Collaboration process critical for next generation of automotive Driveline design

Romax Technology releases integrated suite to deliver faster time to market.

Reducing the timeframe for design and manufacturing is giving automotive manufacturers a significant advantage over competitors when it comes to getting their vehicles to market, and within this process gearbox design and testing is playing a significant role says, Mark Cappell, CEO for Simulation Technology at Romax.

Recent research from the Association of European Carmakers highlighted that European car sales fell by five per cent for the month of August, emphasising the struggles still experienced within the automotive industry.

Cappell states the fallout from this means competition to get cars to market quicker is greater than ever, and in this gearbox design and testing plays a significant role:

"The decline in the automotive industry is resulting in increased competition to gain market share and is ultimately driving manufacturers to get their cars to market quicker. This means design staff are under increased scrutiny to meet deadlines and reduce the risk of errors, and none more so than the drive to improve gearbox efficiency.
While most design engineers have moved from analogue to digital tools and virtual prototypes for testing, a lot of these software tools have grown up in a fragmented way. So while they have helped in a specific part of the design process, such as testing or model analysis, there is very little in the way of integration between tools and having an end-to-end approach when it comes to gearbox development.

With advances in software technology and larger amounts of precise data required in the design process, such integration is now not only possible, but also desperately needed within the automotive industry."

Cappell continues: "A big issue facing engineers is that there are so many of them working at every stage of the gearbox design process - from concept, design, test and build - meaning that extensive collaboration and sharing of information data is required. Streamlining this process and reducing time to market is hugely important as the industry expands to meet renewable energy demands."

For Romax, it is supporting this process through its two solutions CONCEPT and CAD FUSION just released. The latest version of CONCEPT is an innovative early stage design, software package that enables users to rapidly plan, develop and test driveline design options and then pass to RomaxDESIGNER for detailed design and analysis.

CAD FUSION is a robust data interoperability plug-in for moving model data quickly and easily between the company's flagship RomaxDESIGNER and CONCEPT products and third party CAD and gear design applications and tools. Cappell concludes: "Being able to quickly develop concepts and put them under initial testing, improving accuracy in design analysis; and taking an end-to-end approach by enabling data sharing between different software tools, will rapidly speed up the development process and allow for better collaboration between everyone involved."