Simulation Data Management – an Integration of Database and Pre-processor

The development of automotive vehicles has become increasingly complex over the years. On the one hand there is an increasing diversity of vehicle types and bodystyles making use of a common pool of components or systems, on the other there are on-going efforts to reduce development loops and hardware prototypes and to shorten the overall development time without compromising quality. Hence the development process increasingly relies on virtual methods such as CAE, giving simulation a very central role within the vehicle development, both guiding and validating the design.  

This gives a large number of different models, loadcases and results which cannot be handled any more on traditional share drive based systems, or even on individual C-drives of the engineers’ workstations. A new simulation data management strategy must be introduced to cope with this complex environment allowing collaboration and work shares between the global development centres of General Motors and also between CAE disciplines.

This presentation will focus on how the integration of the pre-processor with the simulation data management system, and how this again integrates with the corporate PLM system.

Initially, detailed workflows had been documented, in order to define the interfaces between the various applications, and the means of communication between these. On the other hand, the user will want to use the tools in a flexible way; hence this structure must not be too rigid. This in turn generates a grand challenge for the system.

Applying an agile development strategy, the overall process was set to allow early and multiple deliveries of system implementation results, immediate testing and feedback loops.

It will be shown how intensive work on all sides and good communication resulted in quick progress and a productive introduction of simulation data management for finite element model generation for crash, structures and acoustics in a very short timeframe.


The Author

Thorsten Pohl, MEng., Vehicle CAE, GME Engineering
Adam Opel AG