Daimler AG is one of the world’s most successful automotive companies. With its divisions Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Daimler Buses and Daimler Financial Services, the Daimler Group is one of the biggest producers of premium cars and the world‘s biggest manufacturer of commercial vehicles with a global reach. In the development of new vehicle and drive concepts Daimler Trucks has been counting on ITI simulation solutions for many years. One of the latest applications is the design of pneumatic brake systems by using dynamic simulation.
In heavy-duty trucks the pneumatic system provides, amongst others, the energy for the braking system, the air suspension of the vehicle, the cabin, and the gearbox. Thereby, the behavior of the equipment is defined by various factors, such as the position of the components, the installable air reservoir volume and the pipe layout. Finally, these components themselves are determined by the vehicle packaging.
It is the goal and task of Daimler’s development team to optimize all vehicle functions and to ensure their well-functioning already at early development stages. For the new and further development of commercial vehicles, engineers want to be able to accurately predict the behavior of the pneumatic system, particularly of the brakes, even prior to building-up realistic prototypes. The final results are important for the system layout and the dimensioning and positioning of the components and guarantee the optimal design of the pneumatic system.
To solve this task, Daimler engineers used SimulationX and the included pre-built pneumatics library. In addition to ready-to-use standard models, the team created a wide range of user-specific component models of conventional and electrical braking systems. The individually designed models could finally be automatically integrated into the existing model structure.
Once the modeling environment was fully established, the engineers converted the complete model into C-Code in order to receive the required information in a quick and effective way. The conversion can be easily done by mouse click within the modeling environment. Finally, the compiled executable model can be further used e.g. for substantial variant analyses. As the code is plain ANSI C-Code that is no subject to licensing, it can be easily compiled and run on any platform and OS.
By combining the commercial simulation platform SimulationX with company-specific procedures to manage and analyze variant studies, Daimler’s engineering team realized the vision of completely developing their products in virtual reality. Thanks to the virtual examination of the brake system, testing iterations are reduced. Later cost and time intense changes both at the series vehicle and the prototype no longer take place. This is due to the fact that already in early development stages, engineers are able to make vital decisions e.g. concerning necessary air reservoirs, pipe layout and the positioning of the components and to include the results into the overall vehicle concept.