Engineering Solutions

Consulting Services

ETA offers consulting services for various stages of virtual product development. They remain as the leading provider of product design and development solutions (CAE, CAD, and Engineering Design) along with FEA software tools. ETA proudly serves the automotive, aerospace, energy/power, electronic packaging, and biomedical industries.

ETA’s engineering services team specializes in all of the major attributes of CAE structural analysis, such as; crash and safety, noise, vibration and harshness, durability, vehicle dynamics, and real-time issues where loading and stresses/deflections are involved. The team has experience with numerous full vehicle programs including passenger cars, buses, and trucks. Along with managing project costs, timing forecasts, conceptual design, CAE analysis, manufacturing, test, validation, homologation, and product release.

ETA utilizes CAE simulation through traditional methods or while using their own propriety patented technology – Accelerated Concept to Product Process (ACP Process) and Virtual Proving Ground Process (VPG Process).

Services Offered:

Crash and Occupant Safety Simulations

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Crash and safety is very crucial to product development in the automotive industry. It provides deep insight into structural behaviors and the impact on occupants. In addition to understanding the behaviors, a robust FE model can assist with providing quick design studies that would otherwise be time and cost consuming.  ETA has worked with several of the leading OEMs and suppliers to offer dynamic solutions for crash and safety (interior and exterior). Apart from full vehicle, such analysis is an integral component to subsystem developments; bumpers, closures, restraint system and airbags.

While managing countless projects with OEMs and suppliers from all over the world, ETA has gained a firm understanding of all aspects of crash and safety. Alongside, a logical comprehension of how load-path along with material and gauge works in diverse scenarios, such as:

  • Performing various regulations based on FMVSS, IIHS, ECE, CHN and JPN regulations.
  • Interior System and Sub-System Evaluations (FMVSS & ECE).
  • Seat System Performance (FMVSD 207/210/202 etc.).
  • Pedestrian Protection
  • Occupant Safety FE Dummies System and Sled Study.
  • Restraint System (Airbags, Seat Belt, etc.).
  • Material modeling for metals, composites appropriate for crash loading.
  • Developing best practices that manifest realistic results.
  • Proven track record of CAE vs test correlation.

NVH

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Natural frequency or frequency response is a key attribute to the robustness of any structure. ETA is well versed in analyzing all of the following major attributes for the robustness of a design. And not only do they help identify issues, but they also provide the most efficient alternatives to improve performance. This includes:

  • Model Analysis
  • Static and Dynamic Stiffness
  • Frequency Response Analysis
  • Point Mobility
  • Attachment Stiffness Analysis

Durability Simulation

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Designing fail-safe components is the ultimate challenge for engineers. Fatigue damage can be catastrophic in terms of system performance and can lead to recalls. Many companies have been reducing the product development cycle to create products at a faster rate. Given that scenario, an efficient and accurate durability simulation becomes critical. ETA’s engineering team has the proven expertise and experience in designing components from a durability standpoint. Based on the client’s requirements and the given case, one of the two alternative approaches below can be adapted.

Static Load Representation
Standard industry practices, specifically for full vehicles, includes representing the road profile input (pothole, bump, curb, and cornering) in terms of static loads. The fatigue life is then calculated based on the test schedule using commercial solvers such as Ncode and FE Fatigue. Shaker table test simulations are also another way of analyzing durability behavior and commercial codes such as Abaqus and Nastran, both are used to perform such analysis.

VPGSuite Durability System Simulation

Alternatively, ETA has its own patented VPG Process to perform durability and other such proving ground simulations. The advantage here is the same crash model can be used for doing the durability analysis.

ETA will use the vehicle system or sub-system and all the data for chassis/suspension using VPGSuite to perform durability, ride, and handling system evaluation of the vehicle to identify any potential issues within the vehicle design before prototyping. VPGSuite uses LS-DYNA for real-time non-linear material and geometry to simulate the vehicle’s durability and fatigue life.

