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The Holy Grail of simulation is for your first prototype to be the right one: the final product with little or no improvement needed. It means having such powerful and accurate models that the configurations selected during simulation will conform exactly to reality. Digital modelling offers so much more potential: we intend to invest continuously in this area and the journey ahead is an exciting prospect for both Chicago Pneumatic and our customers

Rémi Béguin , Mechanical Expert Engineer at Chicago Pneumatic

Different types of simulation for optimal prototypes

Different types of simulation exist and are used by our team to improve our product development. 3D design is the best way to predict product behaviors quickly and easily.

Each type of simulation is conducted in sequence and feeds up to the next level.

First simulation: CAD

The CAD simulation is about creating the shapes and geometry of all parts to make sure they can be assembled together.

Second simulation: Rigid bodies

This test will calculate which piece will hit where and how. For example, it will calculate the forces the hammer will exert on the anvil.

Third simulation: Finite element analyses

This is the ultimate « stress test », to calculate at which point the part will break. This saves a lot of time and money and minimizes product failures during use.

For each type of simulation, we have different levels of expertise and output

  • Level 1 prediction: Rough sizing up of all elements for the feasibility stage
  • Level 2 prediction: Design of parts and system
  • Level 3 prediction: Complex simulation able to anticipate precise physical phenomena

This range of simulation possibilities is so wide that there is almost no limit to what can be simulated. This is a real game changer in our ability to introduce innovative ideas to the market quickly.

Of course, the simulation is mainly theory and requires some real measurements to ensure a good fit in the practical world. We call this our « reality check ». These two approaches are complementary and necessary to achieve the best result possible. Once numerous virtual prototype models have been evaluated by the simulation software, the best configurations are selected to build physical prototypes which are submitted to real life testing.

Each physical prototype is tested for specific attributes. One is used to test the initial concept of the tool.  Another one is a « functional » prototype tested to ascertain the expected performance. A final one is a fully designed prototype, complete with company logo, to validate every aspect: concept, design, and performance.