Citing an uptick in adoption among companies within the automotive sector, Maplesoft has released a component library extension to its MapleSim physical modeling and simulation tool, tailored specifically to facilitate driveline modeling applications.
Created at the request of a Japanese transmission manufacturer, the new MapleSim Driveline Component Library is a collection of packaged components that can help driveline engineering teams more easily create physical models and incorporate empirical data to optimize designs and improve overall vehicle fuel efficiency.
The new library, an add-on to MapleSim, covers all of the stages in the powertrain, from the engine to the differential, wheels, and road loads in addition to vehicle dynamics, according to Paul Goossens, Maplesoft's vice president for application engineering. Having a physical modeling and simulation tool tailored for driveline applications is increasingly important to automotive suppliers as they struggle to improve the fuel efficiency of their offerings, Goossens told us.
"Automotive manufacturers are under a lot of pressure to improve efficiencies in their vehicles, and that includes conventional vehicles, not just EVs," Goossens explained, adding that the transmission is one of the key areas manufacturers are targeting to achieve gains. Give the number of gears, clutches, and other mechanisms that make up the drivetrain, it's really difficult to fully determine where energy losses occur without a model-based design tool, he said.
One of the notable features of the library is an option that allows power losses (typically due to tooth meshing, bearing friction, or slip) to be incorporated into the model, either through external calculations or through the use of empirical look-up tables. MapleSim's acausal approach to model development is another advantage, Goossens contends, because users can connect the components together without worrying issues like torque direction and load flow -- those matters are handled automatically by the underlying solver.
Maplesoft has been evolving MapleSim to meet the needs of automotive manufacturers for some time, including in the latest MapleSim 5 release, which launched in early summer. Among the highlights of MapleSim 5 are the ability to simulate more types of systems -- a claim supported by an expanding library of now up to 570 components, including those for magnetics, thermofluids, thermal, electrical, 1D rotational, and others. That release also evolved its support for the Modelica standard, a capability requested by automotive engineers, in addition to MapleSim 5's ability to automatically generate fast code for hybrid system models, including event switches.
The Driveline Component Library is the second library add-on released for MapleSim, and Goossens says there are more on the horizon. Currently, there is a tire library for engineers working on vehicle dynamic applications, and plans call for Maplesoft to release a library for batteries and electric vehicle circuit components next year, among others.
"We'll have an ongoing portfolio of these libraries," Goossens told us. "It's part of our product strategy to identify where we need to build predefined components to help engineers develop products in different areas."