Manufacturing solutions experts at Systematix in Waterloo, Ontario, partner with Javelin to maximize software tools

Specialists in manufacturing solutions and automation, the Samuel Automation team is known for solving complex manufacturing problems and delivering high-quality, reliable machines that turn product designs into reality.

The company is based in Waterloo, Ontario and was founded in 1988. It was known as Systematix until 2021, when Samuel, Son & Co acquired Systematix, and the Samuel Automation Solutions Group was formed.

We talked to two members of its multidisciplinary engineering team, Admir Mujanovic and Jim Peltier, who explained that as custom machine builders, every day is different. Customers present a product design and rely on Samuel Automation to automate the mass production process.

“Creating one-off custom equipment can be challenging,” Jim said. “We know the goal and we know what’s needed to get there. And there’s no stopping us.”

Matching the industry standard

Admir Mujanovic - Systematix Engineer

Admir Mujanovic – Systematix Engineer

Samuel Automation chooses SOLIDWORKS, sold and supported by their technology partner Javelin, part of TriMech Group.

Jim said SOLIDWORKS allows their designers to get ideas out of their heads and into the minds of their colleagues who build the tools and machinery.

“It’s our design platform, but also our communication tool. It’s the language we use to communicate ideas. That also applies externally when we communicate with suppliers and customers.”

Samuel Automation started their switch to SOLIDWORKS in 2017. Admir explained that one reason for changing from Autodesk Inventor to SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software was to better match the skills of the available talent pool of designers and engineers, both recent graduates and established professionals. “SOLIDWORKS is the industry standard. We’re keeping up to date and have been upgrading over the years.”

In switching to SOLIDWORKS, the team’s engineers were also hoping to avoid costly rework.

“With the SOLIDWORKS parametric approach to modeling, I know for a fact that no one here is talking about misaligned holes anymore,” Admir said.

Unlocking the potential of SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional

A recent upgrade took Samuel Automation from SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard to SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional. Professional takes storing and managing data to the next level, with advanced workflow automation and the SOLIDWORKS PDM Application Programming Interface (API).

Jim completed the Using SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional training course with Javelin to gain the confidence to maximize the capabilities of the tool. He shared how he leveraged its high-end functionality – with tech support from Javelin – to create a macro that updates the geometry of an assembly in just two clicks.

“This means that if someone on the shop floor opens an assembly file, they see the most up-to-date version. Without this macro, they would see the assembly’s geometry as it was last saved. This is custom functionality that Javelin helped us develop.”

Automating documentation

API is used to automate redundant and lengthy design tasks and to create completed engineering applications that can run both inside and outside of the SOLIDWORKS application.

When a Samuel Automation customer asked that thousands of their drawings be formatted and numbered according to the customer’s methods, Jim relied on his design automation experience and the power of SOLIDWORKS API to create processes to do the work. Each drawing was updated in 30 seconds, when a more manual process would have taken 30 minutes. Overall, a project that Jim’s manager thought might take 10 months took just one.

Open API has also allowed Samuel Automation to integrate SOLIDWORKS with internal custom software and their ERP system. Data shared include part numbers, costing, and due dates.

Javelin on standby

Admir said that when his team was in the process of switching to SOLIDWORKS, they had a lot of questions about the installation and how to integrate with their custom software.

“I’ve dealt with vendors who made us feel like we weren’t supposed to ask questions.

Not once did Javelin say, ‘we can’t help you.’ You fill out a quick report and within a couple of hours, if not minutes, someone is reaching out to help you. You get quick, in-depth responses from very knowledgeable people. Having someone pretty much on standby during the tricky parts was fantastic.”

He added that various disciplines across the company – from designers to analysts to assemblers – use SOLIDWORKS tools differently, and that he appreciates that Javelin provides floating/network licensing for clients who need a pool of software licenses that can be shared among users.

Continued success

Samuel Automation looks forward to an ever-expanding focus on sustainability measures, including persistently improving efficiency, reducing waste, and meeting customers’ growing need for energy savings through fully electric actuation.

Admir said integration is an ongoing theme, as Samuel Automation finds more opportunities to collaborate with their sister operations within the Samuel family of companies and continues to standardize software and processes among departments internally.

With personal support from Javelin and access to the wider product and service offerings of TriMech Group, Samuel Automation is well positioned to take on new challenges.

“Javelin is always happy to drop in and chat with us about the latest and greatest,” Admir said. “They understand what we do and how we do it, so they know what can help us.”

 

Samuel Automation is online at samuel.com/our-businesses/systematix.

Systematix - Waterloo, Ontario

Systematix – Waterloo, Ontario

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