The order specifications of the medium-sized manufacturer were very basic: Only a rough outline of the nacelle was given as a sketch, including a few attachment points in the housing, which served as fixed points for the assembly of adjacent components and structures. Furthermore, a large number of load cases were specified. The aim of this project was to holistically develop an economically producible component on the basis of the rough specifications - from the development of the concept to the simulation and optimisation of the component in accordance with the boundary conditions specified by the customer to the creation of the production plan and certification of the structure.
The challenges and solutions in detail
Based on the only roughly defined specifications from the customer, a very complex structure with many interfaces to adjacent components had to be developed. The large number of complex load cases required a special approach to design analysis using FEM. Here, existing methods were adapted to the special task and an economically attractive solution was found through automated calculation processes.
Often, a lightweight structure is not directly the best way to go in terms of manufacturing. In order for our design to lead to a lightweight component that meets all the specifications set by the customer and the certifier, close cooperation with the manufacturing department and a good sense of proportion for a feasible structure were essential. To this end, the concepts developed and their implementation approaches were discussed directly with the customer’s production engineering department and thus included in the solution finding process in the best possible way.
The following competences at ar engineers led to success in this project:
- Extensive experience with large fibre composite structures in the areas of wind, offshore and maritime industry.
- Expertise in the realisation of complex composites projects from the concept to the preparation of production documents.
- Very good understanding of composite manufacturing.
- Experienced view of the feasibility of the component despite complex material structure.
- Great expertise in the calculation of fibre composite components with many load cases.
- Substantial experience in the coordination of subprojects as well as efficient communication with the customer and their client enabled the project to run smoothly.
First, the design-critical load cases were identified by initially calculating and evaluating all load cases once. Based on this, the three driving load cases were identified so that the design process, in which the component still changed in terms of geometry and material selection, could be carried out efficiently.
In close consultation with the manufacturing company and their client, a very good structure was developed. Therefore, the certification process of the component, which we prepared and accompanied, went smoothly and the project was realised on time and on budget.