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During the development of a forthcoming vehicle, Tata Motors engineers determined that a major source of NVH (noise-vibration-harshness) from the engine was caused by the oil sump. So they decided to develop an oil sump using a steel consisting of three plies: two sheets of steel sandwiching a polymer. This is a noise-attenuating material, thereby addressing the NVH concern.
However, they needed to redesign the oil sump to use the material, which meant that they needed to adopt new stamping tools.
While a physical prototype was made of the oil sump, this was done by hand, heating and hammering the steel in order to achieve the shape. Consequently, although it was fairly geometrically accurate, it wasn’t representative of what would be the output of the stamping process that would be used in actual part production. In addition to which, there were other factors, such as constraints from interfaces with other parts and assembly requirements.
So the Tata engineers deployed PAM-STAMP 2G, a sheet metal forming simulation suite from ESI. This allowed all aspects of the process—die quotation, design, formability, try-out validation, spring-back prediction and correction—to be simulated, so that they ran various designs until a feasible solution was reached. The first physical prototypes that were produced by stamping closely matched the modelled result.
According to Brian D’Cruz, program manager, Tata Technologies, “With simulation solutions such as PAM-STAMP 2G, simple and easy-to-manufacture part design proves very cost-effective and without compromise in terms of quality.”
D’Cruz added: “The constructive and positive team effort leads to unique cost-effective solutions that could have been discarded as unfeasible without the synergized effort of tooling and product designers.”