Off Highway Vehicle Simulation Software | Exa Corporation


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Off Highway Equipment

Designing to Meet the Standards

One of today’s top concerns for agricultural and construction equipment manufacturers is to meet the ever more stringent government emissions standards. The methods of reducing NOx and particulate matter, including exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), diesel particulate filters (DPFs), and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) lead to increased demand on the engine cooling system and higher exhaust system temperatures. Engines from suppliers must be able to operate within strict temperature ranges within ever tighter underhood packaging, with no ram airflow. Dust and particle ingestion must be managed to avoid safety issues and performance degradation. Cooling performance and thermal protection of underhood components under high load and worst-case environmental conditions are the paramount design concerns.

Many of these design challenges including cooling airflow, thermal management, fan noise, and cabin comfort are heavily influenced by complex fluid flows. The grille opening, heat exchangers, and cooling fans are the prominent features of the cooling system, and their exact size and placement must be optimized for maximum cooling flow within the engine compartment. Intelligent direction of cooling flow and careful placement of heat shields must be used to control temperatures of underhood components that are sensitive to the heat generated by the engine, exhaust, and hot flow through the heat exchangers. Tiny geometric details can make huge difference in obtaining the desired results.

At the same time, customers demand improved quality, durability, and comfort for operators in harsh environments and conditions. The entire machine and its subsystems affect the ability of the manufacturer to keep the operator comfortable. The low-speed, high-temperature airflow around the machine and the solar load create additional heat that the air conditioning system must counteract.  Optimizing the thermal performance of the HVAC system results in a more comfortable environment for the operator, and generally can improve the fuel economy of the machine.

Customer Interview with SAME Deutz-Fahr engineering executive team on their use of Exa's suite of products for aerodynamic & thermal simulations

Equipment manufacturers must make careful trade-offs of competing values. The engineer’s task is arrive at a design that sufficiently satisfies the operational requirements, quality and comfort expectations, hits fuel efficiency targets, provides sufficient cooling, identifies and avoids safety issues, and can be brought to market on time at an acceptable profit. This need to optimize performance factors, cost, and process efficiencies is a continual challenge for the industry.

The old methods of product development are no longer sufficient. Building prototypes to test performance and assess quality is not only very expensive, but the engineering team needs to understand the design trade-offs very early in the product development process — months or years before any prototype could be built. Simulation-driven design not only provides feedback earlier and in a more useful form than traditional approaches, but is critical for success at meeting government regulatory deadlines. In many areas, simulation has reached a level of accuracy and robustness that is sufficient to enable a manufacturer to rely solely on simulation results for design decisions and tooling sign-off — without prototype testing.

Exa has the solution. Exa PowerFLOW’s unique, inherently transient Lattice Boltzmann-based physics enables it to perform simulations that accurately predict real-world transient conditions on the most complex geometry. PowerFLOW imports fully detailed vehicle geometry, and accurately and efficiently performs transient thermal management, aerodynamic, and aeroacoustic simulations. Exa’s solutions enable you to rapidly create, evaluate, and propose alternative designs that meet all the requirements. Using the PowerFLOW suite, you can evaluate product performance early in the design process — when change has the smallest impact on both the design process and engineering budget. Customers who integrate Exa's offerings into their processes find their investment pays for itself in short order. PowerFLOW applications have been fully validated and are in deep productive use at many of the leading global off-highway vehicle manufacturers. Industry customers currently using Exa software or services include AGCO, Same Deutz-Fahr, Fendt, and Valtra.


Exa offers solutions for the following off-highway vehicle applications: