The company achieved 60 per cent reduction in simulation time and 40 per cent in prototyping costs while using the Altair suite in various parts of the production process.Here is a look at how the AC manufacturers managed that with the help of Altair’s solutions.
Subros Limited was founded in 1985 as a joint venture public limited company with 40 per cent ownership by the Suri family of India and 13 per cent owned by Denso Corporation and Suzuki Motor Corporation each. Subros is the leading manufacturer of thermal products for automotive applications in India and operates in technical collaboration with Denso.
The company has grown from a capacity of 15,000 AC units in 1985 - comprising largely of an assembly operation - to being the largest and the only integrated manufacturing unit in India for auto air conditioning systems. Subros manufactures compressors, condensers, heat exchangers and all connecting elements required to complete the AC loop. Their product line caters to all vehicle segments such as passenger vehicles, buses, trucks, refrigeration transport, off-roaders, and railways. Subros has manufacturing plants at Noida, Manesar, Pune, Chennai, and Sanand with an annual capacity of 1.5 million AC kits. They also have a well-equipped R&D center and tool room in Noida.
Being a major supplier of AC units to the predominant automotive segments and all classes of vehicles produced by global players in the country, it is crucial for Subros to honor deadlines of product delivery with agreed benchmarks of quality. Automotive manufacturers churn out new models of their vehicles with continual upgrades that requires thermal products like AC units to be more efficient and lighter. As the time of vehicle launch is important for these manufacturers, the pressure of timelines vis-à-vis product development is automatically transferred to Subros.
The Subros team realised the importance of simulation to save time in the product development cycle and started using a CAE software tool available in the market. The team created load and boundary conditions, beam elements, and then set the product model for simulation in the software. The team found out that the software took more time to simulate and was also not user friendly. To top it, the software was susceptible to human error, which occurred frequently further adding to delays in product development and delivery. In order to get rid of all such issues, the team wanted a simulation software product that was robust, quick, reliable, and user friendly.
Investment in Altair CAE Solutions
For Subros, the association with Altair started with their search for a robust CAE product that could save time and minimise errors. What began as a small association is now a full-fledged relationship. Subros has been using the Altair suite of products for more than 10 years now.
Initially, the Subros team used Altair’s pre-processor tool HyperMesh coupled with other industry solvers. Later, as the team learned more about the capabilities of the Altair suite, they moved completely towards RADIOSS and OptiStruct solver for structural analysis. Currently, Subros uses Altair HyperWorks 14.0 extensively, which includes HyperMesh, HyperView, HyperGraph, RADIOSS, OptiStruct, MotionView, MotionSolve and solidThinking Inspire. The team also uses Altair AcuSolve, SimLab, and HyperStudy intermittently, as required.
Why Altair Solutions?
The Subros team started exploring Altair solutions in their quest to save time and deliver quality AC units to their clients. Earlier, the team used to apply constraints on the assembly through nodes, which took more time to simulate the analysis and also required more disk space to run it. They discussed this problem with Altair and solicited remedies. The Altair team suggested Subros use the RBE2 elements to constraint the model and also to apply the excitation load through them. This method resulted in drastic reduction in simulation time and usage of disk space for simulation.
Now, the Subros team uses Altair solutions to successfully carry out various types of analyses to evaluate structural integrity. The software suite has enabled them to perform structural and multi-body dynamic analysis being concerned about errors. This has directly impacted the product development cycle time, along with a positive bearing on cost of prototypes and samples.
The Subros team has derived multitudinous benefits from Altair solutions. The team recently completed a project named 'Design optimisation and weight reduction of heat exchanger using OptiStruct Solver'. They used the Altair suite throughout the lifecycle of the project, from pre-processing to solver and post-processing, thereby successfully completing it within time. Altair solutions enabled the team to drastically reduce the weight of the total assembly by replacing the higher grade material with a lower grade material. This change also reduced the cost of the assembly because of the use of lowcost material.
Table 1 gives a quick view of the various benefits that the Subros team drew by using the Altair Suite.
The team also conducted a weight optimisation study that turned out to be very beneficial to the business. They feel very confident about their projects after a sustained use of Altair solutions. The software suite always provides resolutions to real-time problems and validates them with experimental results.
We would like to recommend HyperWorks/Altair solutions to those who use multiple tools or GUI to perform multiple analyses. The Altair Suite not only saved us more than 60 per cent time in activities such as simulation and pre-processing, but also saved 40 per cent cost in prototyping. The decrease in assembly weight and increase in accuracy was a bonus!"
- Avadhesh Meena, Deputy Manager, and Somnath Sen, Assistant GM, Subros
Altair Solutions used by Subros to fulfill their respective production requirements:
Courtesy: DesignTech Systems, which provides engineering and design services
For further details, contact Chitra Sapkal, Manager - Corporate Communications, DesignTech Systems Ltd at email@example.com