[Vol. 1] Hitachi Mito Engineering provides engineering support for the development of elevators and various industrial products. To minimize tasks and improve process efficiency during the early phases of development, they conduct simulations for thermal design processes using analysis tools developed by Software Cradle. Hitachi Mito Engineering has been a very successful company. This narrated interview will provide insight about how they achieve steady growth while incorporating the latest technology and consistently building on their accumulated experiences.
Hitachi Mito Engineering provides engineering support for a diverse range of industrial products. These include essential transport infrastructure systems such as elevators, escalators and railway. Manufacturing elevators and escalators requires standardized manufacturing techniques and processes. However, they can also include customization according to client requests and building requirements. Hitachi Mito Engineering has been providing high quality products that are efficiently designed using the latest digital engineering technologies, manufactured in contemporary facilities, and thoroughly tested and evaluated. As a result, their products achieve very high customer satisfaction. Due to the need for these tasks to run smoothly, Hitachi Mito Engineering has always been quick to adopt the latest technologies and utilize the various tools, inspection devices, and IT systems. This includes introducing thermal analysis tools developed by Software Cradle.
“I have worked with circuit board designs, structural designs, and CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) tools that are vital for product development,” says Mr. Naohisa Usui, an engineer in the Circuit System Design Group at Hitachi Mito Engineering (Picture 1). His division mainly designs the printed circuit boards (PCBs) used in the company products. As a thermal analyst, Mr. Usui performs circuit design, board design, and thermal analyses as part of the PCB design process. Although Mr. Usui is responsible for resolving the thermal problems faced by the design engineers, he reveals that finding the best solution process has not been easy. “Everything was new to me when I was first assigned to CAE tasks. It took me hours just to generate mesh elements. Back then, we were using other finite element software and facing a lot of problems. That was when we came across Software Cradle products,” recalls Mr. Usui.
Software Cradle’s HeatDesigner entirely changed Mr. Usui’s views on thermal analyses. Having compared other analysis tools, Mr. Usui was impressed with the mesh generation capability and calculation speed of HeatDesigner. It offered solutions to all the immediate problems they were facing. High quality support was another decisive factor. Mr. Usui was looking for a software vendor that would provide excellent engineering support through honest and sincere discussions. He regards the technical exchanges with Software Cradle engineers with a very high level of trust. “The fact that Software Cradle is a reliable Japanese software developer helped us make the decision to use HeatDesigner. After we introduced the software in the company, our engineers had a number of requests. According to their requirements, Software Cradle engineers added functions that enabled us to analyze Gerber data and slanted fans. It was very helpful,” says Mr. Usui.
Mr. Usui now focuses on thermal analysis support for design engineers through the use of PICLS (refer to the last page for more about PICLS). The development of PICLS was closely related to exchange between Mr. Usui and Software Cradle. “In talking to our design engineers, I thought it would have been useful if I had been able to show analysis results in real time and suggest possible solutions on the spot while I'm talking to the engineers about their thermal design problems (Fig 1). Although we conduct detailed thermal fluid analyses using scSTREAM in later processes, I felt the strong need to allow the design engineers to evaluate different ideas early in the design phase,” says Mr. Usui. Software Cradle engineers agreed, and realized the growing significance of analytically assessing preliminary concepts early in the design process. After several discussions, Software Cradle decided to develop PICLS.
During PICLS development, Software Cradle engineers actually designed PCBs in order to understand how the tool could be practically used by design engineers. This included attending lectures on the basics of PCBs, inputting wire data, producing a sample PCB, and undertaking test experiments (Fig 2). Based on the hands-on experience and Mr. Usui’s suggestions, Software Cradle engineers investigated methods for enhancing software approachability to make analysis model generation easier.
|Founded||March 18, 1967|
|Businesses||Design, inspection, manufacturing, and engineering support for elevators and escalators, railway transport system, building systems, and other industrial products|
|Representative||Kunihisa Saito, President and CEO|
|Location||Hitachinaka-shi, Ibaraki, Japan|
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