Bucher Municipal compared its street sweeper design versions with CFD to increase performance.
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Bucher Municipal is a world-leading supplier of municipal vehicles. The company designs and manufactures sweepers, sewer cleaning equipment, as well as winter maintenance and vehicles for waste collection.
Improving the Efficiency of a Street Sweeper
Bucher Municipal engineering team’s goal was to increase the overall efficiency of their street sweeper. The core of any street sweeper is the suction duct and particle collection chamber. To ensure the overall performance of such a municipal vehicle, these parts need to be tested and optimized.
Although building a physical prototype gives some understanding of a machine’s performance, you can never get the full picture of the airflow. Many improvements in a street sweeper design can be made based on the results of CFD simulations — a state of the art way to analyze problems that involve fluid flow.
The investigation of the street sweeper's chamber with different outlets gave us great insights into the performance of the device. We were able to propose additional design changes and prepare for further testing without the need of actually building a prototype. We plan to continue using CAE as a vital component of our design process.
How They Solved It with SimScale
Testing the Positioning of the Sweeping Chamber’s Suction Outlet with CFD
Finding themselves in need of an accurate, easy to use, and fast solution to help them in their optimization process, the engineers from Bucher Municipal decided to integrate cloud-based CFD in their design process. Using SimScale, they were able to improve the entire sweeping machine, including the dust removal process, the fan impeller, and other components.
The first step in analyzing the sweeping chamber was preparing the CAD models for a CFD analysis. The two models, each with a different outlet positioning, were then meshed using the parametric Hexahedral algorithm. This step proved to be challenging because many iterations of the mesh were needed before a good one was generated. Of course, with more experience, the easier it became. At the same time, for more complex setups, such as rotating models involving MRF, they were able to rely on SimScale’s support for professional assistance.
With the meshes ready, Bucher Municipal’s team was able to perform the CFD analyses, which helped them investigate the airflow and compare the different versions for the outlet positioning.
Improved Efficiency of the Street Sweeper
Thanks to the cloud capabilities of SimScale, Bucher Municipal’s engineering team could run the simulations of both design versions at the same time, each on 32 core machines. This allowed them to obtain the results very fast. When time was not an issue, they often prepared the simulations to run for a few hours overnight on 8-core machines.
The CFD simulations performed in the cloud with SimScale gave Bucher Municipal’s team valuable insight into the performance of the street sweeper. Based on the results, they were able to propose additional design changes of the sweeper’s chamber and other components and prepared them for further testing without the need of actually building a physical prototype.
Thanks to the cloud capabilities of SimScale, Bucher Municipal’s engineering team could run the CFD simulations of both design versions at the same time.
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