Structural Optimization of a Refrigerator Cabinet

An optimization study was performed on a refrigerator cabinet to minimize the material cost of the cabinet structure while maintaining the same structural performance. A refrigerator cabinet is constructed primarily of sheet metal parts with a plastic liner and a foam core. All of the parts were created and meshed in Pro/ENGINEER. APDL was used to assemble and load the model, define cost functions for each design variable, and perform the optimization. Component thicknesses were defined as design variables. The optimization resulted in nearly a $2 savings per product to be applied to approximately 1.2 million products per year.
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