 

Vehicle Dynamics, Ride, and Handling

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The suspension and steering behavior of a vehicle has the most perceptive effect on the driver, Hence determining the ride and handling behavior is extremely important. ETA has ample experience with such simulations also known as proving ground simulations. Backed up by the accuracy of LS Dyna and ETA’s patented tire model, the engineering team can provide multiple levels of studies for ride and handling. Which can begin with pure rigid body kinematics to a fully deformable suspension and body model to account for compliance. The analysis also serves as precursors to chassis design in the absence of existing road load data. Also, for the predictions of forces on attachment and mounting points, such as; body mounts, engine mounts, battery, and fuel tank mounts. The results have been correlated with tests and proven by our OE partners. Subsequently, these analyses can also be used to predict the durability behavior of the components. Additional information on this can also be found on the VPGSuite Product Page. ETA is also well versed in analyzing durability and fatigue using commercial codes such as Ncode and how to efficiently remove or solve durability issues.

CAD and Engineering Design

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The ETA team has established themselves as true leaders in the engineering field. Offering over 37 years of CAD and CAE expertise, along with an intimate knowledge of advanced software and the latest technology. Whether beginning with rough design ideas or detailed concepts, ETA’s technical engineers can create high-quality, professional CAD designs.The team excels at providing efficient designs that meet styling and performance requirements, also taking into consideration manufacturing and cost goals. In addition to creating the most successful designs possible, ETA utilizes all of the major engineering design tools including; CATIA, IDEAS, Unigraphics, Solidworks, Pro-E and AutoCAD.They also have the support of offshore strategic partnerships, through their corporate network.

Product Development from Clean Sheet

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A complete engineering consulting firm, ETA develops the most cost effective, highest performing products for its clients from concept to product using traditional processes or using the Accelerated Concept to Product Process. ETA’s team is skilled in using the latest technological advancements to help clients reach their goals, in the shortest amount of time, at the lowest possible cost. ETA achieves unprecedented results by providing advanced engineering and innovation solutions.

Die Design, Metal Forming Analysis and Optimization

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ETA utilizes Dynaform, their flagship software product to assist OEM’s and tool & die suppliers with a total die system and forming simulation. They also provide services to predict forming issues, validate die design, die-evaluation and blank size engineering.

ETA has a patented optimization process to solve issues in forming simulation by changing certain attributes. Such simulations along with the above-mentioned simulations can help save a substanial amount of time and money. In addition to providing studies to quantify the effect of the hardening of materials during stamping on the component performance. Combining artificial intelligence/machine learning with the forming simulation can assist the user with predicting formability without running an actual simulation.

Manufacturing Process Simulation and Analysis

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Forming and stamping simulation are not the only aspects of manufacturing. There are various issues inside manufacturing facilities which can be solved by efficient use of CAE. For years, ETA has worked with manufacturing departments from around the world to help solve common problems. Most problems can be simulated with assistence from ETA’s engineering team, providing validated design solutions. A few common manufacturing issues include:

• Assembly issues due to differing materials (Especially in thermal loading).
• Optimizing the number of welds to save cost.
• Material handling in the plant (Suction cup analysis).
• Shipping rack simulations or hump test.
• Panel stiffness analysis.

Full Vehicle Development 

FutureSteelVehicle (FSV) Courtesy of World Auto Steel
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The ETA engineering team has worked on over 40 full vehicle programs including cars, buses, and trucks. Along with managing project cost and timing forecasts, conceptual design, CAE analysis, manufacturing, test and validation/homologation, and product releases.
ETA is well equipped to handle the complex requirements of full vehicle design and development. The team has extensive experience partnering with OEM’s from around the world on full vehicle programs. This has allowed the engineering team to manage intricate relationships and maintain design schedules across borders. This is why OEM’s have chosen to utilize ETA’s expertise over the years, granting ETA the tools to develop an incredibly comprehensive resume of full vehicle engineering services.

ETA’s Full Vehicle Experience Includes:
1985 – 1989: 12 Vehicles
– GM, Ford, and Chrysler vehicles including sedans, coupes, pick-up trucks, SUV’s, and minivans.
1989 – 1995: 10 Vehicles
– Programs completed with OEM’s in Asia for Isuzu, Daewoo, Kia, and Hyundai.
1995 – 2000: 10 Vehicles
– Programs for GM and DaimlerChrysler.
2000 – 2005: 4 Vehicles
– All programs for Nissan.
2005 – 2013: 8 Vehicles
– Three school bus programs for Blue Bird, Navistar and Thomas Built Buses.
– Design of HUMVEE military truck for the National Automotive Center (NAC).
– Commercial vehicles including passenger buses for North American Bus Industries (NABI) and Mitsubishi Fuso (Lightweight truck).
– FutureSteelVehicle (FSV) battery-electric concept car for WorldAutoSteel.
2014 – 2020: 8 Vehicles
– Braunability – Underbody design for handicap accessibility and full vehicle development.
– Use of AHSS in Honda to improve crash performance and meet SORB requirement.
– Saleen S1 full vehicle development for crash and durability.

