BMW Group Selects SIMULIA Abaqus FEA for Passive Safety Analysis

The German automaker has chosen to renew its commitment to use Abaqus Unified FEA software for the engineering of passive safety in the automaker’s virtual design process.

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BMW Group has informed Dassault Systèmes it will renew its committment to use SIMULIA Abaqus Unified FEA (finite element analysis) software for the engineering of passive safety.

Ongoing optimization of vehicle development processes at BMW for passive safety requires continuous advances in the ability to accurately predict real-world behavior. BMW Group says the renewed partnership with SIMULIA follows extensive evaluations carried out over several months, ranging from component-level to full-vehicle simulations and involving key applications in car body technology as well as occupant restraint systems.

BMW Group says its evaluation results showed Abaqus FEA consistently delivered a higher level of predictiveness and repeatability against physical tests than other simulation software they evaluated. “This robustness and reliability is critical as BMW moves toward a more efficient and cost-effective virtual vehicle development process that depends less and less on physical prototyping and testing,” claims the company in a press release.

Even with an increased use of virtual design and analysis, BWM Group still relies on physical testing. Here at BMW Group's new Energy and Environmental Test Centre, BMW Group Olympic Ambassador Katarina Witt tours the wind tunnel.

BMW first began employing Abaqus as its exclusive tool for crash simulation in 2004, when vehicle development projects were largely supported by hardware testing and the focus of simulation was on global vehicle behavior. More recently, BMW has begun a strategic shift toward a more complete virtual development process.  This strategy involves a greater reliance on the accuracy of highly detailed simulations including material rupture and failure of spot weld connections, but integrated within the scope of large, complex full-vehicle simulations. The strong correlation between physical test and simulation results obtained with Abaqus is enabling BMW to achieve its aggressive process improvement goals, resulting in substantial cost and time savings for each vehicle project, while meeting stringent safety requirements.