Top News from Leading Digital Manufacturing Solution Providers
February 22, 2013
Stocking Tractor-Trailers with MPGs
Ian Armas Foster
The semi-trucks you see on the highway were primarily designed for storage and transportation and not necessarily energy efficiency. Therefore, it may not be surprising that according to HPC for Energy, these trucks constitute 12 percent of the fuel consumption in the United States.
But work done by Navistar in concert with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory showed that a significant portion of that fuel consumption could be reduced by simple changes to the structure of the tractor-trailer.
They began by using a one-eight scale model of a semi-truck inside a wind tunnel to run various tests. With HPC modeling and simulation, HPC for Energy reports that they were able to extrapolate various windy conditions based on these small-model tests. From there, they could begin running optimization programs to target fuel economy.
Ultimately, the LLNL and Navistar proposed four alterations to be made to optimize aerodynamic conditions. A base at the end of the trailer would give the truck a more rounded feel, thus allowing the air flow more smoothly around it. A similar adjustment to the underbody of the trailer would introduce an element of lift (not enough, of course, to lift the trailer off the ground) that would reduce the mechanical weight of the truck as it went at higher speeds. This would also serve to reduce the drag on the back axle.
The third adjustment introduces a small barrier between the cabin and the trailer that prevents air from flowing between the two to further bring down the drag force.
The final suggestion is friction-related, as Navistar and LLNL recommend replacing the common two back tires with a single oversized tire to decrease rolling resistance.
According to the presentation, the proposed modifications could save up to 4.6 billion gallons of fuel per year in the United States alone, cutting semi fuel usage by 17%. As such, these trucks across the nation are beginning to be retro-fitted to these specifications.
These simulations are already having an effect on the tractor-trailer industry primarily because of the HPC capabilities shared between the two institutions. The years it would normally take to run these simulations were reduced to only a few months, allowing these changes to be implemented sooner, ultimately saving more fuel and delivering a greater impact.
At this year’s Supercomputing conference, Ohio made its mark with a $6.4 million public-private initiative designed to bring high performance computing (HPC) to manufacturers of all sizes—particularly to those small-to-medium-sized companies for which the technologies are cost-prohibitive. Read more...
A consortium of 45 partners have assembled in Europe with the hope of fortifying the international manufacturing marketplace through modeling and simulation tools. After an initial phase of closed testing led by the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC), the new HPC cloud project is opening its doors. Read more...
It’s no secret that going virtual to engineer and test new cars, planes or even consumer products saves money, particularly if it means going through multiple versions of a single design. But at October’s Matlab Expo, software engineers and scientists came together to paint a new image of software as something beyond a mere sandbox: a playground. Read more...
Dec 05, 2013 |
Back in July, Curiosity, NASA’s Mars rover, began a 5.3 mile journey to Mount Sharp, a 3.4 mile-high mountain in the Gale Crater. However, in late October, the rover completed a two-day drive all on its own thanks to Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute and their autonomous navigation software. Read more...
Dec 04, 2013 |
On September 2, 2013, the EU project titled “LIAA” was set in motion. With the project, scientists will help to develop robotic systems and applications that will be used for assembly in manufacturing, and in doing so help humans and robots to better work together. Read more...
Nov 26, 2013 |
Siemens Industry Software India (SISW) has signed an agreement with the Government of Gujarat’s Ministry of Industries and Mines to launch five Centers of Excellence (COEs) in the state. These centers will specifically be aimed at skill development in higher education. Read more...
Nov 14, 2013 |
At a time when finding a job is first on the minds of many, companies continue to outsource positions overseas. However, at the National Retail Federation’s annual convention back in January 2013... Read more...
07/30/2013 | IBM | This white paper examines various means of adapting technical computing tools to accelerate product and services innovation across a range of commercial industries such as manufacturing, financial services, energy, healthcare, entertainment and retail. No longer is technically advanced computing limited to the confines of big government labs and academic centers. Today it is available to a wide range of organizations seeking a competitive edge.
06/25/2013 | Intel | The UberCloud HPC Experiment has achieved the volunteer participation of 500 organizations and individuals from 48 countries with the aim of exploring the end-to-end process employed by digital manufacturing engineers to access and use remote computing resources in HPC centers and in the cloud. This Compendium of 25 case studies is an invaluable resource for engineers, managers and executives who believe in the strategic importance of applying advanced technologies to help drive their organization’s productivity to perceptible new levels.