Bus body engineering & design process includes several critical activities that are repetitive and done manually. This leads to many challenges, ranging from increased project timeline to higher attrition rate. At ASI we develop and actively use smart engineering tools to avoid re-work, automate repetitive actions & improve accuracy of the final output.
We have developed & used some of the following tools and methodical approaches in an array of Bus Body Design Projects:
1. Homologation check tool
2. Weight target setting and monitoring tool
3. Structural members sensitivity check for any DVP through CAE
4. Seat Layout automation tool
This blog will focus on “Automating Seat Layout in Bus Body Design Process” which is one of the most important tool that is used to reduce time to deliver & enhance productivity of our engineers at ASI. This tool is developed in-house with ASI engineers who have faced challenges while working on various projects in the past.
Impact of automation in automated bus floor plan design:
With the conventional method the average time required by an engineer to complete seat layout for any 12m Bus with known door combination is around 2 hours (120 mins). This work includes calculation, 2D layout, Seat Selection & 3D Layout. Also, the engineer is 100% occupied with full concentration on this activity.
However, on the other hand using the Automation tool, the average time required is 15-20 minutes. The automated tool asks for a few key parameters which constraints the seat positioning, later it calculates the quantity, seat pitch and location of seats in X, Y & Z direction separately.
Bus Seat Layout Automation Tool:
The above graphics showcase the architecture of the seat layout tool that starts from initial data input to the transfer of final 3D seat layout CAD model to the structure engineer.
The tool is divided into 2 parts, first is an arithmetic model which has a few equations to calculate optimum seat no’s and position based on given inputs in X, Y & Z direction. The second part of the tool is a macro which utilises data from the output of first part. The macro is run and it asks for user inputs (Vehicle Co-ordinate System, Seat CAD file and few locations etc.) again, once all the inputs are provided correctly the output will be the 3D CAD model of all seats placed in their most optimum position.
1. 80% reduction in development time utilised by seat layout process.
2. First time right & 100% accurate 3D Data due to the logic based validation in the tool.
3. Very low modification time. In case of a modification, depending on the nature and quantum of the same, engineer can decide the usability of the tool. For example, if the door combination/size changes the user can re-run the tool with updated information and decide at the 1st Output if she/he wants to proceed with it.
4. Generated reports after running Tool Part-1 can be analysed in the initial stage to check if there is a compromise being made on the no of seats or is there a necessity to re position/resize the doors.
Nowadays, there is a constant quest for shortest time to market and everyone seeks best utilisation percentage of their resources. Keeping in mind both of these key parameters, this tool is the need of the hour for all engineering teams. At ASI we believe in smart engineering practices that have helped us spend quality time at activities that are critical and matter the most.