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Murata Machinery, Ltd.
Fluid Analysis Software Helps Demonstrate Product Mechanism to Customers

Murata Machinery, primarily dealing with manufacturing of textile machinery as well as machine tools etc., has successfully reduced lead time and prototype production by applying fluid analysis to their product development. They explain that Cradle’s fluid analysis software helps simulate the operation of large-scale systems, visualize the air-flow inside a space that cannot be observed easily in actual tests, and create powerful presentations for their customers.

Mr. Hidetoshi Takeuchi
Murata Machinery, Ltd.
Manager, R&D Headquarters
Technical Development Center

 As a leading company in the textile machinery industry, Murata Machinery, Ltd. produces machinery for various textiles, which are widely used by dominant spinning mills and synthetic fiber manufacturers. Since founded in 1935 in Kyoto as a manufacturer of Jacquard looms, they have now become one of the prominent companies that offer innovative textile machinery. Muratec Two-for-One Twister, an individual spindle for industrial yarn, has the best delivery record in the world, while their automatic winder occupies a large share in global market. The presence of Murata Machinery is significant in today’s fashion industry.

 As well as manufacturing textile machinery, their businesses extend to diverse areas, including the production of machine tools such as lathe and turret punch press. They dealt with tool cabinets in 1962, which then expanded tremendously as to provide automatic guided vehicle system needed for the manufacturing process in factories. The technology cultivated while developing the system to integrate hardware, software and engineering skills, has been used to construct logistics systems for medicine, food, publishing, textile, and conveyance fields. This further led to the development of conveyance system for clean rooms and manufacturing of appliances for automatic guided vehicles used in the production of semiconductors and liquid crystal displays.

 Additionally, Murata Machinery produces digital multifunctional peripherals. In 1973, only a year after the telephone lines became available in Japan, their facsimile received the first approval from the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Public Corporation (now known as NTT). From then on Murata Machinery has been manufacturing different types of digital multifunctional peripherals to this day.

Applying CFD for their Major Textile Machinery

 Murata Machinery started to apply analysis tools in 1990, first with fluid analysis. They were developing VORTEX® at the time, a spinning machine that generates yarn by twisting fibers with aerodynamic force. Although they tested to examine the air-flow inside components, the parts were too small that they could only observe the intake flow rate. They also had a problem with maintenance of own solver, as it was a considerable burden to simultaneously undertake both analysis and product development on the same machine. That led them to bring in scSTREAM, a structured grid solver, followed by simulating automatic winder, designing duct for textile factory, analyzing dust dispersion in clean room, and analyzing multifunctional peripherals and machine tools. They are currently using SC/Tetra, an unstructured grid solver, to analyze dust dispersion and textile machinery mechanism.

 By introducing fluid analysis, Murata Machinery has successfully reduced cost and development time (Figure 1). Product development consists of planning, designing, analysis, prototype production, and testing processes. They can only start packaging when they successfully produce a prototype that performs equally or better than the estimation. In one case where they did not use fluid analysis software, they had to repeat the cycle from the planning to testing processes five times before packaging. On the other hand, with fluid analysis software, although they still had to repeat the cycle from the planning to analysis six times and then produce a prototype to test the performance, they could start packaging after repeating the cycle from testing back to planning only twice. Mr. Hidetoshi Takeuchi from Murata Machinery explains that the use of fluid analysis helped reduce the number of prototype production to twice which was originally five. “It reduced the time needed before packaging and production cost for prototype molds,” he says. At the same time, it also helped predict possible troubles before prototype production.

Figure 1: Development time shortened by fluid analysis (click to enlarge)

Usefulness of Highly Capable Postprocessor


 Mr. Takeuchi evaluated different fluid analysis tools but selected SC/Tetra for several reasons. First, the software is capable of working with overset grids, making an analysis of moving objects expansible. As conveyance devices in clean rooms must be analyzed separately, this function in SC/Tetra was crucial. Second, mesh control can be done more precisely, which the octree can handle easily. Mr. Takeuchi was also impressed with the functions in the postprocessor. “Before we selected Cradle’s software, we had attended their user conferences and saw the postprocessor demonstrated. We had also done some research. But even so, we were still amazed at the postprocessor’s capability; it performs much better than other specialized post-processing software,” he says. He also notes that it is easy to operate. Files can be transferred by drag and drop, the task management tool can be used easily and condition files in text format (S files) can be easily edited to enable similar calculations. Overall, Cradle’s postprocessor minimized physical workload and the engineers’ mental stress.

 Mr. Takeuchi explains that they prioritize on minimizing the preprocessor workload, at the same time maintaining sufficient accuracy and calculation time when using the analysis tool. In terms of the degree of operability and capabilities of preprocessor and postprocessor, Cradle’s software is highly regarded at Murata Machinery.

 

*All product and service names mentioned are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective companies.
*Contents and specifications of products are as of April 1, 2013 and subject to change without notice. We shall not be held liable for any errors in figures and pictures, or any typographical errors.

Company Details





 

Murata Machinery, Ltd.
Established July 1935
Businesses Development, Manufacturing and Sales of Textile Machinery, Machine Tools, Sheet Metal Machinery, Automated Systems, Clean FA Systems, Communication Equipment
Representative Daisuke Murata (President)
Headquarters Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Japan
Number of Employees 3,000 (6,300 in the entire group)
Capital 900 million JPY

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