Efficient Optimization Based on FEA and CFD Simulations

Efficiency on the road - more than 30% weight reduction of Planet Carrier

Customer Request

Higher ecological and economical standards require more advanced transmissions to promote better fuel economy and lower emissions. Voith - as a competent partner for OEM and transport services - improved automatic transmission components - in this case the planet carrier - by optimization. One optimization goal is material savings by weight reduction. To further guarantee bearing durability and an equal load on the tooth flanks the functional stiffness of the existing series should be kept.

Our solution: topology optimization with Tosca Structure

The weight reduction of the planet carrier was achieved by topology optimization with Tosca Structure. In a first step, the available design space is defined. During the optimization, Tosca Structure identifies the areas that do not contribute to the force flux and removes step-by-step the material not required. The requirements for the manufacturing process are directly taken into account, e.g. to guarantee demolding, during the optimization. The design proposal can be transferred to the CAD system and after just a few modifications a final design can be generated which meets casting requirements.

Benefit for the customer

The new design of the planet carrier generated significant savings in material, with a weight reduction of more than 30%. The new compact design permits an additional component to be placed in the molding box. By omitting the circular ring the chipping mass can also be reduced by 1,2 kg. Thus the new design resulted in a lighter design as well as significantly higher production efficiency. It further fulfills all functional stiffness requirements, and proved to be exceptionally robust on the test bench.

Topology optimization with Tosca Structure led to higher quality and a significantly increased efficiency.

(Courtesy Voith GmbH)