Latches with child safety locks are built into the rear doors of most automobiles to prevent the passengers in the rear seats from opening the doors of the vehicle while the vehicle is moving or at rest. The child safety lock is a mechanism that temporarily disables the operation of the inside door handle. When the child safety lock is engaged, the rear doors can only be opened from the outside. On newer models, this safety lock is activated or deactivated electronically utilizing a small motor within the side door latch by a switch, typically located near the driver’s side door lock switch.
Using multibody dynamics simulation, Kiekert engineers dramatically reduced the time required to design the child safety lock mechanism to only about three weeks. The child safety lock is part of a side door latch that is still in the development process but previous projects have demonstrated that the use of simulation – including finite element analysis and tolerance analysis in addition to multibody dynamics – can substantially reduce the time required to bring a new latch to market to less than 18 months.