Femap Case Study- Consumer Products

ASICS

CAE facilitates design direction and prototype reduction, cutting time for new product development.

Continuous commitment to CAE for a quarter of a century

ASICS Corporation, Institute of Sport Science (ASICS) is very popular in the sports footwear market. This includes both the general consumer and running shoe segments, where ASICS is among the market leaders.

The popularity of ASICS shoes is largely based on their superior functionality, which can be directly attributed to the company’s continuous efforts to improve shoe performance.

One of the major contributors to improved shoe performance has been the aggressive use of computer-aided engineering (CAE). At ASICS, serious commitment to simulation began around 1987.

For 25 years, ASICS professionals – both CAE specialists and other engineers/researchers – have actively utilized various analysis tools. Among these tools, the most significant contributor to performance enhancement has been the use of Femap™software with NX™ Nastran® software.

The CAE effort is led by Dr. Tsuyoshi Nishiwaki, Fellow and senior general manager of ASICS Institute of Sport Science.

Since joining ASICS, Dr. Nishiwaki has strived to implement and deploy the best CAE tools across the product development process.

Before devoting his time to shoe development processes, Dr. Nishiwaki worked on analyzing sporting goods, such as tennis rackets. Dr. Nishiwaki is not only experienced in the use of CAE software, he has personally developed a numerical model that represents the mechanical properties of composite materials.

CAE as a decision-making tool for development direction

Through experience, Dr. Nishiwaki has observed that CAE software is a great tool for decision-making across a number of areas, especially for development direction. He points out, for example, that because of the use of 3D computer-aided design (CAD) in conjunction with Femap with NX Nastran, ASICS has reduced and continues to reduce physical prototypes per project.

He also notes that reducing CO2 emissions is now becoming an important issue at the corporate level, as well as for virtually every manufacturer today. By using CAE early in the development cycle, the production of physical prototypes is significantly reduced, as are CO2 emissions.

“Using CAE effectively to decide product development direction, we estimate we are shortening turnaround by 30 to 35 percent for general development projects,” says Dr. Nishiwaki.

Many CAE users focus on how well analysis results match with experimental results. According to Dr. Nishiwaki, for purposes of shoe design, it is a rare case to have exactly the same results. To do so, all of the required information, such as material properties, constraints and loads must be completely known.

This is particularly true for products like sports shoes, which require factoring in certain physical conditions of the human body, although much of that information is highly variable or unknown.

For example, muscle flexibility/stiffness often varies as a person’s mental state changes. So even if just one of these characteristics is unknown, that often means that one cannot obtain a highly accurate result.

Nevertheless, Dr. Nishiwaki emphasizes how critical it is to use CAE tools to capture the impact of design on shoe performance, explaining that simulation can provide special insight on the design of a shoe’s sole, enabling important decision-making data regarding overall performance to be captured in the early phases of development.

According to Dr. Nishiwaki, it is just this type of use of Femap with NX Nastran that has enabled ASICS to reduce product development time by 30 to 35 percent.

Using subjective metrics to improve objective performance

When Dr. Nishiwaki began his work on sports footwear development, he soon tackled the issue of leveraging subjective metrics using CAE. “Although quite a few biomechanics professionals have been researching human body movement with respect to shoes, these findings weren’t leveraged to improve the shoe development process,” says Dr. Nishiwaki.

To quantify performance metrics that could only be evaluated in physical ways in the past, ASICS established eight domains of functionally: cushioning, stability, flexibility, fitting, durability, grip, weight and ventilation.

ASICS then established metrics within each domain through experiments and hypotheses. For example, to establish metrics for cushioning properties, ASICS hypothesized that such properties are tightly linked to the acceleration of the shin.

Through a series of experiments, the company found that when the sole absorbs low frequency waves, the shoes have better shock-absorbing characteristics. Moreover, with that knowledge in hand, ASICS set about to determine specific cushioning metrics using CAE.

“The design process for shoes is the same, whether it’s for a professional athlete or a casual jogger,” says Dr. Nishiwaki, pointing out, “Actually, shoes for the casual jogger have more performance features.”

