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Development of Best Practices and Identification of Breakthrough Technologies in Automotive Engineering Simulation

Final Report Summary - AUTOSIM (Development of Best Practices and Identification of Breakthrough Technologies in Automotive Engineering Simulation)

Thirty-two of European's leading automotive companies - including OEMs, Tier1 and Tier2 suppliers, consultants, researchers as well as software developers - launched the EC funded project AUTOSIM (Sixth Framework-Sustainable Transport) on 1 September, 2005.

The three-year project is supported by the European Commission and coordinated by Nafems Ltd and Caevolution GmbH (please refer to online). The web-page of AUTOSIM contains information about the project itself, about its objectives, participants, ongoing meetings and workshops.

The fundamental objective of AUTOSIM was to promote a better and more effective use of simulation technology in the European automotive industry. It had two complementary aims:
- firstly to develop 'best practices'
- secondly to identify the most promising potential 'breakthrough technologies' for computer-aided-engineering (CAE).

Based on the results of the previously EC-funded project FENET, the AUTOSIM project is centred around three key technical areas:

1. Integration of simulation into the overall design process
For example integration into CAD, integration of and with suppliers, but also 'up-front loading of simulation' into the 'early design phases' or 'up-front-loading-of knowledge' via simulation-data-management.

2. Materials Characterisation
For example, constitutive models and material data, e.g. for composites, foams or completely new materials and applications like fracture mechanics and durability, modelling connections

3. Confidence in the use of simulation results
For example, robustness, uncertainty / stochastic (parameter scatter), validation, correlation with test, cost of getting confidence.

There was wide agreement within the consortium that the three identified key topics are not isolated but strongly connected to each other. 'Integration' is connected via decision making processes and risk management to confidence, sharing simulation-data (SDM). 'Confidence' needs to rely on a perfect quality and reliability of material data and needs to get input from integration. 'Materials' need to identify the large number of material models, their usability and adoption of new material models and needs to analyse forming processes, which closes the loop to Integration.

In the middle of everything stands the 'human being', with the challenge to get appropriate software from the suppliers. The software tools should be 'easy-to-use', 'state-of-the-art' and compiled with high-performing technologies. Likewise, the need of corresponding training programmes should be supported by management as only the combination of utilising high-end-technologies together with basic skills will be the key of success.