Fraunhofer IGD scientists have developed a new visualization tool that offers a reliable basis for making informed decisions about a product’s design alternatives.
Data visualization is more than just using visual representations to illustrate numbers. It provides an overview, highlights structures and reveals correlations.
Given the exponential growth of data quantities in all sectors – whether it be business, industry, retail or transport – it is becoming difficult to control this flood of data without visualization.
The IGD team along with Austria’s Linz Center of Mechatronics (LCM) has now sought a way to remedy this by creating a new visualization tool for products – and in their case, electric motors.
According to the scientists, the software covers all criteria that are relevant for the development of the motor. This includes: size, weight, engine power, torque, consumption, costs, efficiency and temperature. Typically, up to ten different criteria are observed at the same time.
The visualization depicts the interactions of individual parameters in the form of exact curve charts and, in particular, communicate what happens when one value is changed.
Changing a value often leads to conflicts of interest. If, for instance, the desired engine power is increased, costs increase as well, to name just one example.
The visualization is by no means static. The developer can change the value of each parameter continuously by moving a slider, thereby eliminating undesired values, such as excessive costs.
According to team lead Lena Cibulski, the visualization not only supports developers and engineers during their daily work, it can also be of great help during presentations to the company’s customers or members of management.
They can see the available options at one glance and explore all of the possible design alternatives in an easily understandable way, leading to a carefully balanced product.
The visualization software also offers two additional features to make the decision process even more transparent.
Shortlisted design alternatives can be marked as favorites and highlighted with a specific color. They will always remain visible in the visualization.
In addition, the developers can specify limits for the individual properties, ensuring the product meets the required specifications.
Image and content: Fraunhofer IGD