Development of a new CAD-method for Tool CAE-analysts at Gestamp HardTech

University essay from Luleå/Department of BUsiness Administration, Technology and Social Sciences


This project is a Master of Science thesis in industrial design engineering at Luleå University of Technology. It was conducted by Zeinab Al-shatrawi and Erika Andersson in cooperation with Gestamp HardTech R&D in Luleå during the spring semester of 2016.

Gestamp HardTech is a world leading company in the press-hardening technology. They manufactures and delivers car components such as side impact beams, bumpers, A-pillar and B-pillar. They also develop and manufacture the production tools for the components. Tool CAE-analysts at the Research and Development Center in Luleå develops components and tools. Their work consists of modelling and simulations in order to create forming specifications and tooling specifications for the products. The Tool CAE-analysts either uses the product development software NX or CATIA V5. The Tool CAE-analysts that uses CATIA V5 share a common CAD-method and uses automated features to speed up and structure their work. There are no common CAD-method or automated features in NX so each Tool CAE-analyst has created their individual CAD-method.

The objectives in this project was to develop a new common CAD-method and to identify suitable features to automate that are beneficial for the Tool CAE-analysts that uses NX. The automations allows the product development software to create the work. The purposes of the new CAD-method and automations are to structure and standardize their work process. Standardization in their work can increase the quality, make their development process more time-efficient and facilitate their teamwork.

The project started by studying the assignment and analyzing the background. This information was used to plan and structure the process. The project continued with a literature study that included studies of previous theses at Gestamp HardTech and studies of the areas industrial design engineering, method objectives, organizing tools in NX and automation tools in NX. The literature study continued throughout the whole project process.

Tool CAE-analysts were observed and interviewed while they worked on projects. The purpose was to understand the context, the needs of the users and each Tool CAE-analysts CAD-method. The steps in the CAD-methods were represented in Hierarchal task analysis models in order to evaluate the different CAD-methods. The evaluation was intended to identify advantages, disadvantages and common denominators in their work. The project followed with brainstorming and future workshop sessions to create ideas for the common CAD-method and automations. The Tool CAE-analysts participated in the Workshop to share their ideas. The ideas were developed into a final draft of the CAD-method and a final list of automations.

This thesis resulted in a first draft of a common CAD-method, a template with a standard setup of feature groups and a manual with instructions on how to follow the CAD-method. The project also resulted in a list with suggested automations to develop. The list included information on the purpose of every automation, the commands that can be used to create them and important parameters to take into consideration when creating the automations.