“We will be able to test all stages of the development in a virtual environment,” says Torbjörn Kvist, VERDI Project Manager at Volvo Aero.
The four-year programme has total budget of EUR 6.4 M, including EUR 4.5 M in funding from the EU.
Virtual simulation means that it, with the help of computers at an early stage, will be possible to see how the components are affected during manufacture. This means that the engine manufacturers will save precious development time enabling them to manufacture engines cheaper for their customers.
“We will also become more sensitive to customers’ needs when we can develop new products more quickly. It will also become easier and less expensive for us to make any necessary changes,” says Volvo Aero’s Torbjörn Kvist, coordinator for the European Union’s VERDI project, in which 16 leading European engine manufacturers, institutes and universities will develop skills for manufacturing simulation.
Volvo Aero coordinates the project and plays an important part because of the company’s long simulation experience. Volvo Aero has used advanced weld simulations since the early 1990s. The aim of the programme is to develop engineering technologies that make Europe the world leaders in aeronautics, by manufacturing aero engine components of the highest quality.
The programme will create an overall simulation tool through the contribution of VERDI partners’ expertise in different areas, such as simulated milling or sheet metal pressing.
“All the participants are not experts in every field of manufacturing simulation. Each partner will contribute with their piece of the puzzle,” Torbjörn Kvist explains.
Through simulation it will be possible to see, as early as the concept phase, what happens to the final component when it is manufactured. VERDI goes one step further. It creates a digital model of the components the engineers can see how the material is affected by the different manufacturing stages.
Simulation saves precious manufacturing time as well as the environment. There will be fewer physical tests and therefore less scrap. It will also be possible to design lighter engines that use less fuel because the material is used more optimally.
VERDI stands for Virtual Engineering for Robust Manufacturing with Design Integration.
VERDI’s partners are: Volvo Aero, Rolls-Royce, MTU Aero Engines, Aachen University of Technology, Universität Karlsruhe, ITP, CIMNE, Luleå University of Technology, Trollhättan/Uddevalla University, Avio, EnginSoft, Politecnico di Torino, CENAERO, Techspace Aero, The University of Nottingham and AICIA.
November 25, 2005
A photo to illustrate the article is available on Volvo Aero web site