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Editor’s Pick: Software Geared for Driveline and Gearbox Design and Optimization

By Anthony J. Lockwood

Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:

Some 40 years ago, I was driving my 40-cu.-in. V-8 ‘68 Plymouth Fury III — it had baby blue carpet DIY-installed in the passenger compartment — up Roberts Avenue from Nepperhan. Now, Rome may have seven hills, but Yonkers has a zillion. And Roberts is as steep, gnarly, and long as they come. At a bend right down below Mary Lou (its narrowest part): thump. The Fury shutters, the speedometer maxes out, lots of clanking, and we start rolling backwards. The drive shaft snapped. My Uncle Jim, who had been a mechanic all his life, said it was the darnedest thing he ever saw. Next day, I got me a new one at a junkyard. Today, I’d probably sue for anguish; alas, another brass ring missed.

Whatever the fault in that drive shaft, it’s a pretty safe bet that the ’60s era design and optimization process that spawned it was way different than today’s processes. Which brings us to today’s Pick of the Week, an application called Concept from Romax Technology in the UK. It seems to be a logical way to go about designing such systems. In a nutshell, Concept is for the upfront design and optimization of gearboxes and drivelines systems used in car transmissions, power tools, and even wind turbine gearboxes.

“Upfront” is the keyword here. Concept’s reasoning for being, so to speak, is to provide engineers a comprehensive concept development platform so that you can make better decisions at the beginning of your design process quickly. Better upfront decisions mean fewer redesigns and less expense when the detailed design and optimization processes begin. Since it’s all virtual, it also means that you can explore more ideas, which can lead to more robust and durable products that preform better than your previous designs.

Concept deploys a drag-and-drop interface, has 3D visualization capabilities for evaluating and manipulating parameters, and it exports results to most any CAD system. While it operates as a stand-alone application, Concept also integrates with the company’s Romax Designer for detailed transmission and driveline design and analysis, as well as RomaxWIND, which is RomaxDesigner tailored for wind turbine applications.

So, what you have here when you use Concept with Romax Technology’s other design and simulation toolkits is a whole-system platform for gearbox and driveline design, simulation, and analysis. Sounds pretty good to me. Check out the link over there for more.

Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering

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About Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Desktop Engineering's Editor-at-Large. Contact him via de-editors@deskeng.com.