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Jaguar Land Rover furthers virtual engineering goals

Rachel Boagey

Jaguar Land Rover aims to shift from physical to virtual engineering in its design process



Jaguar Land Rover has announced its goal of reaching full vehicle verification exclusively through digital simulation by 2020. 

To achieve this, JLR is working with computer-aided engineering (CAE) company Exa Corporation for its computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software – which simulates and analyses fluid flow and heat transfer – providing JLR with a technology platform for ‘simulation driven design.'

Virtual engineering has become a valuable tool in the product development process, helping manufacturers bring better vehicles to market more efficiently – so much so that the industry may be approaching a future where CAE completely replaces the need for physical prototype testing.

Mark Stanton, director vehicle engineering at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “The use of Exa software now is really key in what we do at Jaguar Land Rover. We used over 36 million hours of CPU time in 2014 on Exa, and that’s equivalent of about 7,000 physical wind tunnel tests – so that’s pretty immense.”

Simulation driven design involves the deployment of digital simulation as a strategic platform early in the product development process by encouraging design and engineering teams to work together from the beginning, helping to predict success and minimise costly late-stage changes. The strategic use of this technology provides for a more accurate analysis of performance in real-world conditions, and allows for actionable feedback and insight on how to improve the design – something not possible when simply employing traditional testing methods.

Stanton said: “We’re trying to left shift our engineering, and virtual engineering is absolutely a key part of that left shift. It enables us, far earlier on, to validate that we’ve met all of the requirements for the programme and ensure that we have the quality baked in, right up front."

Exa’s software was used to design and develop the Jaguar XE which has a drag coefficient of 0.26. No scale model or full-size physical aerodynamic prototype was used during development of the car — all aerodynamic optimisation was done exclusively through simulation, using Exa PowerFLOW software.

Stanton added: “Obviously the vision that I think we’re all working to in the industry is to get to the point where we have zero prototypes, and we go straight from virtual into the final physical production vehicle.”

You can hear Jaguar Land Rover the current state for thermal system behaviour in an IC engine passenger car at Thermal Engineering for Transport, 02 June 2016. Go here for more information. 

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