About Terex and Terex India R&D Center
Terex Corporation is a diversified global manufacturer of a broad range of equipment that is focused on delivering reliable, customer driven solutions for many applications, including the construction, infrastructure, quarrying, mining, shipping, transportation, refining, energy, utility and manufacturing industries. Terex reports in five business segments: Aerial Work Platforms; Construction; Cranes; Material Handling & Port Solutions; and Materials Processing. Terex offers financial products and services to assist in the acquisition of equipment through Terex Financial Services.
Terex India R&D Center (TIRC) was established in December 2008 by a mandate from Terex Corporation with the objective of providing engineering support to all segment engineering teams across the globe including products manufactured indigenously to suit the Indian market. The team that is based out of Bangalore supports more than 25 engineering centers of Terex across various geographies – USA, UK, Europe and Asia Pacific.
More information can be found on www.terex.in
The Business Challenge
The Terex engineering team was working on an ambitious project of designing&building a family of wheeled and tracked excavators for the international market. The new equipment had to match features of the other globally made machines and also exceed quality and match customer price expectations as compared to the market leader in this segment. The team was challengedto get the machine ready within a very short duration. This was going to be a true test of delivering advanced analytical capability by the team under a restrictive timeline.
The Engineering Challenge
One of the critical tasks set out for TIRC was to create designs from scratch of theentire workgroup assembly within a span of three months. Workgroup consists of boom, dipper, bucketand related links that are primarily used to dig earth (see image)
Workgroup is specified by a range diagram that defines horizontal reach on ground (A-A’), digging depth (B, B’ &C), dumping height (E) and also the forces it can generate at the bucket tip to dig earth.
Generating the geometry that fits the specification is not just tedious but very iterative. The task is complicated as the geometry has not only to fit the required range specifications, but has to take into account manufacturing constraints, working clearances, forces and moments, section sizes for strength and transportation limits. Often Engineers with specialized knowledge are employed to work on the geometry and at times it takes months to arrive at an optimized solution and TIRCwanted the team to invest time smartly and get appropriate results in an efficient manner.
Traditionally, engineers would create a 2D geometry using existing commercial CAD tools. Working clearances are then checked in 3D CAD models created based on 2D geometry. Then using either specialized software programs or excel do the first-cut force and strength calculations. This would go on iteratively until a satisfactory solution is found for more detailed design, followed by FEA optimization and manufacturing drawings.Synthesis of appropriate geometry (red box below) takes up almost 60% of the overall effort in the design exercise and at times takes months to get it right. Given the complexity of the process with different tools engineers settle for the best compromise time can buy and the designs are iterated over newer product versions. Terex, like any other equipment manufacturer wanted to get it right the first time.
Terex India R&D Center (TIRC) Approach
Keeping all of the above in mind, TIRC began a grounds-up approach to developing the workgroup geometry for the machine using a new software tool called CEAD (rhyming with ‘seed’). CEAD is an integrated product design environment enabling parametric geometry creation and mathematical calculation in the same worksheet.
As depicted in Figure 1, CEAD enables concurrent inter-play of mathematically definable facets of the design, be it manufacturing constraint, functional target or performance parameter, from any domain of physics in the synthesis of geometry.
Key to Terex India R&D Center (TIRC) approach lay in
Then using built-in “Optimize”, “Change” and “Simulate” functions of the software a geometry that best fits the laid out constraints was found.
The final outcome
This process innovation thus moved much of the engineering constraint analysis ahead of 3D prototype creation, resulting to fewer redesigns to the 3D geometry and therefore more streamlined integrated product development. Significantly, project cycle time was reduced by 90% and it took just two weeks from start to getting an acceptable geometry that included couple of additional iterations driven by product marketing.
The core innovation of TIRC team was around the existing methodology. TIRC team integrated CEAD at the conceptual-3D prototype-CAE stage, and used the tool to build in predictive engineering analysis into its development methodology, or simply creating an engineering design synthesis stage.This innovative methodology, coupled with CEAD, has resulted in TIRC being able to build in engineering constraints into conceptual 2D geometry drawings, thus allowing for early stage insight into manufacturability prior to investing the time and effort to create a detailed 3D virtual prototype.
This process and tool innovation at the engineering R&D level has resulted in a more efficient product development methodology, which has resulted in three critical business impacts for Terex:
Dr. Krishna Prasad, Executive Director of Terex India R&D Center says –
“Our approach to NPD (New Product Development) is very process driven and TIRC is happy to have found a business partner in CAD Vision at the appropriate time. The CEAD tool had helped our engineers work at a faster pace with reduced repetitive work on analytics. We have started using this tool on many more projects and have seen that the team has adapted well to it”
In summary, the combination of TIRC’s innovations in process methodology and CEAD integration into the design flow has resulted in tighter integration and better value, resulting in faster, higher quality and effective response to fast changing market needs.