Cost-Saving New Thermal Management Enclosure for Welding


A welding-equipment manufacturer wanted their next-generation product contained within the existing legacy enclosure, while maintaining sufficient air flow.


Our team performed a thermal analysis and recommended a lighter, less costly system solution rather than just a heat sink redesign.


A welding-equipment manufacturer expected to introduce the next-generation welder in a legacy enclosure, but the next-generation system required a heat sink whereas the previous system had required none. The manufacturer expected to use an existing bonded-fin heat sink but was worried it could excessively restrict airflow, allowing downstream component temperatures to rise beyond safe limits. In that case they would have to redesign the entire system using a larger enclosure—an option they hoped to avoid.

Our Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) thermal analysis showed the manufacturer could add their proposed heat sink within the existing enclosure and still maintain sufficient airflow by making a few simple changes. Methode moved some component locations and used a different fan along with a plenum to direct air over the new heat sink. Through further analysis and optimization, we also discovered that the proposed bonded-fin heat sink could be replaced with a more cost-effective 16:1 high-ratio extrusion, reducing more weight and cost.