Hillsboro, NH--Osram Sylvania's automotive lighting components are activated countless times every day as drivers signal lane changes and passengers open doors. To help ensure the safety of its original and replacement products, Osram uses the mechanical engineering software of Algor Inc. (Pittsburgh, PA).
Charlie Coushaine, an Osram Sylvania engineer, used Algor software recently to reduce the heat that passes from a light bulb through a metal component to the plastic lighting base. For each trial design, Coushaine used Algor's Superdraw III to interface with his computer-aided design (CAD) system. He then leveraged Algor's Heat Transfer Analysis capabilities to determine how hot the lighting component would become.
In the case of the lighting component, Coushaine used Superdraw III's mesh generation and FEA object application functions as well as its CAD interfacing capabilities. "Once I have a design in the [Unigraphic's] CAD system, I simply apply a mesh using Algor's finite element meshing tools, Merlin Meshing Technology, and Hexagen, and apply loads and boundary conditions in Superdraw III," explains Coushaine. "The process of meshing and preparing a CAD model for Algor analysis is so quick that I can maintain my geometry in the CAD system and bring each design iteration over to Algor for analysis. I rarely have a need to further improve the mesh Algor automatically generates."
Superdraw III, Algor's precision finite element model-building tool, contains all the features needed to draw a model, add an automatic mesh, apply FEA objects, and set up mechanical event simulations.
In addition to Superdraw and its heat-transfer capabilities, Algor recently enhanced its Accupak/VE Mechanical Event Simulations for Virtual Prototyping software. This program simulates a system working as whole and predicts impact stresses, instead of analyzing forces on individual parts and then performing stress analysis. For example, if there is a driving and a driven gear, Accupak/VE looks at the gears in motion and analyzes impact between teeth, rather than examining the gears separately. Impact analysis occurs as part of simulation, eliminating the need for individual FEA and much engineering work. Algor's Release 12 for 1998 adds a coupling feature to the general contact element that enables users to restrict motion in the mechanisms.
By the end of the year, "we are going to mesh CAD assemblies with our mechanical event simulation package," says Michael Bussler, president of Algor. "The new features will allow mechanical event simulation with solid models."