Abstract

Simulation techniques such as Finite Element Analysis (FEA) have substantially contributed to reducing the time and cost of developing new mechanical products over the last decades. However, FEA is primarily carried out on the nominal geometry, i.e. not considering the variation in geometrical and material parameters that originates from either the production or use-cases. This can lead to either overly conservative or overly optimistic designs, which in turn leads to unnecessary cost and/or unforeseen product failures. Despite the introduction of commercial FEA tool packages (such as 3DX/Abaqus/ANSYS etc.) that enables designers and engineers to combine FEA and Robust Design (RD) methods, performing sensitivity studies to identify robustness issues is rarely conducted in a systematic manner. The objective of this study is to identify the barriers for why the combined use of FEA and robust design techniques are not a standard part of the design process. The study concludes on identified barriers and that combining FEA and RD will require a substantial effort, however create significant value and enhance the design process.

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