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modeFRONTIER orchestrates system modelling at Whirlpool Corporation


"modeFRONTIER is like a symphony conductor, pulling together the individual
subsystem outputs"
John Mannisto, Engineering Director, Simulation Based Design at Whirlpool Corporation

Whirlpool Corporation is the world leader in the appliances industry, with 59 manufacturing and technology centers operating globally and strongly committed to maintaining its innovation-oriented strategy. Whirlpool has successfully devised a system of tools that enables the ongoing connection and engagement throughout the network of design teams worldwide. modeFRONTIER plays a key role in streamlining system modeling tasks and helps Whirlpool rationalize the whole process and adapt it efficiently to regional peculiarities, providing diversified product lines.


Figure 1 - Fabric Care System Model – High level view.

Sophisticated appliance design is underpinned by complex mechanical and electrical requirements and demands advanced engineering knowledge in dynamics, structures, fluids, thermodynamics and controls. This calls for an in-depth understanding of both market expectations and engineering dynamics at system level. Most of all, the ability to evaluate product performance before identifying specific requirements accelerates the subsequent adaptation to regional peculiarities. Connecting all players doing similar tasks is crucial for identifying not just a single solution, but a set of solutions so as to map out the relevant space before laying down the requirements. Balancing individual and team workloads based on such flexible approach is challenging task which can be tackled only with appropriate mindset and tools.


System modeling as concieved by engineers at Whirlpool combines “Attribute” and “Architecture” performance together and relies upon modeFRONTIER as the multidisciplinary project dashboard: it “provides us with an easy way to combine attribute models – defining subsystems configurations - and evaluate product performance without specific requirements”, says Greg Garstecki (Principal Engineer, Fabric Care Advanced Development at Whirlpool).

Figure 2. Optimization of product performance with clear requirements

This results in a “correlation and calibration document” described by John Mannisto (Engineering Director, Simulation Based Design at Whirlpool) as “a tool for measuring our confidence in a particular simulation, and for understanding the variations in our processes.” While the interrelated effects of the involved electro-mechanical simulation variables are identified at an early stage, “modeFRONTIER multi-objective optimization capabilities allows us to reach a high level of performance once the product requirements are then set”, points out Garstecki.


“modeFRONTIER helps Whirlpool Corporation create more consistent models by increasing fidelity and performance”


Modeling product performance at system level is an evolutionary process, from the mere description of specific performance metrics by means of empirical test data to the physics-based predictive model. modeFRONTIER helps Whirlpool create more consistent models by increasing fidelity and performance: this in turn allows for a larger inference space for design and continuous connection at a system level to lay down the basis for knowledge capture. “System modelling is where modeFRONTIER really shines,” Mannisto added. “It’s like a symphony conductor, pulling together the individual subsystem outputs to understand the interplay between them. This lets us explore and discover possibilities we’ve never even considered.”

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