Creating a new plastic product and getting it to market is quite a challenge. Molders, plastic designers and manufacturers have to come up with the most cost-effective process to manufacture the best product that fulfills all the requirements.
We asked Lyna Etienne-Lenormand, Senior Solution Consultant with SIMULIA who developed this workflow, to provide answers to some common questions.
Q. Why does this workflow need to be analyzed?
A. The status today is that to get this done companies usually need different software to design, do simulation, check manufacturability, etc. using file-based data. Here, all these disconnected domains are assembled in one single environment, the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, focusing on a digital process and model-based approach.
Q. Describe the workflow.
A. This example is an engine cover from the Transportation & Mobility Industry, but it is applicable to any industry with mold and plastic part design. The engine cover is first designed with CATIA and the plastic injection process is simulated. From the engine cover, the mold is designed with all the relevant functional parts inside CATIA and the mold cooling process is optimized with CFD simulation before the structural integrity of the mold is tested and verified with stress analysis.
The following image shows an overview of this workflow (click to enlarge).
Q. What are you trying to learn from this simulation?
A. The objective is to create the best plastic product, to build the perfect mold to manufacture the product and to find the optimum cost-effective manufacturing process.
Q. Which SIMULIA solutions did you use?
A. Both CATIA and SIMULIA 3DEXPERIENCE roles were used for this workflow:
- CATIA Roles:
- Plastic Mechanical Designer (FPP) for creating the plastic engine cover.
- Mold & Tooling Designer (MTG) for the injection mold design, detail and validation.
- SIMULIA Roles:
- Plastic Injection Analysis Engineer (INK) for checking the manufacturability of the design.
- Fluid Mechanics Analyst (FLA) for checking and optimizing the mold cooling.
- Structural Analysis Engineer (DRD) for assessing the mold’s structural integrity.
Q: What were the benefits of using simulation?
A: In this workflow, simulation brings the possibility to detect the potential flaws early in the design phase, to explore the plastic product manufacturing process and its behavior once the product is manufactured. Simulation also helps create the best plastic mold for this particular product, getting the optimum mold the first time without any need to rework.