Technical LibraryImplementing JMAG
Stimulating the Expansion and Reinforcement of the Business Domain with JMAG
The Meidensha Corporation, whose business ranges vary from heavy electric
machinery to industrial electric systems, was established 113 years ago.
The technology of its products is mainly founded in rotation machines.
The JSOL Corporation's electromagnetic field analysis software, JMAG, has
stimulated technological innovation, supporting product development by
providing a tool capable of achieving higher efficiency, higher output,
and establishing highly precise control technology for its products. Electromagnetic
field analysis software is also at the forefront of development for new
technologies that require advanced solutions for environmental conservation.
Mr. Yamada, Executive Officer and General Manager of the New Product Development
Group, Mr. Nomura, Senior Fellow, Mr. Watanabe, Senior Engineer of the
New Product Development Planning and Management Department, and Mr. Matsuhashi,
Manager of the Analytic Simulation and Advanced Control Technologies Section,
discuss why they decided to implement JMAG and the benefits of using it.
And Management Dept.
and Advanced Control
- The Meidensha Corporation has manufactured and sold electrical devices
such as generators, transformers, and electric distribution systems as
well as contributed to the social infrastructure, such as water treatment
devices and control systems for water supply and sewerage systems, various
electric components for manufacturing equipment, and computer systems since
it was established in 1897. What advantages does the Meidensha Corporation
Mr. Yamada Our technology and products are fundamentally based on "rotation"
or in other words "rotating machines." The phenomena of "rotation"
seems simple, but in fact it is quite profound. For example, when motors
start or brake, the necessary force, rotation speed, and the type of control
depend on the type of load.
A motor-driving system usually requires a motor itself and an inverter
to control the speed of the motor by the current supplied. It wouldn't
be a high quality system if either the motor or the inverter did not work
well. The motor has to respond quickly and accurately to the control of
the inverter, and the inverter has to control the motor by accurately detecting
the speed and output.
Motors and inverters can also be bought separately and combined. However,
the Meidensha Corporation earned the trust of its customers because we
are able to produce high-performance products by developing the motor and
inverter as one unit.
Our motors and inverters are comprehensively investigated at each stage
of development by a team of development engineers. This allows us to resolve
any problem with assembly, etc., at the earliest stage of development.
We can offer products that can be used easily by our customers because
we are able to examine the products based on the actual circumstances that
our customers will be using them.
Motors from the Meidensha Corporation
Inverters from the Meidensha Corporation
Not Simple Simulations, But a Tool Stimulating Creativity
- Why did you decide to implement JMAG in the late 1990's?
Mr. Nomura JMAG provides a way for us to attain and progress our implementation of
computer aided engineering (CAE). In the late 1980's, we established a
CAE center and began supporting our design process with analysis software
that used the finite element method I . At that time, it was a trial and error process using both magnetic field
analysis software that we internally developed and other universal analysis
In the field of industry, the development of permanent magnet (PM) motors,
or a type of motor that uses permanent magnets on the rotor, was a huge
turning point. Three dimensional magnetic field analysis was required in
the 1990's when the technological development of PM motors gained momentum.
We needed a tool that could accurately calculate the torque because the
torque ripple II directly affects the ride of elevators using PM motors. However, there
is a problem that the path of eddy currents which exists in the magnet
cannot be evaluated by means of a two-dimensional analysis. Therefore,
a tool with three-dimensional magnetic field analysis is necessary.
We tried several magnetic field analysis tools when we stumbled upon JMAG.
JMAG was an easy-to-use software suite that satisfied our need for three
dimensional simulations that could analyze the transient phenomena of rotating
motors and the eddy currents that existed. Personally, I was astonished
by the analysis of the eddy currents in the permanent magnets of PM motors.
We could enhance our techniques during design processes by verification
of the simulation with measurement.
