3563. Optimization Centers – A Systematic Deployment Of Structural Optimization In Large Enterprises


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Lars Fredriksson: 3563. Optimization Centers – A Systematic Deployment Of Structural Optimization In Large Enterprises. 2012.



In current product development processes, mass targets often have to stand back for functional targets in concept and early product development stages. The focus on satisfaction of mass targets thus takes place later and it has been proven difficult to fulfill the mass targets at this late stage without compromising the functional requirements. Late ‘firefighting’ activities, which are frequent in both the automotive and aerospace industries, confirm this development dilemma.
In both aerospace and the automotive industry, dedicated weight managers have responsibilities related to weight targets and their fulfillment. As of today, weight managers act predominantly based on experience, bench marking and information regarding future usage of advanced materials in the products. CAE is today not as widespread a tool to support the recommendations issued by weight managers.
An optimization center is a centralized structure within an OEM which allow for strategic execution of optimization within the product concept and development processes. Differences between the current widespread usage of optimization within OEMs and an optimization center are; 1) the direct (strategic) connection to program management of product development, 2) the usage of optimization early to help propose baseline load carrying structures which show potential to fulfill both functional and weight targets, 3) the consideration of multiple (the important) functional requirements during concept optimization and 4) the application on larger product subsystems in order to provide possibility to rearrange the load carrying topology between parts and/or systems. An optimization center can additionally support weight managers with information gained from CAE studies. This information would enhance the basis for decisions and could thus help to make better judgments of realistic weight goals and about the distribution of weight on systems, subsystems and parts.
The optimization center is a competence center of excellence, where optimization knowledge relevant to the products is concentrated, preserved and enhanced. The optimization center will assure 1) the creation and compliance to standards for performing simulations and optimization within the OEM, 2) the continues build-up of knowledge and improvement of methods and processes, 3) the training of new center members to assure continuation and redundancy of knowledge and 4) a flexible integration with standard development processes of the OEM.
This paper and presentation will discuss how optimization centers work and can be created to fit requirements of different OEMs. Advantages of optimization centers are presented and examples are shown how optimization centers are used today to improve product development in the Aero and Auto industries.


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