Effective Optimization in Early Development Phases

Mikael Tormanen (Volvo Cars)

CHALLENGE - Today, optimization tools have become a commodity for engineers working with product development. Optimization is performed in many engineering areas such as Computer Aided Design (CAD), Finite Element Method (FEM) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for structure and topology, in multibody dynamics, 1D-simulation and controls development, to optimize behaviour and performance, each with different flavour of challenges. On the market there are various kinds of tools that makes optimization efficient. From numerical optimization toolboxes in high-level mathematical applications to more general purpose multi-disciplinary optimization tools that offer direct integration of engineering tools, and thus providing workflow automation to make optimization more efficient. In addition, some engineering tools include also built-in optimization modules for their specific needs. In other words, it has become relative easy to set up a complex optimization task which generates convincing results, nicely and professionally packaged.

SOLUTION - Communities of practice are continuously improving the efficiency of optimization. Despite this, what if the optimization setup does not cover all the important aspects of the task. If the design space is too wide, or if the prerequisites are not valid? Taking a metaphor from sailing competition, if the winds and streams are not properly analyzed it is not helping much to optimize the sails if the planned route is wrong. The fast skipper uses effectiveness before efficiency, i.e. doing the right things before doing them right, and can, thereby, win the competition without having to stretch the sails too hard. So, how do we apply effectiveness before efficiency? Are there any methodologies that could bring clarity to this question, and what are the requirements to succeed?

BENEFITS - This presentation addresses these questions and present an idea on how to take systematic optimization to the next level by combining existing methods within optimization tools (e.g. modeFRONTIER), SPDM systems (e.g. VOLTA), advanced data analytics and CAE/IT best practices.