Design of Experiments and Sequential Analysis used as an Optimization Technique of a Refrigerator Cabinet

Global competitive pressures are causing organizations to find ways to better meet the needs of their costumers, to reduce costs, and to increase productivity. Nowadays the appliance industry, particularly refrigeration, is inserted in a very competitive scenario and there is a big effort to achieve cost reductions without causing quality degradation in order to survive in the core business. Regarding variability in manufacturing process, refrigeration cabinets are the most affected components. Basically they are built of external sheet metal parts, plastic inner liners and the internal volume is filled with polyurethane foam. In this paper it will be presented some techniques to better represent refrigerator cabinets finite element modeling. Statistical tools will be used to help in numerical model calibration and sources of variation evaluation. Once having a calibrated model, an optimization analysis based on Design of Experiments technique will be carried out in ANSYS. Therefore Design of Experiments and sequential analysis will be directly compared to subproblem approximation method of ANSYS optimization routine using APDL (ANSYS Parametric Design Language), which is an essential step in the optimization process. The projected cost savings covered by this paper contents are about US$1.250.000,00 per year and the generated knowledge will be extremely useful for refrigerator cabinet design guidelines.

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