Guardian Automotive, one of the largest global producers of flat glass, was looking to optimize the manufacturing process of car windows. The purpose was twofold: to meet the time constraints of car manufacturers, and to increase internal efficiency. Charles Courlander, a senior development engineer at Guardian, was part of the team responsible for developing techniques to achieve this goal.
There are two ways to design car windows. The first is to make the window out of one piece of glass. The second is to use laminated glass, which is made up of two sheets of glass bought together with synthetic layer. In both cases, Guardian has to take into account many factors, such as sound insulation, burglary prevention, image distortion for the driver, and safety. Also in the case of an accident, the window should shatter into small pieces to minimize the danger of injury for the passengers.
Guardian used MSC Marc to simulate and predict the different behaviors of the materials as accurately as possible, both in the different production stages and in their final use mounted in cars. “There are two main situations in which simulations are applied,” Courlander says. “In the first we simulate the way in which a windscreen or rear window heats up when used to de-ice on frosty mornings. This is so that we can predict the temperature distribution over the entire window. This enables us to localize hot spots. And the second use of simulation is to obtain the right shape for the window. Each car has its own characteristics, and each window must therefore be tailor-made. We heat the windows to obtain the right shape. Various temperature situations are simulated to see how the bending process will develop.”
MSC’s simulation solutions enabled Guardian Automotive to try different temperature situations without slowing or interrupting their actual production processes and also to predict the different behaviors of the materials, both in different productions stages and in their final use mounted in the cars. The validated Marc simulations helped Guardian analyze what the layout of the window should look like, and enabled them to show to their customers whether a certain heating system was suitable.
Finally, as a result, Guardian benefited from increased efficiency and significant time savings using MSC Software solutions.