DTR VMS Partners with DTE for FEA Insight and Expertise

MSC Software solutions

Who is DTR VMS?
DTR VMS (Vibration Management Systems) is a UK-based full service supplier, designing and manufacturing advanced technical products to address noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and improve vehicle comfort. Formerly known as Avon Automotive VMS, the DTR Corporation, a South Korean automotive and industrial market service provider, acquired the VMS aspect of Avon’s business in 2008 to give it a foothold in the European marketplace. With development centres in South Korea, USA and Europe, combined with manufacturing in the UK, South Korea, China and Turkey, the UK arm of DTR is able to offer global customers full service support from concept to global production. The company employs 205 people on the Bumpers Farm industrial estate in Chippenham and is one of the fastest growing firms in the county. Its customers are mainly automotive and include OEM brands such as Audi, JLR and General Motors.

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Korean Investment
Since the acquisition in 2008, DTR VMS has benefitted from significant outlay from its Korean parent company. This has ranged from new 3 and 4 axis test machines, to new computer hardware, to high-end workstations, and a significant strategic investment in design and engineering software.

Further expansion of the business and a move to new premises just down the road in Trowbridge will allow DTR VMS to increase its research and development capacity and create new jobs. Moreover, in the last few years DTR VMS’s software budget has increased demonstrating a clear long-term intention from Korea to grow the business and make it more innovative and competitive.

Rob Wardrop, CAE technical specialist at DTR VMS, said:

“Since the DTR Corporation took over the business, the fiscal investment has allowed us to grow both in terms of manpower and revenues. The move to the new site provides us with our own building, double the office space and better facilities. On the CAE side of the business, we have benefitted from a strategy that puts design and research and development at the heart of our growth plans.”


Working with MSC Software and Desktop Engineering
DTR VMS mainly designs vibration isolation products, with specific expertise in powertrain, chassis, suspension and defence. These products are often composed of rubber and other elastomeric materials bonded with engineering plastic and metal fittings. An industry example would be isolating the vibration of an engine from the body shell of the car at the mounting points. Rubber is a difficult material to model in Finite Element Analysis (FEA) as it behaves non-linearly and has time and frequency based behaviour. In terms of the software solutions available on the market, DTR VMS uses Marc, MSC’s FEA solver and in turn works with Desktop Engineering (DTE), who is the main UK agent for MSC Software. The business rationale to use Marc was based on its ease-of-use, contact control and ability to analyse rubber.

Marc is a general-purpose, non-linear FEA solution which accurately simulates the response of products under static, dynamic and multi-physics loading scenarios. Its versatility in modeling non-linear material behaviours and transient environmental conditions makes it ideal for complex design problems. Marc enables DTR VMS to simulate complex real world behaviour of mechanical systems in a single environment. Whether the design involves large deformation and strains, non-linear materials, complex contact or interaction between multiple physics, it problem solves by providing insight into product behaviour.

Wardrop continued:

“We have been using Marc since 1999, but over the last five years or so it has become more central to our FEA analysis strategy. As in any industry, lowering production costs is a key business consideration. As we are often producing thousands of parts any cost saving we can make in the design process goes towards more competitive product prices. This is why we have to use software which gives us the best possible competitive advantage. We have found that Marc really excels when used for late change items. The time savings it provides in that area of production are invaluable.”

“In 2011 we started working with DTE as they understood the history of our organisation and have a deep technical knowledge of the MSC solution portfolio. We get a very good service from them and they are always willing to go the extra mile.”

Increasing Capabilities
In 2008, DTR VMS also started using MSC’s FEA solver, MSC Nastran, for linear work. “Our experience in recent years highlights a growing customer requirement for the functionality that Nastran offers“, continued Wardrop. “Our clients are now pushing more analysis work our way and want us to eradicate approximations in product design. Nastran enables us to do this.” In essence, MSC Nastran allows DTR VMS to:

  • Accurately and quickly predict complex product behaviour;
  • Find design conflicts early in the design cycle;
  • Reduce the number of design changes; and
  • Make trade-off studies for performance and reliability.

In Conclusion
Wardrop concluded:

“These are very exciting times in the evolution of our company. In spite of harsh economic conditions, we are continuing to grow and are bucking a ‘doom and gloom’ trend. DTE is unique in understanding the intricacies of the various MSC solutions that we use. This partner knowledge is something we deeply value.”

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