ETA Successfully Implements the ACP Process on WorldAutoSteel’s FutureSteelVehicle Program

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WorldAutoSteel announced the success of Phase 2 of its FutureSteelVehicle (FSV) Program last month, which included a 35% reduction of mass for the BEV body structure compared to benchmark ICE vehicle. A key enabler for the success of the program was the Accelerated Concept to Product (ACP) Process™, developed by Engineering Technology Associates, Inc.

WorldAutoSteel announced the success of Phase 2 of its FutureSteelVehicle (FSV) Program, a project aimed at establishing techniques to help automakers optimize steel body structures for electrified vehicles, at the 2011 Great Designs in Steel Conference on May 18th. A key enabler for results achieved by FSV was the Accelerated Concept to Product Process, developed by Engineering Technology Associates, Inc. The ACP Process™ is a seamlessly integrated product development process based on design optimization, has been developing over a number of years and was matured during the FSV Program.

“In nature, energy and its resource efficiency have a high premium that results in structures that are optimal for their created purpose,” said Jody Shaw, chairman, FSV program and director of technical marketing and product research at United States Steel Corporation. “The design optimization process used to develop structures for FSV has an energy and resource-efficiency objective that mirrors what happens in nature, creating radically different, non-intuitive architectures never before seen in automotive structures and completely optimized for the structure’s function within the total system.”

The program allowed the employment of design innovations that exploit steel’s versatility and strength. Other key achievements include a 35% reduction of mass for the BEV body structure compared to benchmark ICE vehicle, as well as a 70% reduction in total lifetime emissions compared to ICEg at no cost penalty. Also noteworthy, the design concept uses 97% High-Strength (HSS) and Advanced High-Strength Steel (AHSS), of which nearly 50% is over the 1000 [MPa] strength steels. Perhaps the biggest achievement was that these efficiencies were made without sacrificing performance. The resulting concept boasts 5-star safety ratings.

“We would like to thank the WorldAutoSteel Organization, American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), the AutoSteel Partnership (A/SP) and the other partners for their support and efforts in carrying out the implementation of the ACP Process™ in the FSV program,” stated ETA’s CEO, Abraham Keisoglou. He continued, “This program has been an enormous success not only for the Steel industry, but for the entire product design and development community.”

The ACP Process™ is a holistic product development process with multi-disciplinary loading based on topology optimization and geometry, grade and gauge (3G) optimization. It incorporates the use of multiple design and CAE tools in a systematic process to generate the optimal design solution. For the development of a vehicle structure it offers four key benefits, including a demonstrated capability to reduce product development costs by 40% or more, reduce product mass up to 35% for vehicle body in white (FSV BIW) and 45% or more on subsystems, improve product performance (crash/safety, stiffness, NVH, ride and handling and durability) as well as improve fuel efficiency based on the mass reduction and mass compounding results.

Contrary to conventional design process where just a few design concepts are evaluated, using the ACP Process™, hundreds of design concept are evaluated under multiple loading conditions simultaneously while considering the manufacturing process from the beginning of the design concept phase. The resulting design concepts are detailed, optimized and designed within its subsystems and the full system. This ensures that final product meets all performance, mass and cost targets.

The ACP Process™ as Applied to the Future Steel Vehicle, a detailed whitepaper, is now available on the ETA website at http://www.eta.com/acp-whitepaper.

The ACP Process™ was marked as the innovation likely to have the biggest positive impact on the automotive industry, and was awarded the Vehicle Innovation Award by the SAE Detroit Section/MITEF in 2009.

Advanced Product Development engineers working as structural analysts for the world’s largest automotive manufacturers established ETA in 1983. ETA offers unique expertise in the areas of vehicle concept design, program management and vehicle integration. ETA also supports vehicle development specializing in crash/occupant safety, durability, NVH, and manufacturing evaluations (forming and tooling). ETA is active in the creation and implementation of new analysis methods and software and is the developer of DYNAFORM, VPG and the Inventium Suite. For more information, please visit http://www.eta.com or call (248) 729-3010.

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Laura Abert
ETA, Inc
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