Cobham Technical Services announced the 3D Advanced Machines Environment, which is a 3D version of their rapid electromagnetic design tool for rotating electrical machines. The new tool combines the accuracy of finite-element analysis (FEA) simulation with a design entry system that creates full 3D models of electric motors or generators within minutes. The software is an application-specific toolbox of the Opera electromagnetic simulator, and enables users to achieve radical new levels of design productivity and performance.
FEA techniques help engineers simulate design concepts with supreme precision and accuracy, but it can take many hours to build a 3D model of a complex product such as a motor. The 3D Advanced Machines Environment provides a front-end to the electromagnetic simulator that speeds design entry by means of ‘fill in the blanks’ dialog boxes. Users select the form of motor or generator they want to design from a list of all common types and variants. By simply entering a list of about 10 parameters to define mechanical geometry, material properties and electrical data, the 3D models are then automatically created. The complete design entry process can be performed in less than five minutes.
The 3D Advanced Machines Environment enables designers to create design concepts quickly and then simulate them with the highest accuracy. It can deliver significant advantages in today’s market, providing a virtual prototyping tool that allows searching ‘what-if?’ investigations to be performed very efficiently, to identify the design characteristics of the perfect solution.
The 3D Advanced Machines Environment comes with design templates for common rotating machinery including motor types such as AC induction, brushless, permanent magnet and switched reluctance, plus synchronous motors or generators. The new 3D version also introduces support for the fast-growing axial flux electrical machine sector – which employs a geometry that cannot be represented in 2D. Users can additionally select numerous design variants for different machine types, such as a choice of rotor styles.
Designers have open access to the scripting codes that generate the models, and can modify them to create a proprietary automated design process. A library of material properties is also included in the design software for speed, and is selected by means of a drop-down menu. If engineers employ any special material, such as an unusual grade of steel for laminations, then a new material characteristic can be created and imported into the model.
The 3D Advanced Machines Environment provides developers with post-processing capabilities to simplify the analysis of results. Some commonly required manipulations of the simulation data are provided as standard, including the torque produced as a function of position. Design ideas can be trialed and optimized easily by varying the values of model parameters. Alternatively, Cobham can provide the software with a sophisticated optimization tool. The latter option provides an intelligent approach to optimization that will automatically select and manage multiple goal-seeking algorithms to find the best solution to a design problem.
More info: Cobham Technical Services