Caterpillar Deploys Software from Advanced Visual Systems for Predictive Casting Simulator
Advanced Visual Systems, Inc. has just completed a joint project with Caterpillar Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines, to create an interactive, visual user interface to Caterpillar’s state-of-the-art casting simulation software. Caterpillar’s Casting Process Simulator (CaPS) software helps engineers predict the filling and solidification of metal castings for Caterpillar engines and components, and AVS/Express brings these simulations to life for Caterpillar’s engineers.
CaPS was developed in the early 1990s through collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) and the Department of Energy, based on ANL software used to analyze heat transfer and fluid flow in a nuclear reactor. Through enhancements by ANL, Caterpillar’s Technical Center and various universities, CaPS now provides a virtual casting environment that lets engineers accurately predict mold-filling patterns, shrinkage defects, and mechanical properties of the final casting while avoiding costly shop floor iterations.
AVS/Express, a comprehensive software development platform, provides the visual user interface to control the CaPS simulations as well as to visualize the results. Using AVS/Express’s rapid application development tools, Caterpillar developers have been able to create a suite of applications for this task. AVS/Express enjoys a wide user base among both technical and business users who need to better understand complex data, such as that associated with manufacturing processes.
CaPS allows Cat engineers to evaluate various gating and riser designs and adjust casting parameters such as iron composition, pouring temperature, and more. CaPS not only provides a rich, interactive visual representation of the casting simulation, but also can output standard MPEG movies of a simulation for presentation to engineering teams and suppliers.