Safety Comes First – Development of a Maxi-Cosi Child Seat Using a CAE-Driven Design Process

When developing a new child seat, safety is paramount. Dorel Juvenile, market leader in child safety in cars, had to develop a new child seat – the Maxi-Cosi 2wayPearl. To investigate and analyze the best feasible design, considering the occurring forces during an accident, Dorel Juvenile turned to Code Product Solutions, an engineering service provider that supports their customers in the development and optimization of products, using computer-aided engineering (CAE) tools.

For this project, Harold van Aken, CEO and Senior Simulation Engineer of Code Product Solutions and his team were responsible for virtual development and crash simulation. Code Product Solutions supports clients in the development and optimization of products using computer-aided-engineering tools, such as Altair’s HyperWorks suite.

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The initial goal of the project was the modification of the existing Maxi-Cosi FamilyFix seat base, so that rearward-facing functionality could be added. Many countries have child passenger restraint requirements and laws applying specifically to child seats, which usually vary with respect to age, weight, and height.

The biggest challenges were the increased loads due to the requested two-way functionality and the reduced and modified packaging space for the seat base. In particular, the more forward position of the support leg required major structural changes. These engineering challenges were overcome thanks to Code Product Solutions’ vast experience in design rules for plastic injection molding parts in combination with material selection and numerical analysis with HyperWorks, to verify the concepts.

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The redesign tasks were largely driven by material substitutions where plastic was used instead of steel. These changes combined with an expanded number of defined load cases (12 in total) required a much larger number of simulation runs, e.g., to gain insights on the wall thicknesses and rib locations. This in combination with demanding performance requirements all led to a very successful design.

Within the development process, the Code Product Solutions engineers employed the Altair HyperWorks CAE suite utilizing RADIOSS® for crash simulation, OptiStruct® for the layout of highly loaded plastic parts that comprise the reclining system, HyperMesh® for pre-processing tasks, and HyperCrash® and HyperView® during post-processing.

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In addition to HyperWorks, Code Product Solutions also uses Altair’s PBS Professional™ a workload management tool to efficiently schedule and manage jobs across its high-performance computing (HPC) cluster, and MADYMO dummies coupled with RADIOSS and Moldflow for molding simulation. MADYMO dummies from TASS are available as part of the Altair Partner Alliance (APA).

While many companies still use simulation late in the development process, when the design is almost final and extensive changes are very expensive, Code Product Solutions employs simulation early, during the conceptual phase, optimizing product design regarding weight and performance before design decisions are made. This methodology is called CAE-driven design.

Without CAE tools, the only alternative available to engineers would have been trial and error. This method, however, would probably not have been sufficient to cover all required load cases, or at least not without a tremendous increase of time and money. Thus, the gained insight of simulations was key to the development of the seat.

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Simone Bonino

Simone Bonino

Vice President of Marketing - HyperWorks at Altair
Simone joined Altair Italy in 2001, and is currently the Vice President of Marketing for HyperWorks® at Altair. He has over 20 years of experience in the PLM market, particularly in the field of manufacturing simulation and business development. His current role includes overseeing the global marketing strategy for the extended HyperWorks brand, integrating contributions from the other Altair divisions, and building a cohesive message with dynamic marketing materials for the CAE and PLM market. He holds an associate degree in mechanical engineering from the Istituto Tecnico Industriale (ITI) Edoardo Agnelli in Torino, Italy.
Simone Bonino
Simone Bonino

About Simone Bonino

Simone joined Altair Italy in 2001, and is currently the Vice President of Marketing for HyperWorks® at Altair. He has over 20 years of experience in the PLM market, particularly in the field of manufacturing simulation and business development. His current role includes overseeing the global marketing strategy for the extended HyperWorks brand, integrating contributions from the other Altair divisions, and building a cohesive message with dynamic marketing materials for the CAE and PLM market. He holds an associate degree in mechanical engineering from the Istituto Tecnico Industriale (ITI) Edoardo Agnelli in Torino, Italy.