Weight/Cost Reduction Optimization

Why ACP?
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What is the ACP Process?
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ACP Process Benefits
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The ACP Process can be applied to a new design, to create a product concept or to assist with an existing product refinement. In this case, engineers start with a current product design that they intend to update, typically improving the design’s performance, reducing mass and cost. All while maintaining the existing packaging, manufacturing, and styling. In addition, 3G Optimization is used to synchronize material selection, material thickness, and shape parameterization so the correct material is placed at the right location within the structure for cost and mass reduction design objectives.

ACP Process

The Accelerated Concept to Product (ACP) Process®  is a patented, performance-driven, and holistic virtual product development method. ACP is based on topology and parametric optimization under multi-disciplinary loading conditions. The process yields a design that is cost and weight efficient while meeting all of the performance attributes and manufacturing constraints.
This process has revolutionized and streamlined the product development process, through optimization led design. The performance-driven development process relies heavily on optimization techniques to meet timing and budget targets, whereas traditional processes have been built around a build-test philosophy.

ACP is built on three basic pillars of design and development:
• ACP Concept: Load path based on topology for multiple loading conditions (linear and non-linear).
• ACP LF3G: Optimum geometry, grade and gage for the lowest weight and highest performance.
• ACP HF3G: Design adaption based on manufacturing.

The basis of the ACP Process is to start from a clean sheet, developing a concept design based on multi-disciplinary topology optimizations. Contrary to conventional methods where just one or a few design concepts are evaluated, the ACP process allows for hundreds of design concepts under multiple load conditions. Only the concepts that meet all of the design targets and manufacturing constraints are initiated. The resulting concept(s) are designed, analyzed and optimized using loading, manufacturing, material, and cost constraints. CAD data is then generated for the optimal design. Next, ETA’s engineering team takes the design to the production level (preparing it for manufacturing) based on the available manufacturing processes and provides production support.
The team offers continued assistance, executing an end to end product development project. They have completed projects for a variety of  industries, demonstrating the versatility of the ACP Process. ETA offers training for the ACP process to guide customers through the individual functions and technology transfer.

ETA has also developed a software product based on the ACP Process in collaboration with Beta CAE called ACP OpDesign. The software was launched in 2019, For more details visit acpopdesign.com

Design Optimization

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Topology and Load Path Optimization

Topology optimization has been around for many decades. Topology optimization can help engineers develop a design from a clean slate for different kinds of loads. It helps the user understand the load path based on a particular loadcase or a combination of different loadcases. ETA has expertise in asssting customers to better understand loadpath. Traditionally done for static loads, but now with new software such as LS TaSc, topology optimization can be done for dynamic loads as well. ETA has executed multiple projects to help customers produce new and efficient designs for multidisciplinary loads, leading to lower weight and costs. More information can be found on the ACP Process webpage {hyperlink}.

Parametric 3G Optimization 

Weight and cost savings have always been alluring the manufacturers. Finding the right balance for optimum design which meets all the performance criterion is an art. ETA has developed their own processes while executing many diverse projects. The problem can be as simple as performing a gauge optimization or can be a full blown optimization involving Geometry, Grade and Gage.

Their team are experts in using tools to parameterize the geometry (morphing), making adjustments to the parametric optimization. Material Selection is a critical step in product development. Making the right selection of materials in the right location can provide mass savings and fulfill the desired performance/behavior in certain loading conditions – such as crash.
ETA is highly experienced in performing weld optimization which can bring companies substantial cost savings.

 

Innovation R&D


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Apart from conventional structural analysis used in the transportation industry, there are plenty of applications and domains where effective use of CAE can lead to innovative solutions for a variety of problems. ETA’s engineering team think laterally about applying new solutions to many different problems and applications. Some of the applications include:
• The redesign of the plastic solo cup for weight savings.
• New barrel design and development for less mass.
• Brake caliper optimization for less mass and cost savings.
• New design and development of interior floor mats used in trucks and heavy machinery.