Aero Industry – Present Climate:
The aerospace sector is under tremendous pressure to maintain performance alongside profitability, and as an industry primed for innovation, it is embracing technology advancements like never before. As an immediate consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, Aerospace OEMs are streamlining their Program Management, Engineering, Supply Chain, Production, and Product Support divisions, without compromising on future developments. With significant challenges and expectations to meet stringent environmental standards, reliability, and safety requirements, a more collaborative approach and sound analytical methods are the need of the hour. Design and manufacturing process occupies a major chunk of this complex system, and there is a need for cutting edge technology to enable productivity and innovation for the next generation of design, manufacturing and maintenance. Using simulation and modeling tools to optimize manufacturing processes and streamline existing designs, speeds up the workflow and makes decision-making effortless.
Application of Modeling & Simulation:
Modelling and simulation (M&S) software integrated widely as part of the development process, evaluate designs and predict product performance by reducing the number of costly and time-consuming physical prototypes in the early stages of the design cycle. Especially in the aerospace industry, these software offer a range of functionalities to craft physical components and optimise the aerodynamic performance of the airframe – and evaluate materials used to manufacture them. They also plays a lesser-known role in the design of flight control systems (FCS), which require the integration of both mechanical and control components. The huge budgets allocated to achieve no-noise air travel, lightweight components for fuel saving, and to produce more efficient and ‘green” aircrafts can be saved by system simulation solutions. Virtual tests reduces the number of physical tests, which in turn cuts down the cost and lead time drastically. Software simulation is a highly valuable tool that allows designers and engineers to troubleshoot problems before they arise. The simulation approach to designing, analysing, building and testing aircrafts go beyond aerodynamics and structures. It encompasses power and thermal management systems, aircraft performance, manufacturability, robustness, reliability and cost.
With efficient manufacturing simulation systems, developing and optimizing planes, helicopters, drones (UAV), space crafts and satellites in the most efficient manner is made possible using a combination of theoretical, computational, and experimental techniques. The various disciplines in these methods covers aerodynamics, propulsion, optimization, controls, simulation, network theory, and data-driven modeling. A full spectrum of aero product development, starting from aerodynamics, aero structures, aircraft engine simulation, hydraulic systems, electronics, on-board systems, control & critical safety systems are part of the software tools that simulate aircraft systems. They include design aspects such as embedded software simulation, including bird strike, lightning and ice simulation. Leveraging these simulation capabilities at the concept stage itself improves the production rate and reduces time-to-market. Having the ability to experiment virtually, engineers can deliver on the new aero mobility expectations in terms of quantity, quality, and technological advancement. These simulation innovations plays a crucial role in manufacturing agility too.
Virtual Validation and Aerodynamics:
With simulation accelerating the optimization processes in product design, the one consistent factor that remains a priority is safety. The virtual validation process provides engineers and product designers a comprehensive 3D visualization of a part or product in CAD and CAE. It establishes a simulated environment where engineers can run multiple tests to ensure the validity and security of their products before physically building them. Engineers can characterise the dynamic behaviour of complex engineering systems, with an infinite range of operating environment variables. The test results evaluate the system behaviour before optimising performance and incorporate safety standards to meet the certification constraints. Virtual validation help engineers get feedback on the viability of the model very early, compared to discovering problems at a later stage. Also, there is a possibility for design trade-offs between better performances in one area versus another while staying within a boundary condition.
With the need to build prototypes for testing eliminated, engineers have the benefits of running endless tests to check safety measures, ensure strength and endurance and operate software through CAE, all while reducing production time and costs.
DEP MeshWorks & Virtual Validation:
The common denominator that drives virtual validation and optimization is high quality FE / virtual validation models. Building high quality FE models for structures, interiors, and propulsion systems plays a pivotal role, besides the solvers technology and visualization.
Detroit Engineered Products (DEP) offers a unique CAE platform, DEP MeshWorks to assist in virtual validation and optimization within the aerospace industry. MeshWorks provides an integrated CAE platform that enables users to utilize virtual validation while optimizing workflows in the industry. MeshWorks, with its morphing and parameterization leadership and early-stage optimization, enables aerospace companies to do a lot of work in the early concept stages. Through its pre-processing tools and design optimization possibilities, MeshWorks also assists OEMs complete several tasks across the concept, verification and validation, and detailed design stage. Even in the verification and validation stage, where almost all the geometric interiors and exteriors are all frozen, and the structural performances still need to be improved, MeshWorks can be very helpful.