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Key to Success: Creating an environment in which engineers can objectively evaluate analysis results

 SAXA Inc. (hereinafter SAXA) is a development company of business phone systems and network equipment and has obtained significant results using the software. SAXA launched a working group specializing in thermal design, and then in-house rules were prepared for selecting and utilizing software product before adopting HeatDesigner. 'HeatDesigner' is developed by Software Cradle and is one of the major thermo-fluid analysis software for electronic devices. And the company has achieved zero production rework in only one year. This time, we interviewed a SAXA staff about how they made full use of the software and what lies behind their success.

Koichi Hara
Mechanism development department, Manager
SAXA Development office

Thermal Analyses in the Early Stages of Designing

 SAXA introduced HeatDesigner in September 2009. Careful preparations and great efforts by the working group enabled the smooth start-up. In SAXA, HeatDesigner is used in three phases: conceptual design, detailed design, and mass-production design. Koichi Hara, manager of mechanism development team in Development office, says "Analyses in the conceptual phase are very important."


Fig.2: SAXA IC card reader "Card Terminal CT-600"

 In this phase, detailed hardware conditions are not specifically determined, yet the indicative shapes that can prevent thermal problems are predicted through analyzing rough dimensions and internal board layouts. Based on those shapes, design engineers of the hardware development team design circuit boards. In the detailed design phase, they create prototypes of new products after performing analyses with high accuracy by retrieving data for circuit and chassis design. Next, the final analyses are performed while creating molds for mass production. Then, they perform test productions and compare the test data to thermal to the simulation results. Here, if there is a gap between test and simulation results, they identify its cause and feed it back to the next analysis to accumulate the know-how and to improve the accuracy of analyses.  


Fig.3: Thermal analysis for CT-600

Zero Production Rework after Test Production

 HeatDesigner is providing various advantages in SAXA. Their greatest achievement is to be able to eliminate reworks after test productions. Mr. Suzuki says "Since analysis accuracy remains to be high as we expected, no thermal problem occurs after test productions". CFD analyses during the planning phase allow design engineers to find some obvious hardware errors and to fix those errors in advance, which is a big plus. Previously, they were not able to detect thermal problems before mass production. In most cases, they had to add some components such as adiabatic sheet, heat sink, or heat release sheet, also they had to pay extra cost for remodeling molds. Mr. Hara says "Not only the extra cost, but also the man-hours would increase considerably. Performing thermo-fluid analysis in the early phases can reduce these useless reworks or wasted costs."
 Furthermore, the introduction of CFD tool stimulates corporations between different departments. Originally only mechanism development department had dealt with thermal problems; however, these problems are usually caused by many factors relating to other departments. Thermal analyses using the tool give logical explanations as to what causes high temperature and how it can be resolved most effectively. CFD tool gives them persuasive power and plays a role as the communication tool with the hardware design department.

Key Components: Active Efforts by the Working Group and Usability of the CFD Tool

 The reason why the thermo-fluid analysis tool was firmly established as necessity in SAXA is that the working group successfully functioned as the organizer of the project. Since the group members always had to face thermal problems and recognized the importance of solving the problems, they seriously worked on the problems. As a result, they built a system to perform CFD analysis in the early product design phase and to introduce a report format for objectively analyzing simulation results.
 In addition, "Sagamihara forum", in-house event of the company, must be one of the key factors for their success. In this event, all engineers in the technical departments can call attention to others, share their daily efforts and achievements. In this event, the working group announced their plan to perform CFD analyses. Soon after the announcement, they were able to show their successful case. Through their successful example, everyone in the company recognized that possible thermal problems can be solved in advance by performing simulations.

 On the other hand, the tool having a high degree of usability played a part to make analyses take root in the company. People who have to perform analyses are mainly in charge of product design so that they usually cannot spare enough time to learn about thermo-fluid dynamics. Even under such circumstances, design engineers can utilize HeatDesigner with ease. Errors rarely occur while meshing or solver calculation, and this made engineers accept the tool very smoothly.
 The working group is now trying to review the setting parameters to further improve the analysis accuracy. Also they are trying to apply the achievements in basic thermal analyses to more complicated analyses. In addition, the group is aiming to perform analyses with solar radiation or rain water for their in-car products or outdoor equipment. Now they are considering introducing the upper-range product of HeatDesigner "scSTREAM", from Software Cradle.
 In this way, SAXA has accomplished their achievements in quite a short time by selecting the tool that is userfriendly and fits the on-site needs. The successful example of the company can be helpful for other companies considering countermeasures for thermal problems.

*All product and service names mentioned are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective companies.
*Contents and specifications of products are as of January 31, 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


Established February 2, 2004
Business Fields We will expand businesses through integration and create new core businesses, with Network Solutions and Security Solutions as core businesses
Representative Director and President Masao Koshikawa
Headquarters TOKYO
Capital ¥10,836,678,400
(as of March 31, 2011)



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