Design & SimulationJuly 1, 2021

User-Friendly Simulation of Industrial Equipment Fan Noise

Industrial equipment can create a great deal of noise, which has the…
Avatar Clare Scott

Industrial equipment can create a great deal of noise, which has the potential to cause problems for the people living in surrounding communities. Not only is this type of noise disruptive to daily activities, but consistent exposure to noise above certain levels can actually be dangerous to health. Therefore, it is important for manufacturers to reduce the noise that these machines make as much as possible. One of the main culprits of industrial equipment noise is the cooling fan for power units. Physically testing the amount of noise produced by the fan is challenging and costly, and requires a prototype late in the product development process, so more and more industrial equipment manufacturers are relying on virtual testing to assess noise levels.

Testing a full physical prototype of an industrial equipment machine requires a huge anechoic test chamber or a prototype brought to an outdoor test field, both of which are prohibitive in terms of cost and time. To more quickly and inexpensively predict noise levels, digital test environments are becoming more common.

Numerical solver technologies can provide accurate airflow and noise measurements while accelerating product development time and reducing cost. Many of the process steps, however, are still manual and simulation process experts are needed to be able to use all tools required for the existing workflows.

SIMULIA offers a cloud-based, fully automated process that is designed for non-experts to use without any required simulation knowledge. The UHC (Underhood Cooling) IE Process has already been successfully deployed to multiple clients and has now been extended to cover UHC fan noise for industrial equipment.

Doosan Bobcat and Doosan Portable Power were the first companies to explain their use of this type of process in their New Product Development programs. The IE Fan Noise Process is based on highly accurate PowerFLOW technology and has greatly reduced time and cost for these clients. The manual process, requiring simulation experts, can take as much as two days, but the IE Fan Noise Process takes only an hour of labor time to complete, once the model has been made ready for the UHC Process. It is highly consistent, offering the same experience for all users, without any acoustic experience required.

A key feature of the IE Fan Noise Process, as mentioned above, is its fast turnaround time for design iterations. The process offer fast turnaround time with acceptable or targeted loss for design improvement. The strategy takes a new approach to simulation: the Design Practice (DP) resolution is used to improve product designs, while the Best Practice (BP) resolution is used to verify final design improvement from DP runs.

As the IE Fan Noise Process is an extension of the UHC IE Process, the process inputs are fully compatible, with identical geometry and input data format. The workflow is simple and easy to implement, requiring the following steps:

  1. Prepare Input Geometry
    1. UHC IE Process part/face rule
    2. Additional parts for fan noise setup
  2. Update Configuration File
    1. Input simulation parameters
  3. Create Project Folder
    1. Project setting for post-processing
    2. Upload input data (geometry parts in folders and configuration file)
    3. Submit Run in Project Folder
  4. View Analysis Results (Flow Monitoring, Flow, Acoustic)
    1. ISO 6393 acoustic power output
    2. Highlighted outputs on the cloud
    3. Full outputs in PowerINSIGHT

Heavy machinery is vital in constructing communities, but it is important to ensure that it does not disrupt communities, as well. Health problems caused by excessive noise can be prevented as long as this equipment is properly tested and noise sources are assessed and mitigated.

However, mitigating noise must not come at the expense of functions such as proper underhood cooling; without cooling, machinery would quickly overheat and stop working properly. Balancing cooling functions and noise prevention is important; thanks to the IE Fan Noise Process, it is also simple.

Simulation can be intimidating to those who are not well-versed in it, but it does not have to be. SIMULIA offers numerous tools that are designed specifically for non-experts, requiring little to no prior knowledge. This user-friendliness goes a long way towards democratizing simulation and ensuring that users of all levels can benefit from its cost- and time-effective solutions.

SIMULIA offers an advanced simulation product portfolio, including AbaqusIsightfe-safeToscaSimpoe-MoldSIMPACKCST Studio SuiteXFlowPowerFLOW and more. The SIMULIA Community is the place to find the latest resources for SIMULIA software and to collaborate with other users. The key that unlocks the door of innovative thinking and knowledge building, the SIMULIA Community provides you with the tools you need to expand your knowledge, whenever and wherever.

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