ProVantage Automation uses SOLIDWORKS Electrical to get the job done fast and accurately

Article by Erin Elliott updated December 30, 2013


OEMs and manufacturing end users across North America rely on ProVantage Automation (ProV) for its expertise in designing, testing, installing, and supporting automated systems. Most often, their work is  related to material handling, paper converting, and high speed packaging, such as case packing and collation. Its team of mechanical and electrical engineers designs machinery and systems to optimize production of consumer goods, where margins are thin and reliability is critical to remaining in business.

They do their important work with the help of 3D design software SolidWorks®, which allows them to work at top efficiency when developing custom designs for advanced equipment and process automation, as well as electrical and instrumentation schematics.

Decisions, decisions

ProVantage Automation uses SOLIDWORKS ElectricalPeter Graham is Engineering Manager with ProVantage. He says when first establishing ProVantage, the decision to go with SolidWorks for 3D Mechanical Design was easy. The team had previous experience with the software, so they knew that SolidWorks worked continually to improve on what he calls “an already remarkable package.”

For electrical design, the decision was not so easy.

“We initially evaluated four different electrical design software packages before deciding on SolidWorks Electrical,” Graham says. “And we are extremely pleased with our decision. All the other software claims to be the easiest to learn or the most efficient, but we feel SolidWorks Electrical is the most intuitive and requires fewer steps to finish the project. In one case, one of our senior designers was able to train two of our other controls designers in only two days.”

Javelin always in the background

ProVantageProV turned to 3D experts Javelin Technologies to supply and support the SolidWorks products they needed. Graham says he is impressed with Javelin’s strong technical team and their willingness to respond quickly to customer needs.

“We rely heavily on our software to keep us profitable, and Javelin is always in the background keeping ProVantage running,” he says. “Javelin offers and supports a number of products we use. Comparing the way we work now with how we did things in the past, we’ve seen an increase in productivity of at least 30 per cent.  When you factor in the added detail and accuracy, this investment was a wise one.”

With efficiency and productivity on the rise, ProV was able to quadruple in size in its first 18 months of operation. Day-to-day communication has improved because they are using a common platform of SolidWorks tools for both mechanical and electrical groups. As they continue to hone their skills and expand the business, they will be upgrading to SolidWorks Professional, which will allow them to produce realistic 3D renderings for machinery manuals and higher quality marketing material for prospects.

Detailed presentations creating buzz

Because of ProV’s international scope, interest in SolidWorks Electrical is spreading to ProVantage customers and partners. ProV’s clean and detailed presentations often generate the question, “Whose software package do you use?” Graham tells everyone it’s SolidWorks, and that Javelin stands behind it.

“A tool on its own won’t help you,” he says. “You have to be taught properly how to configure it and use it and you must have reliable support for it.”


  • Find the best-fit mechanical and electrical 3D design packages
  • Ramp up productivity to keep up with the rapid growth of a successful start-up
  • Master new software tools with as little down time as possible


  • Partner with Javelin to ensure the team is working with the best possible tools for the job
  • Purchase SolidWorks software packages to meet the needs of mechanical and electrical designers


  • Efficient software and support from Javelin, contributing to ProVantage’s ability to maintain its pace of growth and expand even further
  • Smoother, faster communication throughout the team because of the common platform
  • With opportunities to expand into more advanced levels of SolidWorks software, ProVantage is better positioned to handle increasing complexity in projects
  • Higher quality marketing materials, resulting in better customer education and improved sales

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Erin Elliott

Erin is an Assistant Marketing Manager at Javelin Technologies, based at the Javelin head office in Oakville, ON.