“We greatly value the breadth & depth of Altair’s technology – and the expertise of their consulting engineers. Over a period of 12 years, we’ve never hit any walls or show-stoppers. Every time we have wanted to expand our simulation capabilities, Altair has helped us do that.”
– Martin Ortega
PhD, Senior Engineer, Mabe
Mabe started using Altair MotionSolve to simulate the washing machine basket spinning at idealized speeds regardless of the load weight, torque and power required from the motor. The goal was to test for imbalances that would make it wobble or vibrate resulting in an undesirable “walking” motion. Once wet and heavy laundry is added, it starts to load up on one side of the washing machine creating an imbalance.
Washing machines typically need a balance ring designed to offset the imbalance of the laundry. The balance ring has dynamic characteristics of its own based on mass and location. To enable best performance, Mabe simulated it using parametric “what-if” studies including varying dimensions, mass, and locations.
Last but not least, Mabe started to model the motion dynamics related to springs in the suspension system. The suspension system is similar to that of a car, compensating as the wash load gets alternately heavier or lighter during the rinsing and drying cycles, respectively.
Using modern system simulation technology like Altair Activate fit well with Mabe’s needs because motors aren’t capable of producing precise amounts of torque instantaneously in order to make the basket spin precisely at a prescribed number of revolutions per minute (RPM). The motor torque will fluctuate slightly to try to maintain a particular speed and must dynamically ramp up and down over time as the agitation cycle changes to spin, dry cycle, etc. In fact, washing machine motors must speed up and slow down multiple times during a complete wash cycle. This co-simulation approach involving detailed motor control and motion dynamics together, allowed for more realistic, rather than idealized interactions between the motor and washing machine.