Czero optimizes design of high-performance automotive components

One of our automotive clients needed a quick turn-around on developing a high-performance electromagnetic actuator. Using knowledge and processes refined during 25+ years in the automotive industry, our engineers saved weeks of R&D time using a smart combination of tools that enabled us to run hundreds of simulations overnight. Project details [PDF]

Our well-designed process supports fast iteration

We have developed a streamlined process for designing and optimizing electromechanical actuators and valves quickly and cost effectively. Additionally, having automated elements of this process, we can iterate through hundreds of actuator designs a day to optimize metrics such as power consumption, energy consumption, maximum current, hold current, actuator speed, actuator acceleration, moving mass and total mass.

Fast iteration saves time and money

In the example analysis below, we evaluated how subtle changes in armature shape affected system performance. Based on this simulation analysis, we were able to make changes that improved performance at no cost. A related analysis enabled us to open up the tolerances on the parts, reducing manufacturing costs for our client.


Czero - analysis of armature shape enabled us to improve performance at no costCzero - analysis of armature shape - force/mass gap

Elements of Czero actuator design

We combine different CAD, modeling and dynamic simulation tools for different projects. In the case of actuator design, starting with a base design created from first principals, previous designs, or our own process, we move quickly through these steps:

  • Geometry generation. First we create solid models for all actuator combinations.
  • Finite Element Analysis (FEA). Next we run FEA for each actuator design to create a force and inductance maps for the actuator at all combinations of gap and current.
  • System simulation. We feed the force maps from FEA, and other parameters such as inductance, into Simulink models to evaluate system performance.
  • Advanced analysis. Then we run Simulink to set the current level to achieve the desired performance, allowing power and other metrics to be compared for equal performance.