POLYRACK TECH-GROUP is the leading German manufacturer of packaging solutions for electronic equipment. The company produces both standard and customized electronic packaging systems, including subracks, cases, industrial PC applications, and plug-in-modules. Customers use POLYRACK products in the communications, broadcast, security, defense, transportation, utilities, and medical industries, as well as in test and measurement environments.
POLYRACK has used SOLIDWORKS® design and electronics cooling simulation tools for several years to make its development processes more efficient. Recently, POLYRACK identified the need for a new design solution for quickly modeling design concepts to support faster proposal development as well as a means for improving collaboration with global customers.
“We need to sketch quick ideas and design concepts to share with customers during proposal development,” Development Manager Bernd Knab recalls. “I saw a YouTube video about a new product from Dassault Systèmes called SOLIDWORKS 3D Creator. We create a lot of design concepts in the early stages of a project, so we were naturally interested in the software.”
Knab signed up for the SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design Lighthouse Program, which provides the opportunity to use the software in production as part of prerelease testing.
POLYRACK’s involvement in early usage testing of SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design software, the first SOLIDWORKS solution on the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform, confirmed Knab’s belief that the software would help the company streamline the development of early design concepts, enabling POLYRACK to shorten its sales cycle, compress development time, and accelerate
“Creating early 3D concepts to support proposals can take a couple weeks using traditional CAD,” Knab notes.
“These concepts need to be more than just rough sketches and require some early validation of motion and stresses. We were particularly intrigued with the capabilities of SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design for simulating the movements and relationships of parts, as well as for validating structural performance.”
Quick Concepts accelerate time-to-market
With SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design, POLYRACK not only has realized time savings during initial conceptual design but also throughout product development, helping the company enjoy a 10 to 20 percent reduction in time-to-market. “SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design enables us to make design decisions faster,” Knab explains.
“Using the software’s single modeling environment, we can more quickly secure customer approval of concepts and decisions on prototypes. Since acquiring SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design, we’ve been able to cut initial design development from two weeks to two days.”
“These time savings allow us to bring designs to production faster and ultimately deliver products to market in less time,” Knab continues. “By saving time during the early stages of development, we need fewer steps. Prototyping occurs much earlier, and we need fewer prototypes. SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design lets us find the most suitable path for a design and reach production more quickly, which helps us shorten time-to-market.”
Fast, easy design changes with direct editing
In addition to supporting faster conceptual modeling, SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design facilitates downstream steps by providing dynamic motion and structural simulation tools from within the 3DEXPERIENCE platform and by supporting faster, easier design changes through the software’s Direct Editing capabilities. For example, on the design for a new hinge on a control panel cover, POLYRACK was able to fulfill a customer request for special motion, using simulation tools to optimize performance during initial conceptual design.
“Using SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design, we can simulate movement, address clearance issues, and validate structural performance during the early stages of a concept,” Knab stresses. “We can then use the software’s Direct Editing capabilities to quickly make the necessary changes. Direct Editing is also useful for handling customer models that we receive as STEP files, such as plastic injection-molded parts. The software’s intelligent functionality lets us directly modify features in models that have no feature history, such as changing draft angles, split lines, and surfaces.”
Better collaboration with international customers
POLYRACK has realized time savings through the social collaboration capabilities of SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design, which provides a running, blog like tally of a design concept’s progression within a specific online community comprising POLYRACK, customers, and partners. With SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design software, customers can access, review, comment on and approve designs—as models, images, or animations—via the web. The fast, ready, and secure access to Conceptual Design data improves and accelerates collaboration with customers anywhere in the world.
“SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design eliminates the time lapse involved with working with customers in the United States or Asia,” Knab says. “In the past, we’ve lost a day or two because of the time difference. With SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design, customers can access concept information from a single blog area at any time, which means we will get decisions on design concepts much faster.”
Streamline the development of initial concept designs to shorten the sales cycle, compress development time, and accelerate time-to-market.
Implement SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design software.
- Reduced time-to-market by 10 to 20 percent
- Cut initial design development from two weeks to two days
- Shortened international communications and decision-making
- Accelerated prototype development
“Since acquiring SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design, we’ve been able to cut initial design development from two weeks to two days.”
— Bernd Knab, Development Manager