CAE experts speak of optimisation when the improvement potential of complex components is determined using mathematical optimisation processes. The starting point for such a process is, for example, different requirements for lightweight construction solutions. It is not only weight savings which play a role in such cases, but also a reduction in material costs. Other reasons for performing an optimisation process include limited installation space or improvements to a structure to reduce susceptibility to weak points or eliminate them all together.

TECOSIM calculates potential optimisation for a design using different numerical processes. Once potential is identified, recommendations for improvements to a component or an assembly group are integrated into the development process. A proposal for a completely new design is also possible. Our engineers work in close agreement with all departments during all stages of the development process. The component design concept is taken into account alongside material requirements, functionality or boundary conditions in the production process. 

The approach to CAE optimisation varies according to requirements. The type of process chosen depends on the desired improvement:

  • Topology optimisation
  • Topography optimisation
  • Parameter optimisation

Original and optimized Clipp holder for mounting solar modules

Topology optimisation
The starting point for topology optimisation is a defined maximum installation space. Topology optimisation in an FE model enables TECOSIM engineers to develop a structure which is able to withstand all operational conditions, such as loads, stresses, critical frequencies or production restrictions. The component produced features optimised characteristics which determine stiffness and strength. These improvements are possible right from an early stage in development.
Further calculations allow engineers to test the durability of the optimised design, using a service life analysis, for example.

Topography optimisation
Topography optimisation focuses on a component – normally a thin-walled one. With the aid of topography optimisation, engineers determine the best possible layout of a roll-pressed structure, for example. This improves components with regard to their stiffness and/or natural frequencies and, consequently, their overall performance. This type of optimisation can also be used to enhance edges and transitions in terms of resistance to load.

Parameter optimisation
Parameter optimisation mostly entails an automated search for multiple optimally matched parameters in order to enhance a structure’s behaviour. The parameters are varied in such a way that specific values or specific functions take on a best value. If the target values are represented as a linear function, we carry out linear optimisations. We also apply suitable non-linear optimisation processes in the case of non-linear combinations, a common occurrence in practice, or in the case of non-linear target functions.

Typical areas where CAE optimisation is used in automobile industry

  • Components in the powertrain
  • Body components or overall bodies; optimisation of sheet thicknesses, for example
  • Passenger compartment components; optimisation of composite structures with regard to distributing forces in the event of a crash
  • Optimisation of weld points
  • Local reinforcement elements
  • Optimisation of bonding surfaces