Mr. Matsuhashi When we originally implemented JMAG we needed an analysis specialist because
JMAG operated on a workstation, but today, JMAG, which now runs on personal
computers, is much more user friendly allowing us to use it in many different
departments. We have been able to increase the level of our prototypes
and reduce the number of prototypes as JMAG has become more accessible
to designers as well as engineers. We had to examine the technology and
quality of our products, build and rebuild prototypes at various stages
of product development, which is not limited to PM motors. We strive for
a front-loading type of development process using analysis software to
guarantee only a single prototype is required at each stage of development.
Obviously, our ultimate goal is to have a development process that doesn't
require any prototype, but that will still take some time to achieve. However,
JMAG has contributed vastly in reducing the number of prototypes and virtually
eliminated the need to totally overhaul a prototype or start the development
process from scratch.
Magnetic Field Density Contour Plot
of a SPM Motor
IPM Motor Model
Eddy Current Loss Distribution of
a Permanent Magnet
I Finite element method refers to an analysis method performed by separating
a large object into virtual elements that have a finite size, and then
analyzing the object as the sum of the elements.
II Torque ripple refers to the ripple in the torque (force) when a motor rotates.
The torque ripple causes noise and vibrations and worsens the control.
Increasing the Effectiveness by Sharing Analysis Results
- What types of innovation are required to get everyone accustomed to JMAG and increase the effectiveness of implementation?
Mr. Nomura JMAG was not used throughout our company immediately. I feel there are
certain skills required to become accustomed to JMAG. The Analytic Simulation
and Advanced Control Technologies Section has established a system for
analysis technologies accepted by all the engineers in our company. The
results from the analysis and the experimentation were compared for consistency
and error, and if an error occurred the reason was clearly identified.
Associated divisions started, adopted, and utilized the data shared as
technological assets by gathering all of the valid data. Even today, we
reinforce our competitive edge by creating a knowledge base that actively
discloses information valuable to each division via a database server.
Mr. Watanabe Proving the validity of not only JMAG, but CAE, to the entire company
was also a key factor. The effectiveness of JMAG was even compared to other
third-party software now and again at technical report and quality management
meetings as well as internal exhibitions that our President attended. JMAG
was promoted from the top down throughout the company after receiving praise
for cost effectiveness from the President of the Meidensha Corporation.
As an engineer himself, he understood immediately the importance of using
JMAG so that only a single prototype would be required. This allowed us
to expand the use of JMAG.
Internal Exhibition at the Meidensha Corporation
Creating an Environment for Each Engineer to Discover the Value of JMAG
Mr. Matsuhashi Each engineer also needs to experience the value of JMAG so that it can
be effectively implemented. I was also amazed when the eddy currents produced
were visualized in the analysis results obtained by JMAG. I have re-evaluated
the development process in the past which allowed me to fully comprehend
the potential I was seeing.
A design engineer with hands on experience using JMAG told me that he was
able to gain confidence in his decisions by comparing the simulation images
of the eddy current loss in a permanent magnet obtained by JMAG with the
results of the actual eddy currents.
My colleagues and I, as well as many of our engineers, had the same experience
which was also instrumental in expanding the use of JMAG in the Meidensha
Corporation. There is no key person that has been specially assigned as
an analysis specialist. We value the ability to work with one another to
discover new ways of using the analysis based on other analysis that we
have performed without hesitation. This provides an environment where the
engineers exchange technical ideas horizontally to one another, rather
than only learning the fundamental operations.
Of course, this type of collaboration would not be possible if JMAG was
not so easy to use. As JMAG-Studio and JMAG-Designer have advanced, the
interface has become even more accessible to a wide range of engineers.
Even the workstation version of JMAG utilized a graphical user interface
and mouse operations.
Expanding Simulation Functions for New Environmentally Friendly Technology
- Isn't a drive motor and inverter built by the Meidensha Corporation used
in the "i-MiEV" electric vehicle from Mitsubishi Motors?
