Abstract

Automated design tools are seldom used in industry. Their potential, however, is high, especially in companies mostly active in variant design, where custom tools could help cut down development time in the early stages. The design of geared electro-mechanical actuators for the automotive industry is such a case. These actuators are simple examples of coupled multi-disciplinary systems that can be hard to design, since they need to follow strict specifications in terms of performance and packaging. This paper presents an automated design and optimization tool tailored for such systems based on an integrated modeling approach, multi-objective optimization and an interactive reporting tool. The focus is set on the impact of system-level constraints on the usability by industry of the generated designs. In two case studies, the tool is able to find competitive actuator candidates that are cheaper (−3.6% and −11%) and more compact than similar existing products in less than an hour on a state-of-the-art laptop computer. More powerful options or actuators using different technologies have also been proposed. Compared to optimizations done without system-level constraints, the generated actuators are immediately usable by engineers to get accurate insights into the design problem and promote informed decision-making.

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