“Virtual prototyping in Ansys Maxwell makes it easy for us to change the design parameters of our components to meet the varying requirements of regional markets, minimize the number of physical prototypes, and ultimately reduce project timing by an entire development cycle. The simulation software also enabled us to reduce the weight of the copper wire used in the electromagnetic clutch design by 20% and reduce customer costs in the process”
— Stephan Marcet
Electric Motor and Electromagnetic Clutch Development Engineer, Sanden Manufacturing Europe
Sanden Manufacturing Europe, a division of the Sanden Group in Japan and part of Sanden Europe, is developing mechanical and electrical compressors for internal combustion engine, hybrid, and electric vehicle (EV) applications. The belt compressor design includes an electromagnetic (EM) clutch based on a magnetic circuit, delivering excellent wear resistance and controlled slippage for smoother operation. Despite its obvious benefits, the generic clutch design was optimized exclusively for the Japanese automotive market. Sanden hoped to validate clutch performance and modify some dimensions or tolerances to localize the design for the European market and meet customer requirements for noise, power consumption, reliability, and cost.
To compete effectively in an already crowded marketplace required Sanden Europe to take a reliable baseline Japanese design and optimize it for each of its European customers — a task that involved the complex distillation of EM clutch performance based on a vehicle’s constraints. Each unique set of customer objectives required in-depth performance analysis subject to dimensional and tolerance modifications of the original clutch. Also important was advanced study that led to significant weight and cost reductions overall for the customer. Sanden also required a simulation solution in support of its current request for quotation (RFQ) process.
Sanden’s computer-aided engineering (CAE) team uses Ansys simulation tools — including Ansys Maxwell, Ansys Motor-CAD and Ansys Mechanical — for two specific components: the EM clutch for mechanical compressors and the electric motor for electrical compressors. The pulley of the clutch is the interface between its compressor and the car internal combustion engine, so it was standardized to match within individual customer constraints.
For each new project, Ansys software helps Sanden (in the case of an electromagnetic clutch):
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