Sweco was closely involved in the validation of the design of the constructor during the entire engineering phase. Thanks to our innovative proposals and the application of advanced techniques such as vibration analysis, artificial intelligence and Virtual Reality, the optimal design was determined together.
Sector: metal processing industry
Period: early 2016 - summer 2018
Disciplines: E&I, Machinery Construction, Project Administration, Project Management, Mechanical (Mechanical Engineering)
Engineering hours: 3,500
Fatigue is a phenomenon that occurs with frequently fluctuating loads. The study conducted by Sweco showed that metal fatigue was the cause behind the wear and tear of existing industrial vehicles. Based on our study results, the customer could make an informed decision on whether to repair the vehicles or purchase a new type. The customer involved opted for the latter, based on our findings.
A 3D print of the vehicle facilitated discussions on the different parts. The 3D model was also read into a Virtual Reality environment to analyse the ergonomics of the new device. This VR environment also served as a training tool for drivers of the vehicle type to be used in future. Sweco modelled the existing industrial vehicles using a 3D laser scan. Based on the point cloud obtained in this manner, the existing vehicle could be accurately modelled in a 3D drawing package (AutoDesk Inventor/Navisworks). Subsequently, different load cases were defined for calculations in the finite element software Ansys.
Since the structure proved to be sufficiently strong on a static level, fatigue was quickly identified as the cause of the wear and tear. The vehicles frequently have to carry varying loads. Since the vehicles have to perform different actions, it also carried the loads in different ways. Ansys' capacity proved insufficient to directly determine the lifespan to be able to carry out such a complex calculation. For this purpose, Sweco developed its own method that links the Ansys output with a manual calculation to determine the lifespan.
Sweco also provided support to analyse the vibration behaviour of the vehicles. This showed that ergonomics for the driver posed a major challenge for the type of vehicle being studied. Artificial intelligence and automation were also used to make this project a success. The vehicle was equipped with sensors, cameras and 3D scanners to automate specific operations in the future.
At Sweco, we attach great importance to accessibility & availability and we enjoy collaborating with our customers and partners in a transparent and sustainable manner. For instance, we have built extensive interaction with the constructors. We also paid a week-long visit to the vehicle manufacturer to work out ideas together to arrive at the required specifications. Based on this combined efficiency, we managed to achieve maximum output and a very successful result.