CAD collaboration essential, says Romax

Posted on 3 Oct 2013 by Ruari McCallion

Working together better cuts time-to-market

Arguing that engineering collaboration is essential in the design of the next-generation of automotive gearboxes, Romax Technology releases an integrated suite that is claimed to deliver faster time to market.

Reducing the time taken for design and manufacturing gives automotive manufacturers a significant advantage over competitors, when it comes to getting their vehicles to market. Within this process, gearbox design and testing is playing a significant role, according to Mark Cappell, CEO for Simulation Technology at Romax, which is headquartered in Nottingham, England. European car sales fell by five per cent for the month of August, emphasising the struggles still experienced within the automotive industry.

Under pressure

“The decline in the automotive industry is resulting in increased competition to gain market share and is ultimately driving manufacturers to get their cars to market quicker,” Capell said. “This means design staff are under increased scrutiny to meet deadlines and reduce the risk of errors, and none more so than the drive to improve gearbox efficiency. While most design engineers have moved from analogue to digital tools and virtual prototypes for testing, a lot of these software tools have grown up in a fragmented way. So, while they have helped in a specific part of the design process, such as testing or model analysis, there is very little in the way of integration between tools and having an end-to-end approach when it comes to gearbox development.

“With advances in software technology and larger amounts of precise data required in the design process, such integration is now not only possible, but also desperately needed within the automotive industry,” he said, and went on to explain that a major issue engineers face is the sheer number of them working at every stage of the gearbox design process, from concept and design to test and build. “Extensive collaboration and sharing of information data is required. Streamlining this process and reducing time to market is hugely important as the industry expands to meet renewable energy demands.”

Two new solutions

Romax has recently released two new design software solutions: CONCEPT and CAD FUSION. The latest version of CONCEPT is an early stage design software package that is claimed to enable users to rapidly plan, develop and test driveline design options, and then pass to RomaxDESIGNER for detailed design and analysis. CAD FUSION is a data interoperability plug-in, designed for moving model data quickly and easily between the company’s RomaxDESIGNER and CONCEPT products and third-party CAD and gear design applications and tools.

Cappell claims that being able to develop concepts and get them to initial testing quickly improves accuracy in design analysis, and taking an end-to-end approach by enabling data sharing between different software tools will help to speed up the development process and allow for better collaboration between everyone involved.