From Resistors to ANSYS

Set up in 1912, Cressall Resistors has been a Midlands manufacturer for over a hundred years. Our headquarters were first established in the centre of Birmingham where the founder, Mr. H. H. Cressall, supervised the manufacturing of high quality woven resistance mats.

A century later, we’ve come a long way from our roots. For instance, resistance mats didn’t demand a great deal of prototyping or extensive design proofs – certainly not in the way that modern products do. In contrast, today, our product innovation and design team is an international class centre of excellence for resistor design.

As part of our modern commitment to right first time production standards and the optimisation of designs, we’ve recently invested over £50,000 in ANSYS Multiphysics engineering simulation software.

Another thing that has changed in the last 100 years is that we are now much more than a Midlands manufacturer. In fact, 50% of our business is export – with deliveries regularly leaving Leicester for as far afield as China and the rest of the BRIC countries as well as, of course, mainland Europe and America.

Internationally, Cressall operates in a very complex marketplace; consequently our products require sophisticated product design and production strategies. For this reason, prototyping and simulation – early in the design stage – are essential to ensure cost effectiveness, design optimisation and product quality.

Leicester Resistor manufacturer

Both processes also accelerate new product development, which means that we get the competitive advantage over our international rivals by bringing new products to market faster.

The main reason for investing in ANSYS Multiphysics software is that it offers us a complete product solution for both multiphysics and single physics analysis. It also allows us to conduct more sophisticated structural, thermal, fluid and high and low frequency electromagnetic analysis.

In addition, ANSYS Multiphysics contains solutions for both direct and sequentially coupled physics problems, such as coupled-field elements. This is when the ANSYS multi-field solver comes in handy.

Recently, using ANSYS Multiphysics has helped us circumvent the prototype phase for a water cooled resistor and get to the point of the physical build a lot faster. Obviously, credit is due to our talented and experienced engineers who managed to make the most of the software.

It also means that we can now offer improved design proofs to our customers, so they can see the capabilities of new product designs in a realistic and verifiable demonstration.  From an internal perspective, it has also increased confidence when we use simulation for product iterations.

Critically, ANSYS allows us to choose from various design options so the final prototypes are optimised before they are even built.

The advantages this kind of design software delivers enables Cressall to design and manufacture more effectively. Such tools are essential in today’s design office and, although they represent a step forward from the past, they are not a break from it.

We will continue to embody the manufacturing values established by Mr. H. H. Cressall that have helped the company develop into what it is now. But then, Mr. H. H. Cressall was a very progressive individual.

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