It’s easy to fall into the trap of relying too much on digital prototyping to test products. So says Brian R. Lyons, safety and quality communication Manager at Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., Torrance, Calif.
"To cut costs, we increased our use of CAE and built fewer prototype vehicles.
This helped reduce costs by letting engineers compare aerodynamic flows in different simulated engines rather than actually building physical engines. However, the company suddenly saw an increase in quality issues.The problem, of course, is that computer simulation lacks imagination. It can test only that which engineers and designers consider needing testing. Digital prototyping excludes everything else that the environment throws at vehicles.
For example, on the Prius:
But after the cars had been in operation for several years, it became evident that certain fuels used in the U.S. leave carbon deposits on the throttle body. Digital testing didn’t match real-world roads and environmental conditions in the U.S.Read it all here.