Case Studies

Multi-Disciplinary Optimisation of a Vehicle Architecture

GM Holden wished to optimise the design of a vehicle architecture by removing mass from the vehicle frame without affecting crash safety. The optimisation process required the client to generate hundreds of minor variants of a design and simulate the performance of each variant in multiple crash scenarios. VPAC provided a software automation solution based on its Virtuneer technology that greatly reduced the time and cost involved in such a large-scale simulation and design exercise.

Multi-Disciplinary Optimisation (MDO) is a common technique in automotive engineering. In the concept stage of vehicle development, conflicting performance requirements in the disciplines of crash, noise and vibration, durability, and mass reduction require the generation and evaluation of many alternative designs. The vehicle concept is represented in a parameterised CAD model, which must then be rendered into a high-quality Finite Element (FE) mesh, combined with appropriate inputs in an analysis deck, and submitted to a High Performance Computing (HPC) resource for analysis. Post-analysis, performance metrics must be evaluated and aggregated into a predictive model of vehicle performance.

GM Holden reduced manual set-up time for a large-scale MDO study from an estimated 6 weeks to 1.5 weeks and greatly reduced the number of failed HPC simulations. The client therefore realised large time and cost savings for both staff and HPC resources and successfully accelerated its innovation process.

Further Information

For further information regarding this project or for information on VPAC’s engineering solutions and services, please contact VPAC at or phone +61 3 9647 5433, or visit

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