A CAE simulation process was developed to quantify the variability of vehicle attributes such as safety, durability, vehicle dynamics, NVH and weight. The process was integrated with the Ford multi-function optimization (MFO) tool — MOVE (Multi-Function Optimization Visualization Environments) in order to facilitate the robust design of vehicles, systems and components. The statistics of vehicle attribute responses are computed given the statistics of the design parameters. The response surface approximation was used to simplify the input and output relationships. A variety of statistical distributions can be selected to match the statistics of the design parameters which are continuous or discrete. In addition to parametric statistical analysis methods, nonparametric statistical analysis approaches were also available. To achieve robust design, a series of robust targets were used in the search for the optimized design. The method also ranks the contribution of individual design parameter variability to a specific vehicle attribute variability. The ranking was used to set up a tolerance strategy for reducing the variability and the total cost of the product. The integrated MFO/robust design process has been applied in several Ford vehicle programs for robust and reliable optimized design. A couple of applications are described here.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

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Article - Conference proceedings

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Publication Date

01 Jan 1998