BordNetzSim3D – Simulation of Electronics in Vehicles and Digital Twin of the On-Board Power Supply Process

BMWK Project: Simulation-Based Process for 3D Mechanical Wiring System Design

In the project »BordNetzSim3D« funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK), we are working with our partners to provide for the first time an end-to-end digitized platform and toolbox that enables companies to develop simulation-based vehicle electrical systems. Virtual product development – from the concept phase to production – paves the way from the hardware-oriented to the simulation-based digital wiring system process.

Optimizing a Complex Wiring System Means Optimizing Cable Harnesses

The on-board network is the term used to describe the totality of all electrical and electronic components in vehicles. It is already the nervous system of modern vehicles and is becoming increasingly important as a result of current developments - especially new drive and vehicle concepts (e-mobility), driving assistance systems and the networking of vehicles and/or autonomous driving. In the future, vehicles will be equipped with more and more electrical components and functions, and today's onboard networks are highly complex constructs. They largely consist of cables or cable harnesses with total lengths of several kilometers.

Our Project Goals at a Glance: Simulation as the Future of Virtual Wiring Harness Design

A modern wiring system process (BNP) guarantees companies from the automotive industry efficient and digital planning, design, manufacture and assembly of wire harnesses.

In the Project, We Support and Establish Such a BNP by

  • identifying and designing a new type of wiring system process: Which requirements and interactions in the company must this process fulfill
  • Developing a fully digitized platform and toolbox: Which existing software tools should also be linked together in the process?
  • enable the simulation-based development of wire harness systems.

The central element is the collaboration hub, which acts as a higher-level control and information system in the form of a database for all necessary technical components as a cloud solution.

Digital Design of the Flexible Components in the Engine Compartment
© fleXstructures
Digital design and protection of flexible components in the engine compartment by IPS Cable Simulation.

Further Development Goals Are

  • an automated topological 3D routing
  • an automated 3D flattening
  • the development of life cycle models
  • the inclusion of work on simulative assembly and production planning

Expertise From Kaiserslautern: Fraunhofer ITWM and fleXstructures Expand Developments

The basis for the project approach is the software developed by fleXstructures GmbH (fX) together with our ITWM team IPS Cable Simulation. To meet the current challenges, automotive and cable manufacturers are already using digital tools such as our IPS Cable Simulation software. The established software is extended by some functionalities and components in the project. We take the entire development process of cable harnesses into the focus of our work and create a digital twin of the cable harness design. The real-time simulation of the wiring harness structures is the focus. A new concept for the extensive material data in the software is also planned  (including 2D and 3D configuration, new binary format, GUI customization and MeSOMICS-data are integrated).


Cost-effective due to virtual modeling: Simulation tool enhances ergonomy of industrial workplaces.
© Industrial Path Solutions Sweden AB
Cost-effective due to virtual modeling: Simulation tool enhances ergonomy of industrial workplaces.

Consider Ergonomics, Assembly, Guidelines Directly in the Wiring System Process

In the project, the four project participants have different focal points in terms of content as a result of their competencies. While fleXstructures, together with our team from the Fraunhofer ITWM, is busy developing the collaboration hub and the associated digital tools, the two industrial partners provide the important input from the current BNP. They evaluate the use and usability of the tools and validate the results in their corporate practice using the hardware defined in the pilot process. For the first time, we are also focusing on the end-to-end digitization and networking in the BNP from an ergonomic point of view. With a digital human model – as in our IPS IMMA – motion sequences during assembly work can be simulated. Our software module offers fast and efficient algorithms for easy evaluation of the ergonomics of assembly processes.

In the project, aspects of ergonomics are directly considered in the BNP. This improves working conditions both in production at wire harness manufacturing companies (KBH) and in vehicle assembly. For the companies, this means not only time savings, but also better product quality.

The complexity of modern wiring systems is increasing as a result of new drive technologies and higher levels of vehicle automation – and so are the specifications. In the powertrain area, for example, there are new challenges. In electric vehicles, for example, electromagnetic compatibility must be ensured in addition to pure energy transmission (EMC Directive). In hydrogen-powered vehicles, it is also necessary to install additional shielding in the vehicle electrical system to prevent sparking. We take all these directives or regulations into account in the planned digital BNP and include them for assessing the quality of a cable system.

Our Project Partners

  • fleXstructures GmbH (project coordination)
  • Coroplast Fritz Müller GmbH & Co. KG
  • Volkswagen AG

Project Duration and Funding

The project is scheduled to run for three years (October 2021 to September 2024) and is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) as part of the measure of the specialist program »New Vehicle and System Technologies«, area »Cross-Sectional Technologies«. The project volume is five million euros (70 percent funded by the BMWK).