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Being a long time enthusiast for all things with two wheels, it was a blast to have an opportunity to work with Norton Motorcycles on the development of their next-generation bike. Their challenge was to validate the structural behavior of their new aluminum engine block which was designed from the ground up.

Analysis Challenge: However, the real challenge was calculating the various load sets. Along with the main crankshaft power stroke, inertia forces from the main crankshaft and balance-shaft must be considered, and of course, the traction torque of the chain. As the engine is cycled from full power to full RPM, various peak forces are encountered in different regions of the motor drivetrain. I wish I could take credit for figuring this stuff out but my engineering hat is off to the team at Norton Motorcycles. They were able to supply me with detailed calculations for all major load cases along with "lessons" on how motorcycle engines really work and why the HP versus RPM curve flattens out and starts to decrease when a certain RPM level is exceeded. This collaborative project is on track and with some luck, a new breed of Nortons should be seen on the streets in the near future.

Our work has been tested, shaker-tabled and in-the-field benchmarked with tightly correlated outcomes on every model. Over the years, our models have consistently been within 10% of experimental measurements and our mode is typically 5%.

Numerical vibration analysis is one of the core skill sets at Predictive Engineering. Our clients have come to expect such agreement and they understand that it is due to our hard-won experience in the idealization of engineered systems into high-fidelity finite element analysis models.

Summaries are presented to show a portion of the work that we have done over the years in the fields vibratory conveyors, automotive, scientific, manufacturing and aviation. Many other examples are available for discussion but these projects provide distinctive insights into how we build and benchmark our analysis work.

This case study presents a few of our more interesting FEA consulting service projects that we have done on transmission, gearbox and drive train components over the last several years. Most of the work involves nonlinear contact, bolt preload and detailed stress and vibration analysis toward durability analysis of the components.

FEA simulattions discussed are:

  1. Heavy-Duty Electric Utility Vehicle Gearbox and Differential Housing
  2. Dual-Cylinder Motorcycle Engine Gearbox and Housing
  3. Transmission analysis of dual-shaft 3,000 HP gearbox
  4. Transmission Shifting Mechanisms
  5. Hydraulic Variable Speed Transmission Housing Analyses
  6. Large-Scale Gearbox for Off-Shore Drilling Platform Winch