Responding to engineers' need to model systems across
multiple domains, MathWorks has a new
version of its SimDriveline product that leverages the company's Simscape technology to
make it easier for users to integrate other physical domains into drivetrain
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SimDriveline, part of MathWorks' physical modeling software portfolio and designed to support the modeling and simulation of one-dimensional mechanical systems like worm gears, lead screws and clutches, has been widely deployed in the automotive sector as part of the process around drivetrain development. With the latest release, via its support for MathWorks' Simscape foundational technology, SimDriveline can now more easily integrate other physical domains into the drivetrain models, including electrical, hydraulic, thermal, magnetic and pneumatic. As a result, the SimDriveline platform becomes better suited for industries beyond automotive, including the control system and aerospace segments since engineering teams can now more easily optimize and test drivetrain models for such factors as thermal losses in geartrains, electrical solenoids or hydraulically actuated clutches.
The new SimDriveline release, which MathWorks officials say is the most significant update to the tool set in years, acknowledges the on-going trend of engineers needing to take a more systems-level approach to modeling and simulating products. "Most system engineers are not only working on mechanical or hydraulic or electrical systems-they usually need to combine those systems," notes Steve Miller, technical marketing manager at MathWorks. Historically, mechanical engineers and electrical engineers, for example, have physically modeled their part of the design in silos, only bringing models together for testing and validation purposes once they are complete, which can cause problems too late in the development cycle.
The enhancements target engineers who are doing systems-level analysis, trying to determine whether an entire system will perform as a unit or to see if a system is operating at optimum efficiency. Ultimately, the goal is to help hydraulic, mechanical and electrical engineers think together about making changes so their systems perform more efficiently or can be produced at less cost, he says. "By bringing these domains together, we're letting engineers collaborate sooner and test sooner so they know if their design is going to work when they integrate these systems," Miller explains.
In addition to the cross-domain focus, the latest version of SimDriveline incorporates other enhancements. There are new gear loss models that capture meshing and viscous losses aimed at control engineers or automotive engineers testing around fuel economy. There are also new functions to support more accurate and efficient simulation for systems involving multiple, simultaneous clutch events.