According to Dr. Nishiwaki, shoes have two major roles. One is to improve the performance of the user; the other is to protect the user from injury.

For the professional athlete, the second role, protection, is secondary. While protection is meritorious, a professional athlete’s No. 1 priority is to improve performance.

However, for the casual athlete or young person first trying sports, protection from injury is very important.

Moreover, sports shoes for general consumers must serve highly diverse needs, so they must perform well for most individuals.ze in simulation.

Download The PDF Here

Download The PDF Here

High analysis functionality + extraordinary ease-of-use = efficient product development

Dr. Nishiwaki notes that the use of CAE tools by all research and development (R&D) professionals – not just analytical specialists – is essential for efficient product development. However, he adds that ease-of-use is critical to engaging the software’s use by engineers and it is here that Femap with NX Nastran truly stands out, because it’s a powerful analysis tool that’s easy to navigate and satisfies the requirements of a broad spectrum of users.

“Femap with NX Nastran is very easy to use, even if an engineer has little to no experience using numerical analysis tools,” says Dr. Nishiwaki. “After one or two days of training, an engineer can start utilizing CAE on his own. Even a complete novice, an engineer with absolutely no CAE experience, can easily start numerical analysis by importing geometry from 3D CAD software, creating mesh using auto-mesh functionality, then analyzing the optimal depth of grooves in a sole and positioning of gels for shock absorption.”

Dr. Nishiwaki points out that such ease-ofuse is commonly associated with low functionality in analysis software, but that’s simply not the case with Femap with NX Nastran. “There are no issues in convergence; enhancement of the code for nonlinear analysis is exactly as we wished. The solution even has good enough functionality for appropriate use by numerical analysis experts, and we expect the software will get even better for such applications with subsequent releases. We are quite satisfied with the well-balanced functionality and usability of the software.

Femap with NX Nastran has helped us create a more efficient product development process. It is up to us to determine how much we make further use of the software for competitive advantage.” Indeed, ASICS is extending the use of Femap with NX Nastran. It is now deploying the software to its product designers. ASICS excels in terms of shoe performance; however, Dr. Nishiwaki notes that outstanding design is equally essential, particularly for running shoes for the general consumer. “No matter how superior a pair of shoes may be in terms of performance, unless the shoes have high appeal from a design perspective, the reality is, the shoes will not have strong marketability,” he says.

“To develop shoes that satisfy both design and functional requirements, and to develop the best products, we feel that use of analysis tools by our product designers is fundamental to improving our best practices. We are deploying Femap with NX Nastran for this role.”

Analysis software facilitates communication, marketing

Effective communication between engineers and non-engineers across the product development organization has grown since deploying Femap with NX Nastran. Even communication with consumers has improved. “It’s phenomenal…we are now using results from numerical analysis in conjunction with experimental data for promotional purposes, and it’s a valuable asset,” says Dr. Nishiwaki. “By leveraging numerical analyses, the development process can be described in the form of animation. Now, even people unfamiliar with the technology can understand our shoe development process, which helps them understand the science and art behind our ASICS brand. Such content is already used in sales meetings with ASICS distributors and representatives, and even at public seminars for general consumers.”

Ease-of-use and superior capabilities that satisfy even numerical analysis experts represent the distinctive attributes of Femap with NX Nastran. Moreover, these attributes are helping ASICS apply CAE across numerous development domains and projects. The results are valuable benefits at the front-end of design, especially from team members who don’t specialize in simulation.

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The EDGE software portfolio includes CAD, CAM, FEA & PDM solutions and EDGE fully supports and offers training and mentoring services on its entire portfolio. EDGE has been a business partner of UGS/Siemens since 2004. EDGE also configures and sells Dell hardware to assist our customers maximise their software investments. Read more about us…

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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.

 

 Blog_PowertrainBias_Teaser.png

 

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!

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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

 

“Peace!”,

the first powertrain-hippie on earth

 

 

 

[1] https://about.bnef.com/electric-vehicle-outlook/

[2] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/17/automobiles/wheels/internal-combustion-engine.html

[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.   

 

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Interesting links:

 

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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 uniti.earth.

 

 

 

 

 

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