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2012 VOL.67 NO.7

  Special Reports

Simulation Technologies for Mechanical System Design

Realization of Computer Simulation as True Third Science

Simulation Technologies Supporting Development of Advanced Products and Services from Upstream Design to Maintenance
KONDO Koichi / HISANO Katsumi / OZAWA Kaoru
In order to offer reliable and high-performance products at appropriate prices, it is necessary to conduct comprehensive technological studies from the upstream stage taking into consideration various factors in the detailed design stage and the operation and maintenance stages. Efficient use of computer simulation is required for this purpose.
Toshiba has been utilizing simulation technologies in the field of mechanical engineering, in such areas as thermodynamics, dynamics of machinery, fluid dynamics, mechanics of machinery, and so on, for a wide variety of products. We are promoting the use of further advanced simulation technologies in each process of upstream design, detailed design, and operation and maintenance, for better products and services.

Design Innovation Applying 1DCAE
OHTOMI Koichi / HATO Takehiro
The main task of product development is to develop a good product at lower cost and to bring it to market in a shorter period. Conventional computer-aided design and computer-aided engineering (CAD/CAE) systems are well established in this regard. However, although upstream design is particularly important in product development to add value and incorporate the required functions, it is difficult to apply conventional shape-based CAD/CAE systems to the upstream design stage due to the lack of design information at that stage.
As a solution to this issue, Toshiba is promoting the development of a design framework called "1DCAE," which can be applied to the early design stage of product development including the conceptual and functional design phases. 1DCAE is defined as the design concepts, methods, and tools that cover the early design stage. The output of 1DCAE is input as the design requirements to a conventional CAD/CAE system, which transforms the design requirements into an actual product image. The CAD/CAE results are then fed back to 1DCAE to verify the overall functions. The 1DCAE concept is expected to realize design innovation and more innovative products.

Electric Vehicle Simulator for Evaluating Dynamic Energy Performance of Drive Systems with High Accuracy
ISHII Ena / YOSHIDA Mitsunobu
Although attention has recently been focused on electric vehicles (EVs), which emit no carbon dioxide while running, their shorter mileage per charge compared with the mileage of gasoline-powered cars has been hindering their dissemination. In order to increase the mileage per charge of EVs, it is necessary to assess the energy consumption of each component of the vehicle while it is being driven.
Toshiba has been developing and releasing motors, inverters, and batteries for automotive use, which are the main components of the drive system of EVs. We have now developed an electric vehicle simulator that integrates electrical and control models of a drive system and mechanical models of a vehicle body, to understand the behavior of an entire vehicle system. The electric vehicle simulator can be used not only for estimation of the energy consumption of each component, but also for the design of smart community technologies such as energy management systems that include EVs within their scope.

Wind Flow Simulation around Mega Solar Power Generation System Arrays to Predict Flow-Induced Lift Force Based on High-Order LES Turbulence Model
JIMBO Tomohiko / Debasish BISWAS / NIIMOTO Takeshi
In recent years, expectations have been focused on more effective use of renewable energy sources to reduce the burden on the environment. In particular, the introduction of large-capacity photovoltaic (PV) power generation systems, known as mega solar systems, is expanding. In a mega solar system, a large number of PV panels are arranged in arrays facing the sun. It is important to reduce the costs of the system's supporters and substructures, which mainly comprise construction costs, as well as to ensure its safety. However, as it is difficult to experiment with a whole mega solar system, the establishment of a prediction technology using numerical simulation is required.
Toshiba has developed a prediction technology to estimate the pressure load, which is one of the key factors in designing supporters and substructures, applying numerical simulation based on a high-order large eddy simulation (LES) turbulence model for flow-induced lift force. We have confirmed that the wind-force coefficient predicted by this technology agrees well with experimentally obtained results, and that the flow around PV arrays can be visualized for various PV array arrangements. The newly developed technology makes it possible to both reduce construction costs and enhance safety.

Numerical Simulation Technology Based on Whole Flow Passage Analysis to Replace Hydraulic Turbine Model Tests
KUROSAWA Sadao / KO Pohan
In general, the method used for the research and development of high-performance hydraulic turbines is composed of two stages: (1) design optimization by flow simulation, and (2) verification of the optimized hydraulic turbine performance by model tests. The model tests require the fabrication of a model turbine, which accounts for a large portion of the total research and development costs. Therefore, numerical simulation that can predict all aspects of the performance of a hydraulic turbine, including efficiency, pressure fluctuations, and cavitation, is expected to significantly reduce the test costs and testing period.
In response to this situation, Toshiba has developed a numerical simulation technology based on whole flow passage analysis to replace hydraulic turbine model tests.

Large-Scale Structure Analysis and Fatigue Life Estimation Technology to Improve Reliability of Electronic Devices
HIROHATA Kenji / KIUCHI Hidemichi / KAWAMURA Noriyasu
With the increased risk of electronic device failure due to unanticipated forms of use and different usage environments, new technologies to achieve higher reliability are required in order to avoid unexpected failures and facilitate the comfortable use of electronic devices.
To meet these requirements for electronic devices, Toshiba has developed a technology consisting of a large-scale structure analysis methodology to enhance the design review process, and a fatigue life estimation methodology based on prognostics and health monitoring/management (PHM) to increase availability and serviceability, including the reduction of downtime and realization of effective maintenance.



