The Chrysler group has turned to MSC.Software Corp. to help it store massive amounts of data that it generates while running 15,500 tests on vehicles, parts and systems each month.
Neither company would divulge the value of the deal.
MSC.Software, of Santa Ana, Calif., will provide the Chrysler group with data-management software tools plus the capability to automate some of the standard tests that it performs on every vehicle.
The Chrysler group uses software to simulate vehicle crash tests, durability tests, and noise, vibration and harshness tests. Most of the tests are done at Chrysler's technical center in Auburn Hills, Mich.
While automakers have been migrating slowly to virtual testing during the last 10 years, interest has accelerated dramatically in the last few years, says Larry Achram, Chrysler group's director of virtual engineering.
"I was stunned to find out that we run, on average, 15,500 high-performance computing runs per month," he says. "There are so many layers of tests that are done, all the way from the component on up to the whole car. We were doing that without any formal data structure."
The Chrysler group will use MSC.SimManager and MSC.SOFY software for the database and automated simulations.
The automaker has been using MSC.Software products, as well as software from other vendors, for the part, system and vehicle computer simulations.
"Getting to one standard for data storage, having standardized simulation runs that can be automated - all those things will continue to reduce our costs and make us go faster," Achram says.
It will take "a couple of years" to install all of the new software, beginning with the database, Achram says. MSC.Software will help the Chrysler group write the software code for the standardized simulations, he says.
Achram says the contract with MSC.Software is for new services and software and didn't cause Chrysler to replace a vendor.
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