Optimization of Truck Cab Weldment through Analysis Based Design
DRD helped Link Manufacturing reduce the weight of the red weldment of the truck cab suspension assembly shown in Figure 1. We were able to do this without decreasing the strength or increasing the manufacturing costs.
Link provided the complete truck cab suspension assembly to DRD in the form or a Pro/ENGINEER file. DRD used Pro/ENGINEER in combination with Pro/MESH and ANSYS to make design changes to the weldment. The full associativity of the products allowed us to work through several design changes very quickly. At the end of the process DRD provided to Link the new geometry in the form of an intelligent and parametric feature-based Pro/ENGINEER assembly from which Link was able to automatically generate all of the required deliverables such as part and assembly drawings, BOM, etc.
The goal for the design optimization process was to significantly decrease the weldment weight without decreasing its strength. Our analysis strategy was based on the fact that the original design had adequate structural strength.
We subjected the weldment finite element model to a set of known static loads for the original design and then to each subsequent new design. Since FEA showed that the greatest stresses in the model occurred at the welds, we ensured that the design changes did not increase the stress at the toe of the welds. Figure 2 shows the original and optimized designs. For more information on this model, please refer to our published paper from the 1996 ANSYS Conference.