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Altair OptiStruct® Integrates with AVL EXCITE for Powertrain Simulation

Media Contacts:
Altair Corporate/North America
Jennifer Korail

Altair Europe, the Middle East and Africa
Evelyn Gebhardt
+49 6421 9684351

Improves robustness of engine dynamics and acoustics analyses

TROY, Mich., Feb. 17, 2015 – Altair and AVL today announced a tighter integration between Altair OptiStruct®, an award-winning finite element analysis (FEA) solver that is part of the Altair HyperWorks® computer-aided engineering (CAE) suite, and AVL EXCITE, the market-leading simulation environment for dynamics and acoustics of powertrain systems. The fast and accurate coupling between OptiStruct and AVL EXCITE shortens the associated workflow, reduces error, and improves the robustness of engine dynamics analyses.

The AVL EXCITE product family is a powertrain-oriented rigid and flexible multi-body dynamic analysis solution which provides advanced techniques to calculate the dynamics, strengths, vibration, and acoustics of combustion engines, transmissions, and conventional or electrified powertrains and drivelines. Outstanding models of lubricated contacts (slider bearings, piston and piston rings) facilitate detailed investigations of the contact behavior, including the prediction of friction and wear.

Customers use Altair OptiStruct for structural and NVH analysis as well as to efficiently create flex bodies for engine dynamics analysis. With this development, Altair OptiStruct became the first FEA solver that can directly produce the AVL EXCITE body property input data file (.exb) without the generation of intermediate files requiring translation, which can be time consuming and could lead to analysis error. The process is very straightforward and does not require any intermediate steps, reducing data input time by as much as 50%.

"The use of Altair OptiStruct allows us to directly create the AVL EXCITE .exb input data file," said Mikhail Ejakov, PhD, Global Technical Specialist for Engine System Dynamics and Crankshaft Durability CAE at Ford Motor Company. "This new capability eliminates the need to create and translate large intermediate files which can be very time consuming with large models, leading to significant improvements in turnaround time and robustness of the engine dynamics analyses with AVL EXCITE."

A detailed OptiStruct FEA model includes stress and other important structural information that is useful for engine system development. The direct export of AVL EXCITE input data streamlines the simulation analysis. The new, highly automated interface can be used by engine manufacturers within a variety of transportation industry sectors, including automotive, aerospace, off-highway, motorsports and rail. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are embracing the workflow improvement.

“Previously, engineers had to run the FEA and then manually convert the results data to be used in AVL EXCITE for the analysis and simulation of the complete transmission,” said Harold Thomas, Development Director of Implicit Solver Technologies for Altair. “The Altair OptiStruct-AVL EXCITE interface demonstrates the strength of the open architecture of the Altair HyperWorks suite, which can be customized to interact with other software tools to meet customer requirements for task automation. This flexibility enables a more integrated approach to the product design process, translating into significant time and cost savings for the customer.”

In addition, recovering stresses from both transient and frequency response analysis performed by AVL EXCITE is faster and easier with Altair OptiStruct. Large amounts of stress data (over 3 GB) are generated in less than one minute using the modal participation coefficients generated by AVL EXCITE. These stress results can be written to both .op2 and Altair HyperWorks .h3d files for fatigue analysis by other third party codes. More ease of use features offered by Altair OptiStruct include tied contact to connect components with dissimilar meshes, and output of results subsets for even faster analysis.

"This improved interface demonstrates AVL's desire to integrate AVL EXCITE into the design and analysis workflow so that our customers can benefit from reduced time-to-market," said Paul Herster, AVL EXCITE Product Manager. "It also shows that complementary products can provide a faster time-to-market than a traditional all-in-one solution."

About AVL
Founded in 1948, AVL is the world's largest independent company for development, simulation and testing technology of powertrains (hybrid, combustion engines, transmission, electric drive, batteries and software) for passenger cars, trucks and large engines. AVL's North American Headquarters are located in the Detroit suburb of Plymouth, Michigan. For more information about the AVL EXCITE product family, please visit www.avl.com/excite.

About Altair
Altair is focused on the development and broad application of simulation technology to synthesize and optimize designs, processes and decisions for improved business performance. Privately held with more than 2,300 employees, Altair is headquartered in Troy, Michigan, USA and operates more than 40 offices throughout 22 countries. Today, Altair serves more than 5,000 corporate clients across broad industry segments. To learn more, please visit www.altair.com.

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