Many companies with products defining acoustic properties are increasingly already relying on multidisciplinary simulations and virtual acoustics methods in product development or are planning to use them to further optimize the quality of their products. The use of state-of-the-art technology promises new innovative solutions, significant increase of development efficiency and time savings in the entire phase of product development. The base is formed by the quality and completeness of the CAD data.

The development of sound systems is often a lengthy and complex process. The use of multidisciplinary simulations and advanced methods of virtual acoustics help to identify early inadequacies in the positioning of loudspeakers or errors in the integration of loudspeakers, before they entail costs in later stages of the development and production process and the timing getting out of hand.

Indemnify data base and update for the respective development phases by means of data quality criteria

For a realistic virtual sound system with audible attributes, the proper interaction of the CAD and CAE infrastructure is crucial. How well and in which detail the data of the design program are converted in the functional (simulation) model depends primarily on the quality and completeness of the CAD data. The daily practice shows us that the definition of data quality criteria is advisable for every significant development phase. The completeness of the data in the respective development phases, the timeliness of data and the accuracy of the data are among the most important criteria. Nothing is more annoying than finding out in the current project that important data is missing or does not meet the quality requirements. This can lead to considerable rework. A high level of know-how and experience of the CAD/CAE experts is required.

Usually, the CAD data is not organized in a structure suitable for multiphysical simulations. The huge amount of data must be globally analyzed in a first step. The data necessary for the multiphysics model are extracted. Depending on the respective project phase, a different level of detail is necessary.

In the pre-development phase, the optimal positioning of the individual speakers is important. Here, especially the information on the essential components, A-, B- and C-pillar as well as paneling components is important. It is not necessary at this stage to consider any small switch or knob in the simulation model. At this time, often there is not much information available. In some cases, even dummy components from predecessor variants are used as placeholders in this phase. The closer we get to SOP, the more refinements are applied to deliver realistic results.

All influencing components with their respective properties are now included in the simulation model – trim parts made of plastic, aluminum or leather, seat materials, carpets, glass etc. Even apparently unimportant components or the connection of components can be significant. For example, information about insulating materials as well as the information on how components are glued or bolted together are essential. All these factors can affect the sound in the vehicle.

The vehicle profile, equipment and material properties usually change over the development cycle. Quite often components are replaced in the later development phase. For a realistic, virtual acoustic simulation, it is necessary that a data comparison is performed in each significant development phase.

CAD import and use of CAE software in practice

The data can be imported from standard CAD systems such as Catia, NX (formerly UG), PTC Creo (formerly Pro Engineer) or specific CAD data exchange systems. Companies are not tied to a specific tool.

First, the data is transferred into a 3D geometry program and simplified to the data necessary for the virtual acoustic simulation. In order to transport the relevant information for the respective development phase and to consider all physical properties, MVOID supports all major CAE software packages for this purpose. Only through the intelligent use of CAE software packages over the entire development cycle the optimal functionality can be secured and optimized.

Conclusion

Today, state-of-the-art methods of virtual acoustics are becoming increasingly important, lifting realistic simulations to a new level. In our fast-moving time with ever-shorter model and product life cycles, virtual methods play a key role in product development. They enable the evaluation and monitoring of product quality and development results throughout the entire process of product development. Today, the modern methods are able to meet almost all acoustic requirements.

The CAD data and the intelligent use of CAE software form the foundation of successful products of tomorrow. The data quality and completeness of the data are crucial.

MVOID’s experts are at the forefront of implementing multidisciplinary simulations and virtual acoustics methods in automotive audio. They have a high level of know-how and experience, from the evaluation of initial ideas in the pre-development phase to the evaluation of the acoustics concept in detail development phase to the comparison of the virtual and the real models.

The most important usages of multidisciplinary simulations and methods of virtual acoustics are in the pre-development and early product development phases. Discover more information about the specific usage in our article “Using MVOID simulation process methodology to develop products more efficiently – business case examples”.