Altair Releases Complete Powertrain Analysis Solution for Faster Development

TROY — Altair today announced the release of an upgraded technology package that brings together all the tools that engineers require for the complete design and analysis of vehicle powertrains.

Altair said SimLab 12.0, a software tool created specifically as a pre-processor for detailed computer models of complex powertrains, has been released as part of HyperWorks 12.0, Altair’s suite of computer-aided engineering software. Because it now is integrated into HyperWorks, SimLab can be run with the same HyperWorks Units that designers and engineers use for all the other HyperWorks simulation tools, making it more accessible and cost-efficient than ever before.

The auto industry can use SimLab for powertrain modeling and setup, along with OptiStruct 12.0 for powertrain analysis and optimization. SimLab represents a significant addition to the HyperWorks solution for powertrain structural analysis. SimLab’s role in simulation preparation includes feature-based solid meshing for structures like the engine crankcase and cylinder head and the setup of simulation loads and boundary conditions. With SimLab 12.0, meshes require no manual cleanup — perfectly clean meshes are generated automatically.

Overall, SimLab 12.0 can provide a 30 percent improvement in meshing and substantial improvements in setting up large finite element models.

OptiStruct’s powerful solver is the market leader for structural design optimization, helping the industry develop innovative, lightweight and structurally efficient designs by analyzing and optimizing strength, durability and noise/vibration/harshness (NVH) performance.

These tools are supplemented by such HyperWorks solutions as HyperMesh for shell and simple solid meshing and setup; morph mesh for rapid design iteration and optimization; AcuSolve for thermal and computational fluid dynamics analysis (CFD); the RADIOSS solver for crash impact; and HyperView for viewing results contours, animations and plotting, as well as advanced NVH diagnostics.

“With the latest HyperWorks technologies, Altair now offers a completely integrated and automated process for powertrain simulation,” said David Mason, Altair vice president of global automotive. “HyperWorks furnishes a single-solver format for analysis of NVH, structures and durability, employing multiphysics coupling for increased accuracy along with advanced optimization capabilities. The result is a faster and more reliable powertrain simulation process.”

SimLab’s incorporation within the HyperWorks Units licensing model brings to all Altair powertrain customers a very comprehensive solution for meshing of complex solid models. Additionally, SimLab can be used for some very powertrain-specific post-processing use cases, such as analysis of cylinder bore distortion from heat and pressure and results mapping for CFD and thermal analysis.

On the analysis and optimization side, OptiStruct can be used to perform durability or noise and vibrations analysis and apply advanced numerical optimization technologies to improve the design. In order to do this, OptiStruct has been advanced with a number of specific features, including gasket elements, an accurate and robust contact formulation, plasticity enhancements and a thermal analysis sequence.

Examples of the application of Altair technologies and tools for powertrain simulation will be presented by Takeshi Abe, Technical Fellow for Powertrain NVH at Ford Motor Co., at the 2013 Japan Altair Technology Conference on June 27-28 in Tokyo. Abe will describe the value of Altair’s integrated powertrain simulation technologies, addressing the conference on the topic of utilizing CAE/hybrid engineering for Ford advanced powertrain NVH development.

To learn more about SimLab, OptiStruct and the other products included in HyperWorks 12.0, visit

Privately held, with 1,800 employees, Altair has offices throughout North America, South America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. With a 28-year track record for high-end software for engineering and computing, enterprise analytics and innovative product design and development, Altair consistently delivers a competitive advantage to customers in a broad range of industries.

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