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NAFEMS Launch Autosim

EC Funded Project to Unite the European Automotive Industry

autosimGLASGOW, UK, February 9th 2006 - Thirty-two of Europe’s leading automotive companies have joined forces to launch the EC funded Autosim project, which will ensure that the entire European automotive industry is making the most effective use of engineering simulation techniques. The three-year project is supported by €600,000 of funding from the European Commission and is co-ordinated by NAFEMS, the International Association for the Engineering Analysis Community, an independent not-for-profit membership organization with more that 700 member organisations in over 30 different countries. The scope of NAFEMS activities encompasses all simulation technology, including Finite Element Analysis (FEA), and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD).

The inaugural Autosim workshop was held on the 17th and 18th of January 2006 in Barcelona, Spain, and attracted over forty participants. OEMs, Tier 1 and 2 suppliers, consultants and research bodies were in attendance, providing a unique overview of the current state-of-practice of simulation in the European automotive industry. Workshops are open to all who are involved in numerical simulation methods in the automotive industry, and contributions from industry, research and academia are positively encouraged. There are two more workshops planned for 2006, with the next taking place in early May. The consortium hopes to hold a further two workshops each year in venues throughout Europe.

The fundamental objective of Autosim is to promote better and more effective use of simulation technology in the European Automotive industry. It has two complementary aims: firstly to develop best practices and secondly to identify the most promising potential breakthrough technologies of the future. These aims and objectives will be examined under three primary themes: Integration of simulation into the development process, materials characterization, and improving confidence in use of simulation.

The project consortium consists of 32 companies from throughout Europe, each having a significant interest in the use of simulation within the automotive industry. They include OEMs, Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers, consultants, researchers and software developers.

Major organisations in the European automotive industry have seen substantial benefit from the integration of modelling and simulation into their design process. Today, there is a need for more widespread adoption of engineering simulation throughout the supply chain. At the same time, technology is being developed that offers the potential to reach a new generation of advanced application.

A number of key issues are currently holding these developments back, most notably;

  • lack of sufficiently skilled personnel and inefficiencies in their use
  • smaller organisations not being ready or able to deploy the technology
  • limits to the confidence placed on the reliability of analytical results
  • suppliers using different procedures when supplying to different companies
  • researchers needing a coordinated industrial view on priorities for the development of breakthrough technologies.

In order to address these issues, Autosim has established an international team of leading experts representing much of the European automotive industry. They will develop a preliminary set of best practice guidelines, standard analytical procedures and research strategies. They will then consult with the wider automotive industry to gain feedback on these preliminary documents, in order to produce final documents which aim to provide definitive guidelines from an authoratitive and credible voice. 

These final versions will be disseminated internationally throughout the automotive industry. Their adoption will increase the efficiency and improve the quality of simulation, increase the efficiency of the supply chain, enable simulation to be practiced more effectively by a broad range of personnel, coordinate ongoing research by providing a focused set of priorities, assist industry to plan its future implementation strategy for simulation. 

With these actions, Autosim hopes to make a substantial contribution to the advance of design techniques in the European automotive industry.

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