Apollo Tyres uses enhanced virtual prototyping to reduce test time and environmental impact

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A virtual prototyping and simulation platform has been used by Apollo to develop the new Vredestein Quatrac Pro EV all-season tire, with the simulation platform enabling the tire maker to significantly reduce time-to-market, the tire’s impact on the environment and development costs.

By using virtual prototyping, Apollo ensured the Quatrac Pro EV benefitted from the fastest development cycle of any Vredestein tire to date. Over the years, Apollo’s in-house simulation and prototyping platform has undergone a multitude of revisions to ensure it can improve efficiency within the company’s design and testing stages, helping the tire maker achieve its performance targets. Additionally, by increasing the use of computer simulation, Apollo Tyres was able to apply an extremely efficient iterative design approach to optimize performance characteristics like rolling resistance, grip, comfort and road noise.

Apollo’s R&D team used the simulation technology to enhance the construction of the tire’s contour and tread to reduce rolling resistance, which also increased driving range as a result. The simulation technology also reduced the Quatrac Pro EV’s carbon emissions during the development cycle. Alongside a reduced number of real-world testing miles for evaluation prior to its launch, the increased use of computer simulation also resulted in a significant reduction in the number of raw materials used for evaluating trial compounds, and for the production of test tires.

Compared to the tire maker’s previous development processes, the use of the virtual prototyping software has enhanced efficiency when testing tires by harnessing advanced digital simulation. During the Quatrac Pro EV’s development, Apollo Tyres was also able to reduce the total CO2 emissions created during pre-production development and test phase.

Alongside the environmental advantages, the virtual prototyping and simulation platform enabled the tire manufacturer to access new efficiencies in its R&D processes, helping the company maintain competitive prices for its customers.

“The steady increase in the use of virtual prototyping in our product development has been a game-changer for our business, enabling us to meet and exceed performance criteria in a fast and reliable way,” explained Dr Udo Kuhlmann, group head R&D Europe, Apollo Tyres. “We’ve been investing in simulation software for over 25 years; our latest virtual prototyping environment is now key in helping us maintain a competitive edge.

“Real-world testing remains crucial – our tires are often bought by driving enthusiasts and we must apply subjective as well as virtual assessment. We are now harnessing industry developments in high-performance computing and cloud-based simulation to further improve the platform.”

More information on the Quatrac Pro EV can be found here.

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After spending six years working as a mechanic for various motorsport and high-end performance car companies, Callum joined UKi Media & Events in February 2020 as an assistant editor. In this role he uses his vast practical knowledge and passion for automotive to produce informative news pieces for multiple vehicle-related sectors. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKi Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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