A new EU research project lead by Sweden’s Volvo Aero and including the UK’s Rolls-Royce and Nottingham University is to develop technology for the virtual simulation of the aero engine manufacturing process.
The four-year project, VERDI, ending in 2009, sees 16 leading European engine manufacturers, institutes, and universities collaborate and is funded to the tune of €6.4 million, including €4.5 million from the EU. Volvo Aero is co-ordinating the project and plays an important role due to the company’s long simulation experience - it has used advanced weld simulations since the early 1990s (see picture of V2500 turbine blade).
Virtual simulation will make it possible to see how components are affected during manufacture, meaning that engine manufacturers will save development time, allowing them to manufacture engines cheaper for their customers. VERDI will create a digital model of a component so that engineers can see how material is affected by the different manufacturing stages.
The programme will create an overall simulation tool through the contribution of VERDI partners’ expertise in different areas, such as simulated milling or sheet metal pressing. “All the participants are not experts in every field of manufacturing simulation. Each partner will contribute with their piece of the puzzle,” explains Volvo Aero’s Torbjörn Kvist, co-ordinator for VERDI project.
Author: Andrew Allcock