About IFB Automotive
IFB Automotive Pvt. Ltd. is a pioneer in design and manufacture of seating systems, door systems and automotive motors. The company has built a reputation as a leading technology provider for safety critical and comfort related products in the automotive sector. To meet the growing needs of the auto industry, IFB Automotive has spread its manufacturing base in different parts of India to ensure just in time supplies to all their customers.
The state of art Research and Development Centre of IFB Automotive has the capability to develop new products responding to the diverse needs of its domestic and international customers. Operating in the backdrop of tough global competition, IFB Automotive strives to meet the highest quality demands of national and international regulatory bodies as well as stringent customer specific requirements.
The R & D Centre constantly strives to produce new technologies and new products, staying in close contact with developments in the auto industry. The R&D Centre is accredited by the department of science & technology, Government of India.
IFB Automotive’s product development and design team consists of some of the most experienced and visionary professionals in the country to meet the rapidly growing demands from automobile manufacturers as well as end users for greater safety, reliability and higher cost-effectiveness.
Customer list of IFB consists of all leading OEM’s and Tier 1 suppliers. Some of them are, Maruti Udyog Limited, Mahindra & Mahindra, Ford, Hyundai, Tata Motors, General Motors, Honda, Toyota, Fiat, etc.
The Business Challenge
IFB have to introduce a new mechanism in the market with reduced lead time for development as per customer demands. A typical design of mechanism starts with initial geometry and hand calculations, then validation through CAE tools like FEM and ADAMS. Geometry is expected to change till requirements are met. Every small change in critical geometry requires updating or redefining of hand calculations. Currently MS Excel is used as a parametric calculator that needs to be updated manually for every change in geometry which is time consuming. Design calculations using Excel is iterative and prone to error.
Once the geometry is changed then revalidation of the design using CAE tools has to be done. This process is iterative. IFB was looking for dynamic update of hand calculations on change in geometry and synthesis of mechanism. Even though IFB had the right methodology, lack of appropriate tools led to increase in numbers of iterations and hence lead time.
R & D seating division of IFB came up with a problem statement which required synthesis of geometry with change in magnitude, direction and point of application of force. Challenge was to define optimum geometry of teeth for engagement and transfer of torque with out slippage. Geometry is governed by many independent parameters like teeth angle, teeth position, point of application of force etc.
IFB wanted to define the geometry of teeth and forces acting on the teeth, torque transmitted by teethed male component to teethed female component of the mechanism. Geometry had to be synthesized for engagement and torque transfer without slippage of teeth. The different parts involved in analysis are teethed male component, teethed female component and guide plate.
Force analysis on a sector teeth at engagement was to be done when a force applied on the forcing pin of male teeth component.
This procedure requires a lot of calculations related to forces and moments for every change in geometry of teeth.
IFB Engineers used to resolve the forces in Excel for which they had to find the teeth angle, force direction and moment arms from CATIA. After this the results were validated using ADAMS. This was an iterative process. They had to keep repeating this until they had a satisfactory result compared to ADAMS. For every iteration they had to modify thoroughly or create a new excel sheet. It usually took around 1 week time to get consistent results. During redesign if there was a change in forcing conditions, then the whole process had to be repeated again to find the results.
IFB engineers tried to solve the problem with CEAD. As CEAD provides a combination of geometry, constraints and equations, it was very simple to set up the design problem in CEAD compared to the conventional approach.
CEAD supports vector calculations which allowed IFB engineers to perform force and moment calculations by defining forces using vectors graphically and writing equations for force and moment equilibrium conditions. This reduced the effort of the engineers by eliminating the need to do Excel calculations at each contact point, which is a rigorous and tedious process.
They imported the teeth profile using DXF import. Then did the force calculations for normal force, resultant force, etc. Calculating the forces at each angle was eliminated because giving the equation of equilibrium resolves the forces. This process in CEAD took only a day’s effort.
Another major advantage is moments and vectors are defined and are controlled with equilibrium equations. So if the force conditions like angle changes, changing that angle in CEAD will give the resultant data within a minute. In the conventional approach it would have taken a week’s time again.
Mr. Ajay Wani, General Manager R & D of IFB Automotive Pvt. Ltd. says “We had to do lot of force calculations and moment conversion during the process using excel based methods. If we had used the conventional approach, it would have been very tedious and time consuming. We appreciate vectors functionality in CEAD which made it easy for us to do the force calculations. It also dynamically updated of calculations and results on change of geometry. We can study the effect of changing any independent variable and plot graphs, analyze and conclude on the best possible geometry. We validated the results and found the results obtained by CEAD were very close to results obtained by ADAMS and FEA.”
IFB was able to reduce the design time by reducing the number of iterations. Once the geometry, equations and parameters are defined in CEAD, then time required for updating is considerably reduced. Design changes can be easily incorporated using CEAD without the need to follow the whole procedure again.