Replacing physical prototypes with digital verification
Analysis software from Siemens reduces the costs associated with physical models and speeds the development of new exhaust systems
Korea’s exhaust system leader
Sejong Industrial Co., Ltd., founded in 1976, manufactures automobile parts. The company provides three categories of products: automobile mufflers, which are used to reduce engine noise and guide exhaust gas flow; body parts, including side member assemblies and dash assemblies; and exhaust gas converters, such as warm-up catalytic converters. Sejong Industrial has steadily made efforts and investments in research and development as part of its goal to become a global top-five company in its sector. Today the company holds a 70 percent share of the Korean market for exhaust systems and 38 percent market share globally. As the largest Korean exhaust systems manufacturer, Sejong Industrial currently supplies its products to Hyundai Kia Automotive Group in the United States, China, Czech Republic and Slovak Republic.
Design challenges require simulation
The exhaust system, Sejong Industrial’s flagship product, performs several functions, such as the smooth emission of exhaust gas, conversion of high-pressure/high-temperature exhaust gas to lower pressures and temperatures, noise reduction, and cleaning the exhaust gas. Noise reduction is the most basic function of an exhaust system and this can be done in a variety of ways. Optimal designs take into account many considerations including the cost of the engine.
Because the exhaust system generates heat, it is necessary to provide space between it and other nearby parts such as the gas tank and body panels. In the past, Sejong Industrial determined the proper amount of spacing by building and testing physical prototypes. Because this took a long time and did not always provide all of the necessary information, the company decided to implement digital simulation. For this it required software for structural, vibration and heat analysis.
Sejong Industrial reviewed several CAE programs before choosing NX™ I-deas™ software TMG Thermal Analysis solution from Siemens. After training and a pilot project, Sejong Industrial began using the software for car exhaust system design and analysis. Analyses range from single component structural analysis to muffler thermal analysis to vibration analysis of the exhaust system structure.
Using Siemens’ CAE software, Sejong Industrial is able to verify a design before building prototypes, and ultimately to minimize the number of prototypes that are needed. This has reduced prototype manufacturing costs. Also, the company has been able to decrease the verification period, which has accelerated the development process. Finally, by linking CAE and CAD data, Sejong Industrial has been able to improve data management. Kim Sang Ho, senior engineer and part manager at Sejong Industrial, notes, “Compared to the past when we performed physical testing, we have been able to reduce the product development cycle and create optimized designs.”
This translates to an environmental-friendly product development process for Sejong Industrial as there are fewer materials used and less waste in a compressed cycle. Ho notes, “Specifically, prototype production cost has been reduced by 30 percent and product development time reduced by 15 percent through digital verifi-cation based on Siemens’ technology.”
In the future, Sejong Industrial plans to expand the use of CAE to its entire product family as a way of significantly reducing the product development cycle and prototype production costs. This will enhance the competitiveness of the company and help it meet its goal of becoming a top-five car parts manufacturer.