A selection of case studies and comments from:
- ASCO Industries
- Westinghouse Electric Company
- Anonymous—materials strategy case study
- Anonymous—Materials information technology challenges with wind turbine technology
- Renault F1
- Williams International
- German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing
- US Navy
- Aluminum Consultants Group
Sulzer has a global reputation in providing reliable equipment for performance-critical applications in sectors from Oil & Gas to Power Generation. To successfully engineer their products, they need reliable and comprehensive materials information, "a 'one-stop' materials information source". This case study describes why they have adopted GRANTA MI™, the leading materials information management system for engineering organization and examines how a materials data management project can improve reliability, save time, and extract more value from existing corporate knowledge.
"Sulzer was looking to maximize the use of many-years' worth of valuable materials information, and to combine this with high quality external reference data, to support their performance-critical applications. By importing proprietary data into GRANTA MI, and licensing additional external data, they have met their initial goals of making materials data more reliable, traceable, and searchable. More than that, the powerful software tools available with GRANTA MI allow them to put that information quickly into the hands of those who need it, and to make optimal materials decisions. "
"The first UTC aerospace division to adopt the GRANTA MI™ materials information management system was the former Hamilton Sundstrand business, now part of UTC Aerospace Systems. It has started to apply tools that consolidate and control relevant materials data and information while enforcing the high level of traceability and security needed in the aerospace industry. As GRANTA MI is specifically designed to handle the complexities of evolving materials data, it allows engineers and designers to be confident that they are using the most accurate, up-to-date, and approved information.
"Another of UTC’s global businesses using Granta’s software is Carrier, part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security. Carrier has been an early adopter of GRANTA MI, focusing on global access to its materials data. This covers relevant properties and testing pertinent to its applications as well as the environment in which its products operate. "
Darren Green, Chief of Materials Design Services at Rolls-Royce, spoke at a Granta seminar in November 2011 about the drive towards continuous improvement in materials data quality in his organization. His talk discussed the challenges of working towards a 'zero data loss' policy by combining the right information technology with the right corporate policies.
At a previous Granta seminar, in 2008, Dr Malcolm Thomas of Rolls-Royce introduced the Rolls-Royce project to implement enterprise-wide management of materials data using Granta technology. "The requirements for managing materials data are ... very demanding. Not only is accurate, consistent, reliable data a pre-requisite for design, but any data management system must guarantee security and control over the data."
Jeff Sickmeier of Rolls Royce Corporation commented on Rolls-Royce's involvement in the Materials Data Management Consortium: "Such an enormous efficiency gain is more important to our site and our industry in these times of reduced resources than it has ever been. Well done!"
ASCO Industries is a leader in high-precision, safety-critical products including high lift wing components, landing gear parts and sub-assemblies, and engine mounts. With revenues around 180m€ ($280m) in 2006, ASCO provides a case study at the opposite end of the aerospace spectrum from Rolls-Royce in terms of organizational size. ASCO has implemented the GRANTA MI system to manage data on metals, polymers, and composites, and to store data on standard parts for aerospace components.
Mr Stein Janssens of ASCO described this implementation at a Granta seminar in Paris. The report of this presentation explains the project:
"ASCO was similar to many engineering organizations in having excellent tools for engineering design (e.g., CATIA) and finite element modeling (e.g., Nastran, Patran) but no single, integrated system to manage the materials data that supports design and generates 'allowable' property values for FEM.... ASCO's goal was to enable full traceability for all data, revision control, easy searching, and quick comparisons."
NASA Glenn Research Center has used GRANTA MI to create a central engineering information database that not only contains typical material property information but also entire response histories (e.g., tensile, creep, relaxation, cyclic curves), all associated pedigree information, as well as related applications, failures and reference documents.
Dr Steven Arnold, Chief of the Mechanics and Life Prediction Branch, and chair of the Material Data Management Consortium, described this system and its application at a seminar in Pittsburgh, PA. The report of this presentation explains how NASA uses the Granta system:
"NASA Glenn has implemented GRANTA MI to capture, analyze, and share both test data and external reference data. The database contains thousands of records and continues to grow."
Westinghouse Electric Company provides a compelling example of the importance of materials information management in the nuclear industry, where preserving materials knowledge and leveraging expensive materials tests are important problems. Westinghouse is adopting GRANTA MI to approach these problems.
Paula Freyer of Westinghouse Electric outlined this project at a seminar in Pittsburgh, PA. The report of this presentation explains the motivation for better materials data management in the nuclear industry:
"The risk of losing data or duplicating tests that have already been done represents a major cost in the nuclear industry... The goal is to create a server-based system, accessible only on the company's intranet, which becomes the single, central place to store materials data."
The white paper Optimizing Materials Strategy—can you afford not to? contains a case study based on Granta's experience of working with large, multi-business manufacturing organizations. Financial and other details have been altered to protect commercial confidentiality, but the case study remains representative of real projects and is published with the consent of the organizations concerned. The case study illustrates how use of Granta materials strategy software can be part of a cost reduction and materials rationalization program that aims to cut 5-10% from materials costs, in organizations where a 1% saving equates to $50m per annum.
Wind has been used as a source of power for centuries. Today wind turbines are the fastest-growing sector of the renewable power business. But, as this case study from one of Granta's customers makes clear, seeking to reduce the cost of each kwh means the latest wind turbine technology pushes new materials to their limits and provides real materials information management challenges.
Granta have been able to provide the company with a materials information management system, ensuring that all data is stored in a single, traceable, and fully searchable system. Materials experts working with blade technology are now using this system to collect and maintain data from in-house tests, such as compression, IPS, ILLSS, rheology, environmental, together with its pedigree and analysis details, within this corporate materials information resource. They are then able to provide quick and reliable access to this data in the right format for those who need it.
Having one "gold source" of materials information has increased confidence in the materials data used by wind blade engineers, and is capturing the corporate materials expertise and knowledge. Together, these help with innovative designs involving lower carbon fiber content, reducing the cost and increasing the efficiency of turbine blades. The benefits seen through using GRANTA MI to support the development of turbine blades can equally be expected when it is used in other areas of wind turbine development, including towers, drivetrains, and nacelles. With pressure on wind energy companies to reduce the cost per unit energy, an industry leading materials information management system forms an essential part of their development process, and is helping them to maximize their materials and design expertise as they seek to make wind an energy source on a par with fossil fuels.
Renault F1 use Granta's materials information system:
"Granta’s software is an integral part of our design process. Working with Granta’s consultants, we’ve created a consolidated source of materials information available company-wide, streamlining our design operation."
Graham Heard, Renault Formula 1
Gas turbine manufacturers Williams International are members of the Material Data Management Consortium:
"The number of users accessing our internal database has increased significantly. We have stress analysis, design, and materials engineers accessing the software."
"Maintaining the database has been relatively effortless using the test modules within the software to enter data."
Ray Simpkins, Williams International
Granta’s software provides " …versatile and valuable instruments for the creation, maintenance and publication of our knowledge base."
Dr Stefan Seeger, German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung—BAM).
GRANTA MI was chosen as the best material data management system to serve the design, construction, and maintenance of the US naval fleet under the management of the Survivability, Structures, and Materials Directorate of the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division (NSWCCD), the Naval Sea Systems Command, and Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC).
"The software system GRANTA MI was determined to be the most appropriate given factors such as functionality, cost, and release timeline."
Matthew Hayden, US Naval Surface Warfare Center
"An extremely powerful tool that is very simple to operate. A computer science background is not required to construct the forms used to create and structure an in-depth database... It amazes me that I have the power to create and manage such an intimidating database."
Brad Matanin, Aluminum Consultants Group Inc.