The starting point in the process of product development in Engineering and Design Department of SAIPA Research Center begins with defining product strategies as a key factor to ensure the success of car sales. The base for these strategies is the definition of a product with the ability to be presented in global markets, considering a suitable combination of different models, based on a joint platform, with smart and distinctive characteristics of SAIPA brand in the eyes of the customer.
Considering the above factors, a precise examination to define the product is completed with regard to the legal requirements, customer demands as well as the technical and economic analysis of competing cars. In this process, innovation and product differentiation are always taken care of by experts for accurate translation of product definition to engineering parameters and product features to determine the development of activities in automotive design, all these activities are carried out in Vehicle Engineering Management.
Product features typically include objectives that have been defined for a car or a new model. Product features have three main aspects: the position of the product, target groups and product characteristics. All three aspects must be addressed in line with the general trend of the technical and legal requirements and also have the social acceptability.
Product features are usually prepared and supported by technical and economic analysis of competitor vehicles in the same segment. Features defined for the car of the future should include the physical characteristics of the product as well. The first step in this way is to specify the vehicle conceptual architecture in terms of body conceptual idea, the proportions and the style of its interior and exterior.
Compliance with regulatory future requirements such as emissions and fuel consumption or standards of safety must be validated; besides, certain market conditions, such as weather, traffic conditions or even driving habits must also be reflected in product features. The next step in determining the characteristics of the new car is to clarify the specifications like vehicle dynamics and also the level of comfort and safety features. The product definition also includes the clarification of the basic car features and accessory options, as well as their specific categories and their especial edition. Finally, the product features are summarized according to the planned amount for the price and the cost of ownership.
The most important and ultimate objective in the automotive industry is that the features of a new car be consistent with the needs and expectations of potential customers. The prerequisites for successful design in auto industry are technical knowledge, sufficient understanding of the mandatory standards, customer needs, their relations and interdependence, as well as the appropriate approach in design to achieve the mentioned objectives and validation practices.
Verification and Validation of Product
Product validation is one of the important processes in the design and development of new products to ensure consistency of product design with definitions; and that is part of engineering management activities. Central to the mission in the development phase of mass production is integration of system components in the form of a car so that the legal requirements and pre-defined requisites are met based on the characteristics of the complete vehicle. To assess and finally for the validation, the new car undergo the ultimate test in three phases: prototype, pre-production samples and mass production phase.
To reduce the cost and time of design, nowadays the validation and presenting solutions are very important to achieve product objectives. Performing virtual simulation in automotive design stages is a cost effective method with high-certainty to improve the final product and to achieve design objectives. Nowadays in the automobile industry, simulation and providing reliable design solutions as well as validation of proper performance in final product are carried out by various types of simulations. In SAIPA Group's Research and Innovation Center, validation task is the responsibility of the Engineering Analysis Management.
Virtual simulation is carried out in three fields: Passenger Comfort Analysis; Strength and Safety Analysis and digital Prototyping. These simulations are done by means of Computer-Assisted Engineering (CAE) in different areas.
Passenger Comfort Analysis Department
The results of Passenger Comfort Analysis is related to improving the quality of driving in everyday use, also related to reducing vehicle fuel consumption and passenger comfort in different climate and environment. This analysis can be categorized in three areas:
Safety and Strength Analysis Department
In this area, the safety of vehicle occupants in car crashes is evaluated and the performance of vehicles structures is investigated under specified functional load. The aim of this analysis is to protect the safety of vehicle occupants and pedestrians in accidents, and to ensure the proper functioning of the overall vehicle components and structures. These analysis are classified in three groups:
Digital Mock–up Department
In this field, the processes of production (how to assemble and availability of tools), placement and the passengers' access are simulated virtually. The results of these simulations are used to prevent problems before final production. This analysis is done in the following areas:
Also in the process of product validation, compliance with regulatory requirements and quality objectives are ensured by carrying out planned pilot tests on vehicles in various stages. The license for mass production is obtained from the regulatory authorities.
Next, customer feedback on product design is evaluated. As a key factor in achieving customer satisfaction, Department of Design and Engineering in SAIPA Research Center always care about knowledge-based structures to improve vehicle design in accordance with the global trend.
With futuristic approach, designing the style of the car starts as the first step in designing activities in which the initial ideas are created in two-dimensional images (Sketch) both for the exterior and interior of the car; afterwards, when the final idea is chosen, three-dimensional model of the vehicle style (CAS Model ) will be produced. With the use of tools such as Virtual Reality and physical Clay Modelling in different scales, the final stages of vehicle appearance is completed, then the verified model will be converted in to high level quality model (A Class) and the Master Model, and ultimately the automotive styling process is finalized.
Along with automotive styling process, conceptual design process (Concept Design) is carried out in other units of the Design and Engineering Department. At this stage the units responsible for body, component and interior design, and also the units for powertrains and chassis systems design begin their activities in their respective areas. At the beginning of this process the necessary feasibility study are performed based on design standards that leads in to a complete map in which all ergonomic considerations for passenger are specified along with the exact place of the parts and components on the platform. Meanwhile the Engineers from different units start to find the suitable solutions to achieve the defined characteristics and features of the product according to the feasibility of major sections of the vehicle on the map.
Providing innovative engineering solutions in the phase of the concept has always been considered very important by designers, and also using tools such as benchmarking new designs in the world, using the experience of previous design (in the form of DFMEA) with powerful and up-to-date design and analysis software (CAD / CAE) are the main bases to realize this goal. Participation of part manufacturers and production processes engineers facilitate the choice of the best available solution for the designers; ultimately with completing the necessary feasibility studies and preparing the initial three-dimensional files, the transition from conceptual design stage to detailed design stage is carried out.
In the Detailed Design stage, designing the details for all auto parts is completed based on the approved concept. By conducting simulation in a virtual environment such as a full safety analysis of safety, strength, vibration and aerodynamic and so on, achieving the quality objectives and design requirements are assessed and validated. Also by creating a virtual model of the whole car, the entire processes of making components in the production lines are simulated and potential problems can be identified and eliminated. At this point, by using the parametric capability to design components and systems in CATIA software, a possibility of rapid and optimized design is achieved.
Performing the above mentioned simulations reduces the duration of designing processes significantly and prevents the costly changes in the final phases of the project.
After the above steps, three-dimensional models and two-dimensional map of automotive tools needed to design, to manufacturing and manufacturing product samples cars spread.