Using Process Simulation to reduce Product Development Time for Advanced Wire Forming Processes
Challenge: NV Bekaert SA is a global leader in the development and production of wire products. New product and process developments often involve a considerable amount of prototype iterations, leading to long project durations and high costs. The company would like to develop user-friendly simulation tools to aid in the design of next generation high-strength steel wire products and processes. By using these tools for predictive ‘virtual’ development runs, the total number of development cycles for a new product can be reduced.
Goal: The output of this project will be a process line design tool that can be used in a straight-forward manner without extensive knowledge of the underlying numerical procedures. Given a desired wire output profile, the design tool will help the engineer choose the process parameters required to produce that profile. This design tool will require an accurate material model for the steel wire, which will also be developed as part of the project. Developed tools will be based on the open-source OpenFOAM software platform.
Impact: The company has a clear goal to reduce its new product development times using process simulation tools, thus reducing its time to market for new products. A reduction in development cost is also expected due to a reduction in the number of prototyping cycles. The approach of combining traditional physics-based modelling with artificial intelligence methods are expected to push the boundaries of scientific knowledge in this field.
Duration: The project is estimated to take 3 years to develop an efficient and accurate tool, with further iterations and improvements possible beyond this timeframe.
Key Enabling Technologies: Materials Processing, Process & Product Modelling; Artificial Intelligence; Data Analytics