Linkage and Structural Optimization of an Earth Moving Machine

Praveen Halepatali and Christopher Ha, Caterpillar Inc.; Ronald C. Averill, Red Cedar Technology Inc.
Presented at SAE 2010 World Congress & Exhibition, April 2010, Detroit, MI, USA, Session: CAE Analysis, Test Correlation and Optimization: Durability CAE

In this paper we demonstrate how the type of setup and algorithmic choice can have an influence and make optimization more lucrative in a new product development atmosphere. We also present some results from a design exploration activity, involving linkage and structural development, of an earth moving machine application. The kinematic requirements in this study, involving point layout and performance requirements, were evaluated using an in house code and structural aspects, involving yield, buckling and weld fatigue requirements, were evaluated by using Nastran and FE-SAFE. The development plan broke the tasks into two optimization stages, kinematic and structural optimization, which were executed sequentially using optimization algorithms in HEEDS. The results demonstrate that the optimization activities not only lead to designs with a better performance, lower mass and reduced cost but also realized a significantly shorter turnaround time.

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