EC: Adams Explore, multibody dynamics simulation software for Microsoft Excel

Software — Control design: Adams Explore provides the power of simulation within Excel. Non-CAE users view design models in Excel, expose model parameters as variables, solve, and view before/after results side by side. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.

October 13, 2016

Here is a real world use case for Adams Explore:

A vehicle dynamics engineer out at the proving grounds is driving a prototype of a new vehicle platform for the first time. This person has never heard of Adams multibody dynamics simulation software. The car handles quite well, but the secondary ride is nervous and he wonders what a relaxing of the rear damper rebound rate would do.

He pulls out his smartphone, opens the Excel emulator and looks at the results of frequency content of the rear suspension over a pave surface for the baseline vehicle. This is the same configuration that he has just driven and didn’t like. So, he navigates to the cell that contains the damper rebound characteristics and relaxes the rate by 10%. Then, he hits "submit", waits 30 seconds while his phone sends the updated input values to the Adams server (located somewhere in the world) and comes back to him with the new result. He compares the new to old results on his phone screen to see if his change has the desired effect. If not, adjust and re-run.

When he has what he thinks is the desired changes, he goes to his mechanic in the workshop and tells him exactly what he wants. Once made, he validates back out on the track.

Two things worth noting: The user persona for Adams Explore is an engineer or a designer, not an analyst. This expands the benefit to more users. The Adams software is not loaded on the local PC/laptop/tablet/phone. The Adams server is still within the company firewalls with its attendant security protocol/file storage/backup. The user only needs network or internet access. This makes doing these studies readily available from anywhere!

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