Manchester, UK — Bentley Motors has implemented Icona Solutions’ innovative perceived quality simulation software, aesthetica, at its design and manufacturing plant in Crewe, England. It is being used to streamline and improve the process of achieving consistently high perceived quality in the company’s vehicles without
negatively impacting development timescales and manufacturing costs.
The software has been introduced to help overcome the difficulties of getting all
stake-holders in the vehicle design and development process — styling,
engineering, quality and manufacturing personnel — to agree at the most
appropriate stage in the development process on the assembled conditions to
which the Class A surfaces development process should adhere.
Gap and flush tolerance targets for the Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed are set and displayed in aesthetica.
“At Bentley Motors we are constantly seeking ways to improve the design
processes required to achieve quality in manufacturing,” explained Jim Shaw,
manager of concept engineering at Bentley Motors. “However, the practicalities
of getting everyone involved to agree the gap and flush conditions ahead of the
Class A surfacing process meant there was a reluctance to commit to them early
enough in the design process. This was resulting in agreements only being
reached after tooling prove-out models had been milled and stacked, which was
leading to loops in the Class A surfacing activity that were eating into the
Following the findings of a working group that was formed to look into
dimensional management throughout the development process at Bentley
Motors, several new techniques were identified and justified, with the
implementation of aesthetica being the final piece of the jig-saw puzzle.
“In several pilot projects over recent months it has been clearly demonstrated
that aesthetica allows us to truly visualize the effects of all stake-holders’
proposals, not just for edge conditions but also for the underlying fixing
constraints”, said Shaw. “Styling, engineering, quality and manufacturing people
can therefore appreciate and understand each other’s requirements and reach
agreement at a much earlier stage in the development process than was the
Fewer physical models
The use of Icona Solutions’ aesthetica software at Bentley Motors allows the
variation in key areas of the vehicle that would occur under manufacturing
conditions to be visualized, studied and understood without the need for the
manufacture of solid, physical models. These key areas have been agreed with
the cross-functional team that is responsible for design approval.
Integration of aesthetica with Bunkspeed Hypershot provides high quality, state-of-the-art photographic snapshot capabilities.
“Specific viewpoints that are used by the audit team have been set up in
aesthetica so that they review the virtual 3D models in the same way that they
view production cars,” explained Patrick Crutchley, Senior Engineer – Surfacing
at Bentley Motors. “The improvement in understanding and the promotion of
collaboration between departments that this brings has been immense,” he adds.
While aesthetica is now bringing real and quantifiable benefits to the Class A
surfacing and dimensional management processes at Bentley Motors, the car
manufacturer is also looking at how the software can be used in the future,
further upstream in the design process to influence the early style development.
“In addition”, stated Shaw, “we are working closely with both Icona Solutions and
with Bunkspeed to examine the use of Bunkspeed’s HyperShot 3D visualization
software to provide state-of-the-art, photographic quality snapshot capabilities
directly from aesthetica. This would take advantage of the HyperShot integration
capability that Icona Solutions offers as an optional supplement to aesthetica’s
in-built visualization facilities”.
Tim Illingworth, managing director, Icona Solutions Ltd., said, “We are very proud
of the fact that Bentley Motors has selected aesthetica after an exhaustive
evaluation of its capabilities. Together with our business partner, Majenta
Solutions, we look forward to continuing to work with Bentley Motors in the
further development of the solutions and in their deployment within the
Filed Under: Automotive, FEA software, Simulation, Software