Davide Manfredo (ESR 11) reports on nwt 2

POSTED: 11 December 2020

The core research training nwt 2 “Virtual product development with interactive simulation of flexible structures” has come to an end and we all had a great experience.

The training started with an introduction to the IPS product portfolio, with a general overview to the simulation software and the development teams behind it: Fraunhofer ITWM, fleXstructures, IPS AB and Fraunhofer Chalmers Centre.

In a first moment we learned the basics on how to simulate cables, motions and perform various analysis with the software and we got acquainted to its user-friendly interface, and in a second one we worked on a more advanced use case where analysis and optimisation procedures had to be performed.

We also had the chance to understand the mathematical discrete Cosserat rod model which the simulations are based on, perform virtual experiments and discuss the results. Very interesting points arose, and we had the opportunity to understand the very difference between an academic lab simulation and an industrial use case.

Moreover, theory on the dynamic simulations and the durability analysis for cables was presented, followed by hands-on sessions that gave us the opportunity to understand and discuss when a dynamic analysis is necessary, how to make use of load data analysis and, in general, the practical industrial use of the theoretical notions.

The following sessions focused on 2D flexible structures in IPS, on how are they handled in IPS in comparison to 1D flexibles and on the mathematical background of nonlinear shell models for such 2D flexible structures like flat cables, bellows and grommets.

The training ended with a fascinating introduction to IPS IMMA (Intelligently Moving Manikin in Assembly): it was shown when it is necessary to simulate the interactions between a human and a flexible cable with several use cases on Digital Human Modelling for assembly of flexible parts.

The nwt 2 has been a great experience under several aspects. Not only we got a deep insight into the industrial applications of highly flexible structures, but we could also witness how strictly researchers and industry collaborate to improve production and work conditions. Moreover, it was nice to see how the network is gathering us all together, and that despite the current difficult situation we were able to organise some online social activities.