ESI Group has launched Virtual Seat Solution, claimed to be the only solution on the market dedicated to the virtual prototyping of seats. It claims to enable OEMs and seat suppliers to design, test, improve and pre-certify their seat prototypes, in full and virtually, without the need for costly physical prototypes.
ESI’s Virtual Seat Solution enables industrial seat manufacturers to build, test and improve virtual seat prototypes that take into account the materials used and the manufacturing history.
In the automotive sector, major OEMs, including Hyundai Motor Company, and seat suppliers, are already using the solution. Hyundai uses Virtual Seat Solution to test H-Point, posture, pressure mapping, hardness, and the dynamic comfort of its seats. Thanks to virtual prototyping, Hyundai’s research for reducing seat vibration has enabled it to deliver claimed best-in-class comfort to all car occupants, helping reduce muscular fatigue and long-term effects on the spine.
Han Ji Won, engineer in the Body & Trim development team at Hyundai Motor Company, commented: “Since seats contain lots of components, it’s very difficult to find the factors that influence dynamic comfort. We tried to figure this out using ESI’s Virtual Seat Solution and reached our goal. This new way of working will help us save money and time effectively.”
Expanding on the capacities of ESI’s seat comfort software previously known as PAM-COMFORT, Virtual Seat Solution not only covers trim manufacturing, postural, static and dynamic comfort, it also enables the assessment of thermal comfort and whiplash testing.
ESI says that users can easily test the performance of their future products, including the whiplash performance addressed in Euro NCAP or JNCAP protocols, and comfort performance according to the SAE J826 standard. For the first time, these tests are fully integrated into Virtual Seat Solution, and automated from beginning to end.
In addition, as Virtual Seat Solution takes into account the effects of manufacturing, it ensures extremely accurate prediction of the seat performance. Thanks to case-specific dummies and human models, users can evaluate performance, precisely predicting the interaction between seat and passengers.
All of these applications can be assessed using a single model common to all domains of performance, allowing seat designers, seat engineers and seat specialists to work concurrently and efficiently. Using a single model, they can quickly assess trade-offs between different design options and enhance their prototypes.
Look out for the March 2015 edition of Automotive Testing Technology International for an in-depth feature on seat development.