The Piaggio Group is the leading European manufacturer of two-wheeled motor vehicles, and also holds an important role in the international commercial vehicle market. Its portfolio includes the production of three-wheeled scooters and hybrids.
The Piaggio Group is the leading European manufacturer of two-wheeled motor vehicles and also holds an important role in the international commercial vehicle market. Its portfolio includes the production of three-wheeled scooters and hybrids.
With more than 7,000 employees at facilities and research centers across Italy, Vietnam, Spain, China and India, Piaggio has recently been investing its efforts in the creation of a new scooter model destined for the Indian market, and has chosen durability simulation solution of the Simcenter™ portfolio from Siemens Digital Industries Software to address engineering challenges linked to this new ambitious strategic move.
Piaggio started on the project with an in-depth analysis of Indian market demand characteristics and singled out a few key features of the “scooter to be,” such as low cost, high engine efficiency, low fuel consumption, low driver-ground distance and low engine emissions.
With these guidelines in place, Piaggio began development of a small new displacement engine. When the engineers came up with a first design for the crankshaft, the system was submitted to the motor center for assessment of the components.
The engine center employed durability simulation solution of Simcenter portfolio to analyze and reproduce the crankshaft subcomponents’ fatigue and durability performance, using the hot spot feature to single out the least safe point of the system.
The results highlighted a spot next to the contact surface between the crank shaft and the crankpin. The damage contribution analysis demonstrated that the crankshaft/crankpin interference fit was the main source of fatigue damage. It gave information to Piaggio that design variations on this assembly technique were delicate and could affect the whole crankshaft performance.
The output data on this spot were then compared to Piaggio’s standards. The conclusion was that, with the current design, all crankshaft components, including the hot spot, satisfied Piaggio safety factor criteria.
Riccardo Testi, an engineer and long-time durability simulation solution user from Piaggio’s motor center division, asks, “What would have happened to the crankshaft’s performance, and in particular to our hotspot, if – without simulation analysis – we had decided to slightly change the design of one of the system subcomponents?”
Testi notes, “Durability simulation solution of Simcenter portfolio provided us with the answer to this question, as it helped us calculate the impact of all neighboring components on the system and pinpoint the highest load channel in the system.”
Finally, the initial crankshaft design was maintained, and Piaggio moved on to finalize the scooter project.
“Use of durability simulation solution of Simcenter portfolio cut the number of required prototypes in half, effectively reducing the development cycle,” says Testi.
Piaggio has been a user of Simcenter software for many years, and the motor center division just recently added motion simulation solution of Simcenter to its virtual simulation portfolio for effective analysis and optimization of real-life performance of its mechanical systems.
“Siemens Digital Industries Software is a great partner,” says Testi. “What we also strongly valued about Siemens Digital Industries Software during the benchmarking process was the responsiveness to adapt the tool completely to the existing development process.”