TEC|CONCEPT: New approach for faster virtual development
"For the first time, it is now possible to check and optimise a large number of concept designs at an early stage by examining several requirements simultaneously," stated TECOSIM Member of the Management Board Udo Jankowski in informal conversations at German Mid-Size Companies Summit in Essen, Germany, where the CAE specialists have just been honoured with an award for the innovation culture for the second time. The computer-based development method TEC|CONCEPT is the TECOSIM engineers' latest coup. This newly created process provides a large number of optimisation options right from the early stage of automotive design and remedies omissions in previous procedures.
More and more different vehicle types are being brought onto the market in increasingly shorter overall innovation and development cycles. This is leading to a growing demand for virtual calculation and design, now used more frequently in the early stage of development, during which time the design is established.
Faster use of calculation and design data
The idea behind the newly developed TEC|CONCEPT process is the desire to unite a wide variety of complex requirements, such as quality, weight, rigidity and costs, in the early design concept during virtual development. Existing installation spaces, wall thicknesses, mount cross-sections, reinforcement fitting positions and aspects of vehicle safety can all be taken into account. This new step in virtual development examines individual development modules as part of an integral whole. This means that not only standard calculation and development topics such as crash behaviour or service life are considered. Virtual recalculation can also incorporate possible effects of individual process topics such as paintwork adhesion, deep drawability, welding and cost trends.
Direct communication between calculation and design
The core element in the new virtual process TEC|CONCEPT is improved interdisciplinary communication between calculation and design. "With TEC|CONCEPT, users no longer need to resort to specific CAE result formats. They receive an error-free CAE model directly instead, including any intermediate versions. This means the result is clearly defined for all departments," says Jankowski.
Detect and calculate new versions in the early stage of development
Using a parametric CAD model allows a large number of possible designs to be created automatically within a short period of time. "Whereas before just a few optimisation geometries were calculated, the TEC|CONCEPT virtual process now provides over 100 new concept solutions," continues Jankowski. This not only means an enhanced, more stable solution and cost savings, but also a significant product advantage over competitors.
The TEC|CONCEPT development process was developed in cooperation with software partners Dynardo GmbH, Fast Concept Modelling & Simulation GmbH (a subsidiary of Contact Software GmbH) and Munich University of Applied Sciences plus the industry partner MAN. "It was our declared aim to allow existing simulation tools to be used as far as possible," states Jankowski. This should enable integration into the manufacturer's overall development process.