The automotive industry is one of increasing technological advancements. The vehicular electronic content on a typical internal combustion engine currently hovers between 70 and 80 modules. Factor in the complexities of hybrid and electric vehicles and the number rises exponentially. These complexities add to OEMs’ comprehensive safety testing that encompasses item definition, safety life cycle initiation, hazard analysis and risk assessment, and functional safety concept.
In response to these demands, manufacturers look to their suppliers to provide reliable components that have been rigorously tested to withstand the particularly harsh environment of automobiles. While a reasonable assumption on the part of the OEM, the recent safety recalls demonstrate shortcomings in traditional design-build-test-fix (DBTF) reliability processes.
Is there a better way to accurately test for automotive electronics safety and reliability that serves the OEM, supplier and consumer? Yes.
Reliability physics is changing the industry’s approach to automotive electronics safety. Instead of costly physical prototyping, automated design analysis CAE tools employ Physics of Failure (PoF) to learn why systems, components, and materials fail. This allows designers to evaluate reliability risks in a virtual “analyze and optimize” form to identify failure susceptibility early – at low cost – and address issues on the CAD screen instead of at a more costly point down the line.
DfR Solutions’ Sherlock Automated Design Analysis™ software performs durability simulation in a virtual environment and calculates the durability life and reliability distribution of various failure mechanisms for the electronic component and PCB structural elements. The automated process allows even non-CAE experts to create and perform PoF testing, and arrive at a proven, timely development solution for automotive electronics safety and reliability.
Because Sherlock offers cost-effective analysis, using the software to address reliability in the automotive industry benefits OEMs, suppliers and end users:
- OEMs need a solution to the time consuming, expensive development process. Sherlock is a natural fit for replacing DBTF for dynamic vibration testing (DVT) on assemblies, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in testing time and assembly build costs. In one case study, an automotive OEM reported that Sherlock saved them over $1.3 million on four assemblies while simultaneously providing a more reliable, durable product to their customers. Likewise, OEMs are increasingly requiring Tier 1 suppliers to use Sherlock and the OEM’s environmental specifications to improve product quality and reliability well before assembly stage to realize similar savings and get their product to market quicker.
- Tier 1 suppliers using Sherlock are better assured of passing DVT on the first attempt. This not only minimizes costly and often lengthy back-and-forth problem solving with the OEM, it also instills greater confidence in product reliability and performance – a major selling point to OEMs.
- End users aren’t directly involved in using Sherlock, but that doesn’t preclude them from benefiting from it. Automotive OEMs and suppliers save time and money with this innovative design analysis software, therefore customers can confidently buy a technologically advanced vehicle that’s passed extensive safety testing at a price point that delivers the most for their money.