Integration of Ansoft's Simplorer® software, designed to predict electrical system behavior, with Advisor software created by the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NRL), gives researchers the ability to analyze a vehicle's propulsion and electrical systems simultaneously. "This will help engineers perform system-level drive-cycle simulation, and will prove especially useful for evaluating new energy-efficient vehicle technology," says Uwe Knorr, product marketing manager for Ansoft. With Advisor, engineers can analyze the energy efficiency of conventional electric, fuel-cell, and hybrid-electric vehicles in a virtual environment. Users can virtually test the impact of changes in vehicle components such as engines, batteries, and control systems on, say, fuel economy or emissions. Ansoft's Simplorer provides electromechanical system simulation, allowing analysis of circuits, block diagrams, and states machines. John Arnold of Ansoft Corp. can provide further details. Call (412) 261 3200, or e-mail Arnold@ansoft.com.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.