Mr. Yamada Yes. Mitsubishi Motors started purchasing our motors and inverters in
2008 for their electric vehicle drives because they are small and light,
have less noise, and are highly durable.
By optimizing the design using JMAG simulations, these PM motors realized
a smaller and lighter design, which also results in higher efficiency,
higher output, and lower losses. The inverter controlling the current flowing
in the motor supports a smooth and powerful driving experience by providing
highly accurate drive control technology.
Originally, the Meidensha Corporation researched the application of PM
motors for elevators in addition to researching applications for electric
vehicles collaboratively with large electronic manufactures and universities.
Our motor technology is used in electric vehicles that can reach the speeds
of F1 racers. The outstanding drivability of the i-MiEV was achieved by
further innovations based on motor/inverter technology accumulated from
our previous research. The simulation technology provided by JMAG was in
the background of this technological development.
- How will the Meidensha Corporation expand their business in the future and what role will JMAG play?
Mr. Yamada The Meidensha Corporation created a medium-term management plan, "POWER
5," which is a five year plan starting from fiscal 2009. In this medium-term
plan, we are striving to expand our business in 5 areas that contribute
to a low-carbon society, such as motors and inverters for electric vehicles.
Each of these business areas relates to rotating machine technology in
some way, such as motors. The direction of technology in the future points
to continuous technological development for rotating machines. In addition,
innovation of products contributing to environmental conservation is also
In the future, design methods accounting for the biodegradability of products,
which is the last stage of their life cycle, will be necessary to meet
the challenges in reducing the total environmental burden. PM motors, for
example, will probably need to be innovatively designed so that the permanent
magnets of the rotor can be recycled easily. Heavy electric equipment and
industrial electric systems, just like appliances, require recycling control
methods founded in product liability.
Mr. Watanabe Product development has to be environmentally friendly as well as consumer
friendly, not simply by quantitatively understating the environmental burden
of the products, but by establishing a product life cycle management system.
Therefore, it is necessary to know the performance of products at an early
stage of development or even at the stage of concept. And it means that
simulation becomes more and more important.
I have realistic expectations that the calculation speed will continue
increasing and the range of analysis will expand to thermo-fluid analysis.
However, stepping back for a wider perspective, I would love to see functions
to calculate the CO2 emissions of a product at the analysis stage and increase the percentage
of materials used in products that can be recycled.
JMAG is evaluated highly as one of the major leaders in magnetic field
analysis software since its release in 1983. And for this reason, I expect
JMAG to continue being a software that engineers can rely on.
Motor and Inverter for the i-MiEV
(Kabushiki Kaisha Meidensha)
Consolidated Number of Employees
June 1, 1897
¥17, 070 million (as of March 31, 2009)
7,133 (as of March 31, 2009)
¥198,797 million (as of March 31, 2009)
The Meidensha Corporation was established as a heavy electric machine manufacturer in 1897. In addition to business in social infrastructure, such as generators, transformers, control equipment, and water processing equipment, the Meidensha Corporation is founded in industrial systems, such as drive equipment for elevators and electric vehicles and industrial computers, as well as maintenance of the various equipment.
Their consolidated sales are ¥198,797 million as of March 2009. The Meidensha Group is a global manufacturing and sales group that has 23 companies domestically in Japan and 15 companies internationally which are localized in Asia. Presently, they are focusing on various components for electric vehicles and the use of natural energy, such as solar power and wind generators.
Honda R&D Co., Ltd.
KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Bern University of Applied Sciences
Mazda Motor Corporation
Electric Motor Technology Research Center, Taiwan National Cheng Kung University
Neturen Co. Ltd.
Institute for Electrical Energy Conversion,Technische Universität Darmstadt
Fuji Electric FA Components & Systems Co., Ltd.
Shibaura Institute of Technology Kan Akatsu M&E Energy Conversion Lab.
COSEL CO., LTD.
NIDEC SANKYO CORPORATION