post processing a few clicks away, just like for any STAR-CCM+ project.”


So while the human IC engine template fitted perfectly, in its details FROSTY-ICE features numerous outstanding innovations:


  • The hemispheric Piston Bowl allows for an optimum combined tumble-swirl evolution and quasi-spherical flame propagation.
  • The swirl is generated by a unique inside-out intake port technology, shaped like a snowman. “I can not elaborate on all the details here but the intake system acts similar to a Formula 1 Turbulent Jet Ignition system.” says Reynolds. From available images one could see how the flow enters the centrally placed intake port which penetrates deeply into the combustion chamber and then is escaping the inside-out-port through off centric connection pipes in the arms of Frosty to generate swirl and -through the inclined broom - an overlaid tumble motion. “This is a unique system on the market and we hold all relevant patents” adds Santa.


  • Further features include the Christmas tree shaped exhaust valves, made of 100% recyclable wood catering for the whole sustainability concept. The valve design leads to improved droplet wall heat transfer to enhance evaporation of the fuel by the needle based surface increase.
  • Another novelty is the special carrot-shaped injector allowing for completely controllable injection patterns. “We saw kids on earth doing such a carrot-nose design and it looked interesting for our purposes.” says Reynolds.


  • Finally, at its heart the combustion system is designed to cater for ultra-low temperature combustion, mitigating any NOx and Soot emissions, so the engine can operate without any aftertreatment measures. This also ensures there is no melt away of the Frosty-Intake Port. “The details of the Cold Combustion however are top secret” says Santa Claus.


And while this apparently is the greatest innovation of the engine today it also meant the biggest challenge: “A true key related to the Cold Combustion System was designing an appropriate fuel” says Rudolph, who became a key consultant on fuels to SCC after becoming a victim of the downsizing: “We started off with regular fuels and everything was on track. Diesel was a viable option to start from as long as we did our homework on aftertreatment.”  But then out-of-a-sudden humans decided to ban Diesel’s in some of their cities. “It meant a disruption to us, to our development, and it was immediately clear that we cannot continue with Diesel without incredible efforts”, says Santa Claus. “For our business model not being able to reach ALL the kids is simply inacceptable: Imagine all the children with no presents on Christmas Eve in Berlin, Cologne, Munich, London and Madrid etc. In the world of Social Media it would take a few hours and we will be facing the biggest **bleep** storm on earth. So this year to save all those kids from tears, we had to do something special”. So they went back to Rudolph asking him to come up with a novel alternative fuel catering for the Ultra-Low Combustion Concept.  “It was horrible” says Rudolph, “we played with blends of ethanol, cinnamon and oranges” (plus some spices as an anti-knock agent Rudolph got from the little drummer boy but does not want to talk about in detail. ) “It was all experimentally-based, trial and error - my nose was shining those days - it felt like alchemy.” Rudolph admits. Then, one foggy Christmas Eve Santa came to say, "Rudolph with your nose so bright ‘Why don’t you start using simulation instead?", Rudolph recalls. “It was the breakthrough! Now I know what a fool I’d been and if you asked me now I’d never fool me again”, adds Rudolph. The very next day they started using Simulation to optimize their fuel blend and injection strategy.



“Again, like for the sleigh’s aerodynamics, this step was a revolution” says Santa with shining eyes and Rudolph - meanwhile rockin’ around the Christmas tree in visible excitement - adds: “After that project some of the other reindeers came to me and said: ‘Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer, you’ll go down in history!’”



Merry Christmas, everyone!

Why sound quality in trucks’ cabins matters: the example of Volvo Trucks



This is Vera.


Vera is an electric, autonomous vehicle that is designed to optimize transport in highly-repetitive, short distance flows with large volumes of goods.


Vera, and its inventor, the company Volvo Trucks, will certainly influence the future of road transportation and ensure that it becomes safer, quieter and more efficient.


But until Vera is here, trucks will be driven by humans. Humans who get tired, bored, hungry, sleepy. Humans who make errors. Humans who are also capable of enjoying the agreeable sensations of a smooth ride.


Theresia Manns is one of these persons who believe that truck driving should be a safe, comfortable and enjoyable experience.


In her role as an NVH engineer within the Volvo Trucks Company, she understands the impact of ride comfort on attributes such as quality perception, driving pleasure and safety.


“My focus is to improve the sound quality in the truck’s cabin,” she says. “Sound quality is definitely not a negligible aspect of truck design and development. Poor sound quality and the occurrence of disturbing noises cause additional stress and mental fatigue for the driver.”


Manns and her colleagues work to investigate the origin of noise problems and propose appropriate countermeasures, with the ultimate goal to minimize the negative impact of acoustic annoyances inside the cabin on the driver's stress and fatigue.


The NVH engineering team at Volvo Trucks relies on Simcenter Testing Solutions to improve cabin sound quality and quickly identify and analyze the origin of annoying noise, with the help of the Simcenter Solid Sphere Array and Simcenter Testlab 3D Acoustic Camera software.


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Read on the Siemens PLM website the full story: how Volvo Trucks uses Simcenter Testlab and Simcenter SCADAS  to improve cabin sound quality.


Learn more about the Simcenter solutions for sound source localization.


Learn more about Vera on the Volvo Trucks website or watch the video on YouTube.


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