For something that looks like a black donut, the tire has some huge responsibilities. It carries the entire load of the vehicle and transfers massive forces during acceleration, steering and braking. The tire isn’t just crucial to a vehicle’s performance but also to safety. As a result, the humble tire is a precisely engineered product. The materials of tires are carefully mixed to an optimized recipe, manufactured by multi-million dollar machinery in highly controlled conditions, and thoroughly tested before going on sale. The different requirements of various segments of the automotive market also mean manufacturers need a wide range of tires suitable for any conditions.
Trends in the automotive industry such as connected, autonomous, shared and electric (CASE) are disrupting the tire engineering, requiring new kinds of tires and new ways of thinking about manufacture and business:
- Connected vehicles are constantly monitoring themselves and their surroundings, and communicating with other vehicles and fleet management systems. Tires equipped with sensors can track things like temperature, wear and load to identify the right tire for the customer and to detect when tires need changing. This will enable the tires as a service (TaaS) business model, especially suited for the needs of customers in the logistics and vehicle hire.
- Autonomous vehicle passengers will expect to be able to work or relax in the car. This requires tires designed for an exceptionally smooth and quiet ride, with innovations such as sound-absorbing foam to reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).
- Shared vehicles will reduce the number of vehicles on the road, but increase the mileage of each one. Tires will be worn through faster, and car-sharing companies are likely to be interested in TaaS.
- Electric vehicles are heavier than IC ones, with a lower center of gravity. High-end electric cars especially are also capable of enormous torque. All this puts more strain on the tires, and wear is a significant customer complaint for electric sports cars. This means there is demand for stronger, more durable tires.
Dassault Systèmes recently presented the following e-seminars showing two solutions that help tire manufacturers master these challenges:
“SMARTYRE: From Tire Manufacturer to Mobility Provider” introduces SMARTYRE, a solution for the entire tire industry. Combining design, simulation, product lifecycle (PLM) and process optimization tools on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, SMARTYRE gives tire companies a full view of their business, from development and manufacturing to sales and service. This reduces overall costs while also increasing communication between departments and accelerating sustainable innovation.
Manufacturing plants are multi-million dollar investments, and their output can be very sensitive. SMARTYRE offers a single source of truth for all the data from the manufacturing plant to identify the cause of possible problems. As just one example, rubber mixing can be optimized, helping engineers select the right ingredients and mixing blades, and quality issues in extrusion resolved. Product performance can also be tracked after sale, and TaaS providers can track the performance of their tires in different fleets and geographies to find the right tire for each customer.
“Test Engineering: The Virtual Test Lab”. Virtual testing supplements the physical test – it can show you things that the physical testing cannot, such as a precise view of everything that happens inside the tire at 75 mph. If a physical test can access this information, it will only be in a lossy and imperfect format. The virtual test lab can dramatically reduce testing costs and times, if you have an accurate model of the tire – a “virtual twin”.
This e-seminar will explain how to create an accurate 3DEXPERIENCE twin of the physical tire and how to simulate different tests: footprint shape, force and moment, rolling resistance, thermal performance, durability, hydroplaning and pass-by noise, among others. This accelerates the development of innovative new tires and enables tire manufacturers to produce modular designs that cover the demands of SKU proliferation.
More information and registration for the on-demand versions can be found here: https://events.3ds.com/get-a-grip-on-tire-performance-simulation
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