Working Model 2D

2D Dynamic Motion Simulation

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Bishamon lift equipments are improved with Working Model 2D

Bishamon Industries, a manufacturer of industrial material handling equipment, uses Working Model, Inc.'s Working Model 2D kinematics and dynamics software for routine design simulation, improving overall work productivity and producing equipment faster.

The Bishamon family product line includes some 15,000 different models of lift equipment that are distributed in seven continents and more than 18 countries worldwide. Bishamon's plant and West Coast operations are located in Ontario, California, with a second plant, ECOA Lift Operations, in Miami, Florida. Sixty percent of Bishamon ECOA's lift orders are custom made to suit a customer's particular application.

Hydraulic Forces on Cylinder Critical

All of Bishamon ECOA's lifts are powered by hydraulic cylinders which are needed to achieve the large load capacities for industrial use. A hydraulic cylinder is basically a tube closed at each end with a moveable piston located inside, which is attached to a piston rod. As the hydraulic cylinder extends, the platform of the lift raises vertically.

"It is very important to find the optimal mounting position of a hydraulic cylinder," explains Zersis Mehta, a project engineer in ECOA's engineering department. "This optimal position will ensure the least amount of forces acting on the cylinder for any given load capacity."

For any given force, the smaller the diameter, the greater the pressure must be. The larger the diameter, the smaller the pressure needed.

For safety reasons, the pressures are usually no greater than 2,500 psi (pounds-per-square-inch). Extremely large cylinders cannot be chosen because it would not be cost-effective. As a result, Mehta needs to optimize the sizing of the cylinder.

Imagine a Scissor

Take a scissor lift for example, which has a steel frame in the shape of an "X" supporting a horizontal platform. A cylinder is attached to opposite ends of the legs of the "X". If the operator wants to raise the platform, he or she simply pushes the "UP" button that turns on an electric motor connected to a pump. The pump extracts hydraulic oil from a reservoir into the cylinder causing the cylinder to extend. The procedure is the same for the down movement except that oil is drained from the cylinder back into the reservoir, causing the cylinder to retract.

Designing Manually

In the past, Mehta relied mainly on hand calculations and simple computer programs for cylinder optimization and force calculations. This method affected overall work productivity because it was too time-consuming. Mehta realized that the company needed to replace its "traditional" engineering methods with a strong kinematics software program to decrease time spent on calculations. The time saved could be spent on generating CAD drawings for manufacturing. The sooner the drawings could be released to manufacturing, the sooner the product would be built. This would greatly increase work productivity.

Quicker Calculations and Simulations with Working Model 2D

"We wanted to reduce our time spent on solving equations for cylinder design," notes Mehta. "With Working Model, we can quickly experiment with different designs for a particular project. We can make changes and move things around easily in a motion simulation environment which wasn't possible with previous methods."

When Mehta calculates all the necessary forces using Working Model, he uses MSC.NASTRAN finite element analysis software to examine the forces. He uses MSC.NASTRAN to solve stresses and displacements of the structure. If he finds that the stresses are too high, he simply goes back into Working Model and easily tries a different design.

"As a result of using Working Model, we've streamlined the entire design process from prototype to final production. This results in happier customers since they receive their products sooner. Also, since all of my Working Model files are saved on the computer, I can always go back and easily modify them to suit a similar application for a different customer. This further reduces the overall design time for future projects," concludes Mehta.


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