Engineering Technology Associates, Inc. (ETA) developed an Accelerated Concept to Product (ACP) process that uses design optimization technologies to provide solutions to design problems. The company says it achieved significant weight reductions as part of the Future Generation Passenger Compartment (FGPC) project and the Future Steel Vehicle (FSV) initiative. FGPC and FSV are high-profile steel industry initiatives aimed at reducing next generation vehicle weight by 30% or more.
ETA’s ACP process uses a product development process with multi-disciplinary (MD) loading based on topology and 3G (geometry, grade, and gage) optimization. It incorporates Red Cedar Technology, Inc.’s HEEDS® Professional, software that automates the design optimization process. HEEDS contains a search strategy called SHERPA, a proprietary hybrid adaptive strategy for parameter optimization.
SHERPA (Simultaneous Hybrid Exploration that is Robust, Progressive and Adaptive) uses multiple search methods simultaneously rather than sequentially. This approach takes advantage of the best attributes of each method and reduces a method’s participation in the search if or when it is determined to be ineffective.
ACP with the SHERPA search method was used in the industry research led by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) as part of the Auto/Steel Partnership, and dubbed the Future Generation Passenger Compartment (FGPC) project. It resulted in a conceptual optimization methodology for realizing a mass reduction of 30% when compared with a typical passenger compartment of the same vehicle class.
A second research phase proved that these conceptual ideas could be applied to a production vehicle indicating that overall mass could be reduced by as much as 20% with current manufacturing methods.
The success of the FGPC work led to the Future Steel Vehicle (FSV) initiative led by WorldAutoSteel, which seeks to extend the positive results and develop designs that can reduce vehicle weight by 35 percent or more.
Engineering Technology Associates, Inc.
Red Cedar Technology, Inc.