Virtual prototyping of machines
We have a long experience in the modelling and simulation of complex multi-domain systems, including mechanics, electric systems, hydraulics and control. This expertise, when combined with our deep understanding of physical phenomena involved in mechanical systems (in working and rotating machines and vehicles in particular), enables us to provide our customers expert services for their research, product development and problem solving needs. Our experience and well-established co-operation with system providers in the mechanical industry guarantees a quick response to our customers’ challenges. In short, we understand our customers’ products.
One of VTT’s most significant strengths is its ability to provide high-quality services in both virtual prototyping and measurements. This combination is mandatory for trustworthy system simulation and is unique in Finland in this scale. We have facilities and expertise in defining component properties for modelling purposes as well as in carrying out measurements for simulation model verification and adjustments.
VTT uses state-of-the-art software tools for virtual prototyping, including tools for finite element method (FEM), multibody system (MBS) simulation, and hydraulic and generic system simulation.
Typical modelling and simulation cases include
Mechanical system dynamics
Vibration and its control
Strength and durability analysis of components and structures
Coupled physics problems such as actively controlled systems,
electro-mechanical systems, and fluid-structure interaction
The perpetual challenge in industry and business is to provide better products in shorter time-to-market and at lower cost. At the same time, the products are becoming more complex and the user requirements – in productivity, quality and comfort – are getting stricter. Also, the entire design and development phase with all the design constraints and prototype building is a challenge – and it is not getting any easier. Already now, building prototypes for large working machines is often difficult; it may be that the product is assembled the first time at the customer’s site.
Virtual prototyping is an excellent solution to the challenges presented above. A full simulation model of the product, including all the functionality and major sub-systems – a virtual prototype – enables a cost effective method to reduce both time and expenses in product development – and in the product life cycle as a whole.
Our experimental facilities can be used for component data refinement and both component and full system model validation. This guarantees that the models used are reliable and accurate enough for industrial purposes.
Virtual prototyping, applied to product development from the very beginning of the product life cycle, provides designers with an understanding of product dynamics and the interaction of its sub-systems with each other already at the early phase of the process. Complex products can be designed with confidence that it will meet the requirements. Possible undesired sub-system interference can be identified at an early phase and so avoid expensive design revisions near product release.
Using virtual prototypes can drastically decrease the need for physical prototypes, creating significant savings in time, effort and material. In typical Finnish working machine production, the product series are often relatively small. With virtual prototyping, products delivered to customers can be full production quality – no 0-series production or after-sales updates are needed.