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Tier 1 Auto Supplier Tests Hybrid Systems Using Simulation

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naperlou
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Using simulation is good
naperlou   11/6/2012 10:08:56 AM
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Rob, it is interesting to see that suppliers are using CAE.  This is not an environment where the customer just buys parts off the shelf from a number of suppliers and integrates them together. 

While Lear may be upbeat about hybrids, I think that the market will be slow in developing. 

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Using simulation is good
Rob Spiegel   11/6/2012 10:48:36 AM
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Good point, Naperlou. I think Lear is in this for the long run. They are developing significant IP in this territory. With much of the hybrid and EV technology, suppliers like Lear may own more of the IP than their OEM customers.

Charles Murray
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Re: Using simulation is good
Charles Murray   11/6/2012 5:55:31 PM
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Interesting story, Rob. This is going to be a big area for tier-one suppliers because the electrical architectures in hybrids are so much different than those of our more conventional gas-burning vehicles. Many of the hybrids have high power architectures of 360V or more.   

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Using simulation is good
Rob Spiegel   11/6/2012 6:04:37 PM
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Yes, this story was surprising to me, Chuck. I didn't realize how much of the hybrid and EV technology IP is not owned by the OEMs. I can understand the financial and technical benefits of shifting electrical power system development to suppliers, but it's odd to think of the OEMs not owning the technology in their cars.

Charles Murray
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Re: Using simulation is good
Charles Murray   11/6/2012 7:19:05 PM
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There was a time when the automakers owned most of the technology in their vehicles, Rob. In the electronics arena, though, Delphi split from GM and Visteon from Ford, and things began changing.

mrdon
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Re: Using simulation is good
mrdon   11/6/2012 10:50:44 PM
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Charles and Rob, I worked in the Auto Industry for 18 years in various capacities as an Electrical Engineer. What you're seeing is the vision that Automakers focus on new body designs and systems integration of electrical-electronic systems. In reading the article, I recalled an IEEE meeting I attended in Dearborn MI several years back where a Ford Executive stated the days of designing and building ECUs are gone. The key focus for Automakers is in Electrical-Electronic Vehicle simulations. The Ford Executive continued to explain that their Tier 1 Suppliers can take an active role designing and developing electrical-electronic modules in which OEM Auto Engineers will integrate them into their vehicle designs. Yes, times have truly changed gents!

Charles Murray
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Re: Using simulation is good
Charles Murray   11/7/2012 6:56:53 PM
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Someone -- automaker or tier-one -- will have to focus on the electronic complexity problem. I don't know whose realm it falls under (automaker or supplier), but they're going to have to figure out how to reduce the 70 lbs of wiring and the number of MCUs in every vehicle. Seventy or 80 MCUs is too much.   

JamesCAnder
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Re: Using simulation is good
JamesCAnder   11/8/2012 4:33:10 PM
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What will it take to make a monumental effort if a grid overhaul in the USA? Another depression, which created much of the early infrastructure of the past, the canal, state park art, etc. Perhaps a sharp increase in prices.

What holds back progress in the states is the willingness to work on something without a payback. That is why we trail in internet speeds, tech innovation, and now EV support.

The USA spends around $500 billion on gasoline a year, according to the Los Angeles times. Switch to EV and we only spend 1/25 of that, on average ($20 billion). With the rest of that money, could we not start to upgrade the infrastructure?  

JA

ps. I am OK with redundant processors.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Using simulation is good
Rob Spiegel   11/6/2012 11:45:10 PM
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That's right, Chuck. I was surprised just how much of the power system is owned by Lear. This is no longer just a supplier and a customer; the relationship is now a partnership with collaboration on design.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Using simulation is good
Rob Spiegel   11/6/2012 6:04:37 PM
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Yes, this story was surprising to me, Chuck. I didn't realize how much of the hybrid and EV technology IP is not owned by the OEMs. I can understand the financial and technical benefits of shifting electrical power system development to suppliers, but it's odd to think of the OEMs not owning the technology in their cars.

Charles Murray
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Re: Using simulation is good
Charles Murray   11/6/2012 5:58:27 PM
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I agree that the plug-in hybrid market will be slower in developing, naperlou. Vehicles such as the Volt have bigger batteries (although not nearly as big as those of pure EVs) and cost will be a bigger issue for those vehicles for awhile. We will see faster growth in mild hybrids and micro-hybrids that use start-stop technology, however.  

Mydesign
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EV simulation
Mydesign   11/7/2012 6:55:04 AM
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Rob, am eager to know what type of simulation test done by Lear corp. is it something for better mileage or about engine power. These are the two areas, where a of now EVs are lagging.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: EV simulation
Rob Spiegel   11/7/2012 11:08:40 AM
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Mydesign, in this particular instance, it was simulation to validate reliability of a traction inverter. The simulation showed there were reliability issues. Upon making changes, a further simulation proved out reliability. But that was just one instance. They were doing tests up and down the power system, including making sure the electrical power system did not interfere with the electronics in the cab of the vehicle.

Mydesign
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Re: EV simulation
Mydesign   11/12/2012 12:16:16 AM
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"it was simulation to validate reliability of a traction inverter."

Rob, thanks for the clarification. So they are doing the simulation experiments at various levels for Power system reliability. Nothing concerned with the market demands like mileage or engine power. I think, they have to give much important to these type of issues.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: EV simulation
Rob Spiegel   11/13/2012 12:59:46 PM
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I agree, Mydesign. It's quite amazing how much can be tested and validated virtually. While the process involves quite a bit of number crunching, the number crunching moves more quickly now, and it certainly beats building prototype after prototype.

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