50 percent faster product development time with SOLIDWORKS solutions
By using SolidWorks, Simulation and Enterprise PDM, Time Denmark has managed to decrease the development time for its vehicle mounted lifts dramatically.
In order to maintain competive advantage, Time Denmark needed to speed up the development of new and more advanced lifts for mounting on vehicles such as vans, pickups and cars and trucks. This required streamlining of the development process. The challenge was met with an increasingly sophisticated use of software from SolidWorks, which has made it possible to cut development time by half while at the same time creating better and more advanced products.
The 85 employees at Time Denmark in the Northern Jutland town of Farsø, develops, manufactures, services and sells vehicle mounted lifts. The company is part of American lift manufacturer Versalift and is responsible for all sales of Versalift’s products outside of North and South America. The company sells annually 1,200 lifts with a working height of 12 to 15 meters. The lifts are used primarily by electricity providers for tasks such as changing bulbs in street lights, but are also used for many other tasks in areas such as the building sector.
Time Denmark is using seven SolidWorks licenses of which two are Premium licenses. In addition, the company has recently bought a SolidWorks Simulation Professional license and the complete system for product development is tied together by the PDM system SolidWorks Enterprise PDM (EPDM).
«We use SolidWorks products on a large scale to make design, simulation analysis, production preparation, inventory and marketing materials. We are very structured in our development work. Compared to earlier, we have been able to reduce development time by about 50 percent while at the same time developing increasingly complex designs,» says Martin Adamsen, who is head of the technical department at Time Denmark.
The use of SolidWorks products has meant significant savings explains Martin Adamsen: «3D design is much faster than 2D, which we used earlier. With 2D we needed more people in both development and other functions, so 3D has directly helped to save labor costs.”
Martin Adamsen also points out that by using SolidWorks, Time Denmark has been able to increase the reuse of portions of existing designs in the designs of new lifts, which has reduced development time for new products.
Lighter and stronger structures are crucial for Time Denmark. As the lifts are mounted on vehicles they can not be too heavy,» says Martin Adamsen.
A big part of the design work is done using SolidWorks’ Sheet Metal module. The lifts consist of a large number of sheet metal parts, which are pinned together. According to Martin Adamsen, the use of the Sheet Metal module means that the parts always fit together, which means that the number of prototypes have therefore been reduced from typically three to only one: «With 2D design we lacked the possibility to be able to unfold sheet metal parts automatically, which meant more laborious work, more possibilities for mistakes and the need for more prototypes. Now the prototyping phase is much shorter.»
The PDM system is managing all information related to the construction work, but also plays a major role in the production preparation. The system automatically generates PDF documents with manufacturing drawings and DXF files used by subcontractors for the automatic laser cutting of sheet metal parts.
Furthermore, Time Denmark has developed its own version of SolidWorks’ built-in library with standard components. In addition to standard parts the library contains parts developed or purchased by the company. The parts are numbered using Time Denmark’s own part number system and are used for the creation of BOM’s and to generate picking lists for components in the warehouse.
Bransjer: Industrial Equipment