Closed-Loop Lifecycle Integration for Automotive Powertrain Systems

A systems-driven powertrain design approach to support development of next-generation automotive powertrain systems, including hybrid and alternative propulsion technologies

Stricter fuel economy and emissions regulations are driving automakers and suppliers to develop more efficient powertrains and vehicles at an unprecedented rate. Companies are pursuing new propulsion technologies such as Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) programs with different configurations – ranging from mild hybrid implementations, to range extender, to full hybrid architectures and electrification programs. Focus also continues on improving the internal combustion engine and transmission, as well as other improvements in driveline components, drivelines and engine actuation. Vehicle teams must collaborate closely with powertrain engineers to lessen the energy demands throughout the vehicle, including lightweighting, improving aerodynamics and other elements.

In response to engine and transmission actuation and new technologies to reduce energy losses and recover waste energy, the complexity of powertrain control systems has increased rapidly. These technologies demand more sophisticated control systems, and modeling is essential to develop an optimal control solution.

These challenges facing automotive powertrain departments translate into major development programs for powertrain innovation. The driving force of powertrain fuel efficiency and emissions control needs to be balanced with the needs of the brand and the consumer‘s desire for power, performance, preferred driving experience as well as affordability. Examples include balancing the total energy for efficient engine warm-up and the cabin warming cycle during engine start; balancing noise, vibration and harshness (NVH)/powertrain-related acoustic comfort and compliance with ISO 362 vehicle pass-by noise; and balancing strength and durability of the powertrain structure and its heated components, such as exhaust.

Integrated Powertrain Design Solution

Addressing the system validation for these complex innovative powertrains requires a multi-level systems approach, where performance validation tools for detailed engine, transmission, cooling systems, battery systems, auxiliary systems and others are complemented with control models and powertrain and vehicle integration models to assess the relevant powertrain performances.

Siemens PLM Software provides this modeling environment – a powertrain, controls and vehicle synthesis environment – in which different subsystems can be combined to calculate overall performance and validate designs virtually and physically. Our automotive powertrain design solutions include best-in-class, integrated functionality for 1D and 3D systems modeling, computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), computer-aided engineering (CAE) and product data management (PDM) for all of your powertrain initiatives. To reduce development time, you can utilize open and flexible modeling and design approaches and re-use knowledge templates that capture best practices in all areas of the process. You can digitally mock-up the vehicle compartment and create design studies to evaluate possible powertrain design options, as well as define, maintain, and apply engine and transmission configurations in the vehicle. You can effectively mesh, analyze, and manage complex powertrain structures to validate the design’s integrity virtually, as well as physically, through effective test lab data and results management.

Complete Powertrain Electronics Systems and Software Modeling

Automotive OEMs and suppliers rely on electronics and embedded software as a key mechanism to control and manage powertrain systems, meet the fuel economy and emissions regulations, and achieve the performance demanded by consumers. Transmission and powertrain controls departments must develop the control algorithms and the electronic control unit (ECU) integration with powertrain sensor/actuation systems, as well as integrate with the powertrain systems, in order to validate that the controls will perform correctly within the system. Powertrain controls departments need to work hand-in-hand with the powertrain systems departments to share the relevant model information and performance requirements.

Siemens PLM Software supports the electronics and embedded software lifecycle with a complete data model for all electronics, electrical, and software deliverables. The integration of the algorithms – control models – and proven vehicle-level models allow you to front-load the calibration process, essentially performing virtual calibration and significantly reducing the effort needed for the prototype-based calibration. You are provided with an environment to do both model-in-the-loop and software-in-the-loop validation, including interfaces to the major platforms for those processes as well as those for hardware-in-the-loop verification.

Digital Manufacturing for Optimized Processes

New global engine and vehicle platforms require improved cost, quality and flexibility in manufacturing in order to meet the regulatory demands in each market, as well as customers’ desires for reliable performance and comfort. From casting and fabrication to machining and finishing, hundreds of critical parts must come together in powertrain assembly to function flawlessly in an extreme environment. Access to critical information such as geometry, tolerances, features and data impacts production sequencing, machine capability and planning, all of which are key factors to holding tolerance in the powertrain manufacturing environment.

Using Siemens PLM Software’s digital manufacturing solutions, you can achieve faster planning and response to installation, implementation, production and quality issues, ultimately leading to successful execution and support of flawless launches and continuous improvement.

Systems-Driven, Closed-Loop PLM

Siemens PLM Software connects your business with the extended value chain, tying together all the members of the team and providing the vehicle data each member needs in the context of their role in the powertrain lifecycle. The same product lifecycle management (PLM) system that is used to manage powertrain system and product development is used to predict and control product costs. Workflow and information management capabilities enable your entire value chain to collaborate and share knowledge throughout the lifecycle. Changes can be effectively evaluated for product, tooling, manufacturing and serviceability impact, and managed through implementation with status reported and tracked so that it is consistent with the overall development timing.

This systems-driven, closed loop approach allows automotive OEMs and suppliers to respond much faster to changing market and regulatory demands, function effectively while being geographically dispersed, and collaborate much more successfully in the automotive powertrain systems design process.

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