Andron Handling uses Altair SimSolid™ in Design Development of Bespoke Mechanical Equipment
Andron Handling Ltd. is a U.K. based company specializing in the design of bespoke mechanical equipment. Most systems are one-off and are designed for a particular application. With mechanical, electrical, ergonomic and control system expertise, Andron is able to take on any handling requirement.
Currently Andron is developing a bespoke handler for a major automotive supplier. The handler transfers wheel sets from a conveyor system to delivery pallets with tight space constraints. A pneumatic clamping system is used to grip up to four wheels at a time, allowing rotation of the wheels while clamped.
Andron needed to assess the strength of the welded fabrication and vertical clamping arms for both lifting and clamping loads. In previous analysis of this type in Altair SimSolid™, Andron would have removed the wheels from the model and applied reaction forces at the bottom of each of the clamp arms. In this case Andron used a different approach that would not have been possible with previous FEA toolsets.
In this approach the full assembly is modeled. Clamping forces are simulated by applying a force to each of the four piston rods and a matching reaction to each cylinder body. Sliding connections are applied to the piston and linear bearings to allow this force to be transferred to rigid bodies simulating the wheels.
No special preparation of the model was required; the analysis includes small components such as circlips and fasteners. The only modifications from SimSolid's default settings were to use increased quality for automatic contact detection, adjust a few of the resulting contact conditions to simulate the sliding of the pneumatic cylinder and linear bearings, and set the wheels models as rigid bodies in order to assign a fixed mass.