  Feature Articles

Wireless Mesh Network Communication Unit for Smart Meters Enabling Low-Cost and Stable Communication in Smart Grid Systems
YONEYAMA Seijiro / NAKANO Kenji / KOBAYASHI Takahiro
Efforts toward the realization of smart grid systems have recently become highly active throughout the world. Smart meters, which connect an information communication technology (ICT) network to a power network, are a key device in a smart grid system, ensuring efficient operation of the power systems.
Toshiba has developed a wireless mesh network communication unit that connects smart meters with an ICT network. The smart meters form a wireless mesh network, allowing the low-cost collection of network data via these units. The communication unit is equipped with our newly developed routing algorithm implemented on the Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) Routing Protocol for Low-Power and Lossy Networks of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF RPL). We have also evaluated the performance of the unit using our demonstrational environment, and confirmed that the unit has sufficient communication capacity to provide stable communication even in a network with thousands of smart meters.

Technology to Estimate Physical Parameters of Dynamic Models for Robot Motion Control
OAKI Junji
Accompanying the ongoing globalization of manufacturing and service industries in recent years, demand is increasing for the introduction of serial-link robot arms for parts assembly and material handling in order to reduce production costs. Such robot arms, which have a cantilevered multijoint structure with spring properties, must be controlled with high acceleration while suppressing arm-tip vibration. As this vibration is due to the elasticity of the reduction gears built into each joint of the robot arm, a dynamic model-based control method taking joint-elasticity of the robot arm into consideration is required.
Toshiba has developed a technology that can precisely estimate the physical parameters of such a dynamic model, including motor inertias, joint-friction coefficients, and joint-spring coefficients, from robot motion data within a few seconds. Experiments on a two-link robot arm confirmed the effectiveness of this estimation method.

Bioassay Technology for Detection of PCBs in Insulating Oil Offering High-Throughput Screening
SUGANO Mitsuko / URUNO Saeko / HATTORI Saeko
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were widely used in the past as insulating and coolant fluids for electrical equipment, including transformers, capacitors, and electric motors. Since the 1970s, the production and use of PCBs have been prohibited because of their toxicity. In order to accelerate the disposal of PCB wastes that are stored and required to be disposed of with dispatch, the establishment of a screening method for the detection of low-level contamination is necessary. As a solution to this issue, a bioanalytical method is expected to be a promising tool for the rapid and low-cost detection of PCBs.
Toshiba has developed the tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) assay method, a novel bioassay technology using mouse neuronal cells as a sensor of PCBs. The TH assay method is applicable to high-throughput screening.

820 MVA-50 Hz Large-Capacity Indirectly Hydrogen-Cooled Turbine Generator
SUZUKA Satoshi / HATANO Hiroshi / KABATA Yasuo
In general, stator bar cooling systems used for turbine generators of thermal power plants employ an indirectly hydrogen-cooled system for those with an intermediate capacity of up to the 400 MVA class, and a directly water-cooled system for those with a large capacity of 400 MVA or higher. The indirectly hydrogen-cooled system has advantages including higher efficiency, easier operation and maintenance, and a simpler configuration compared with the directly water-cooled system.
Toshiba has developed technologies that make it possible for an indirectly hydrogen-cooled system to be employed in turbine generators with both expanded capacity and improved efficiency, and is promoting the design, manufacturing, and testing of a large-capacity indirectly hydrogen-cooled turbine generator applying these technologies. As a result of these efforts, we have developed an 820 MVA-50 Hz indirectly hydrogen-cooled turbine generator.

LC531 Single-Loop Controller for Process Control Systems
MAJIMA Michiaki / UYENO Mitsugu / KURIMOTO Takeshi
Toshiba has developed the LC531 single-loop controller for its nv series unified controllerTM, which is a line of industrial controllers used in various systems including general industrial infrastructure systems, social infrastructure systems, and electric power plants. The LC531 achieves approximately double the speed of our conventional products and a reduction in power consumption of approximately 60%.
The LC531 has both the Ethernet Protocol and Modbus RTU (Remote Terminal Unit) Protocol for connectivity with other controllers and monitoring devices, allowing a monitoring and control system consisting of multiple controllers and monitoring devices to be constructed. Furthermore, it is equipped with our proprietary EC bus for connectivity with our existing EC300 series single-loop controllers, making partial renewal of a system possible.

ON-AIR MAX FLASHTM Flash Memory Video Playout Server for Overseas Markets
Toshiba developed the world's first flash memory video server, the VIDEOSTM, in the mid-1990s. Since then, we have been introducing flash memory video servers with higher reliability compared with hard disk drive server models in the Japanese broadcasting market. In 2010, we developed the VIDEOS neoTM, a new type of flash memory video playout server that offers a file-based workflow in broadcast stations instead of the conventionally used magnetic tapes. The VIDEOS neoTM has already been delivered to more than 20 broadcast stations in Japan.
We have also developed this type of flash memory video playout server, named the ON-AIR MAX FLASHTM, for overseas markets, especially the U.S. market. In response to the specific demands and voice of customer (VOC) requirements in the U.S. market, the ON-AIR MAX FLASHTM features additional functions for overseas specifications in order to enhance the product value, as well as high reliability and low power consumption through the use of flash memory technology.



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