ETA Collaborates with Red Cedar Technology on Industry Research Aimed at Reducing Vehicle Weight

ACP design process uses Red Cedar's SHERPA search strategy

Engineering Technology Associates, Inc. (ETA) announces that its Accelerated Concept to Product (ACP) process, an advanced product development process that uses design optimization technologies to provide solutions to design problems, was successful in achieving significant weight reductions as part of the Future Generation Passenger Compartment (FGPC) project and the Future Steel Vehicle (FSV) initiative. FGPC and FSV are high-profile steel industry initiatives seeking to reduce next generation vehicle weight by 30 percent or more.

ETA's ACP process uses innovative, holistic product development process with multi-disciplinary (MD) loading based on topology and 3G (geometry, grade, and gage) optimization. It incorporates Red Cedar Technology, Inc.'s HEEDS® Professional (, a powerful software package that automates the design optimization process. HEEDS contains a unique search strategy called SHERPA, a proprietary hybrid adaptive strategy for parameter optimization.

SHERPA, which stands for Simultaneous Hybrid Exploration that is Robust, Progressive and Adaptive, uses multiple search methods simultaneously, rather than sequentially. This approach takes advantage of the best attributes of each method, and reduces a method's participation in the search if or when it is determined to be ineffective.
"Incorporating SHERPA, a leading third-party optimization code, has helped to expedite the design process through optimization to reduce development costs, and improve efficiency, all while helping to harness the challenges of design complexity for engineers," said Dr. Akbar Farahani, VP of Global Engineering at ETA. "ETA and Red Cedar are committed to continuously improving and streamlining the design and manufacturing processes."

ACP, in conjunction with the SHERPA search method, was used in the industry research led by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) as part of the Auto/Steel Partnership, and dubbed the Future Generation Passenger Compartment (FGPC) project. It resulted in a conceptual optimization methodology for realizing a mass reduction of 30 percent when compared with a typical passenger compartment of the same vehicle class.
A second research phase proved that these conceptual ideas could be applied to a production vehicle, indicating that overall mass could be reduced by as much as 20 percent with current manufacturing methods.

The success of the FGPC work then led to the Future Steel Vehicle (FSV) initiative, led by WorldAutoSteel, which seeks to extend the positive results and develop designs that can reduce vehicle weight by 35 percent or more.

"We are pleased to be an integral part of ETA's industry leading ACP design optimization process," said Red Cedar Technology's President and CEO, Ron Averill. "We are known for accelerating engineering design with our uniquely powerful and comprehensive optimization software. HEEDS software is extremely intuitive and interfaces directly with major CAE applications while it intelligently conducts a broad and efficient search for optimal designs."

About Engineering Technology Associates, Inc. (ETA)
Engineering Technology Associates, Inc. (ETA) was established in 1983 by advanced product development engineers working as structural analysts for the world's largest automotive manufacturers. ETA's expertise in the areas of vehicle durability, NVH, metal forming, crashworthiness, occupant safety and product design have provided an intimate knowledge of the challenges and needs of the product development engineer. Proactive in the creation and implementation of new analysis methods and software, ETA is the developer of the Inventium Suite, DYNAFORM and VPG. ETA is a subsidiary of Cranes Software International Limited (CSIL).

For further information about ETA and its products, please visit to or call (248) 729-3010.

Please send all sales leads to Laura Abert, Marketing Manager, Engineering Technology Associates, Inc. 1133 E. Maple Rd, Ste #200, Troy, MI 48083
Phone: (315) 299-4314 Email:

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