Manufacturer uses Solid Edge to revamp design process and drive performance initiatives
Essential Power Transmission
Improvements include generating 50 new designs per year versus 15 to 20 using the prior process and producing a gearbox in one month versus 30 to 45 days
Doing more with less
Essential Power Transmission Pvt. Ltd. is a pioneer in industrial gearbox manufacturing. As an ISO 9001:2008 company accredited by TUV South East Asia, Essential Power Transmission’s 300 employees include an experienced group of engineers and technocrats that design and manufacture standard and customized gearbox units. But like many businesses in today’s highly competitive global economy, the company faced a challenging productivity dilemma: the customer demand for its products was rapidly increasing at the same time that available manpower was diminishing.
This was a particularly difficult challenge for Essential Power Transmission, because of the complexity of its products and the importance that the industrial gearbox market places on precision and quality. The company’s product line reflects a wide range of gearboxes, including the company’s highly popular Essential Power Transmission EP Series of standard helical, parallel shaft and standard bevel helical, right-angle shaft, hardened and flank ground gear units.
EP Series housings are made of closed grain cast iron, whereas for larger sizes, stress-relieved and shotblasted M.S. fabricated housings are used. For maximum gear efficiency, EP Series units are carburized, hardened, tempered and subsequently flank ground to Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN) Class 5/6 accuracy.
As you might expect, the EP Series requires Essential Power Transmission to employ highly sophisticated design and manufacturing processes that include the most advanced computer-aided design (CAD), gear tooth geometry and shaft deflection technologies. This requirement played a key role in motivating the company to look at the latest product development technology when its productivity concerns reached a critical stage.
Simply put, the company’s prior CAD software was not giving Essential Power Transmission what it needed. For starters, the company was only producing 15 to 20 new product designs a year. In addition, the company wanted a design process that would enable its product managers to compete more effectively by quoting new gearbox prices for a prospective customer before manufacturing was completed. Just as importantly, Essential Power Transmission wanted to establish a stronger position in key markets, such as the market for the pinion stand gearboxes, which required higher-level CAD functionality.
Transforming design process using Solid Edge with synchronous technology
With these overall business goals in mind, Essential Power Transmission decided to upgrade its CAD design platform. After surveying a variety of alternatives, the company selected Siemens PLM Software’s Solid Edge® software with synchronous technology as the foundation for transforming its design process. “The ability of Solid Edge to drive the company’s productivity initiatives was a crucial deciding factor,” says Nimroj Maknojiya, design engineer at Essential Power Transmission. “The company was looking for a design solution that enabled our engineers to start using the CAD software as quickly as possible – and just as importantly, software that would enable them to materially improve their annual product turnaround. Solid Edge, especially its synchronous technology capability, simply makes it easier to create and modify designs versus traditional CAD.”
Improving productivity and quote system, as well as product quality and aesthetics
The company’s training and early work with Solid Vision – Siemens PLM Software’s local channel partner – gave its engineers the confidence they needed to rapidly adopt Solid Edge and its userfriendly capabilities. The user experience that Solid Edge delivers played a key role in improving the company’s overall productivity and from a variety of perspectives. For example, Solid Edge 3D modeling now enables the company’s design teams to visualize new products in their entirety. This allows the company to quickly modify and redesign its products to fit the client-specific needs of key customers. In addition, Solid Edge with synchronous technology has enabled the company to improve productivity, become a strong competitor in the pinion stand gearbox market and meet the needs of customers, such as Essar Steel Limited (India) and CMI-FPE Limited (India).
“Another key improvement is the ability of Solid Edge to enable the company’s product managers to quote a price for a product based on its projected weight,” says Rajagopal, who handles GM Sales and Marketing at Essential Power Transmission.
Jay K. Shah, the company’s coordinator of Operations and Executions, adds, “Basically, Solid Edge enables designers to generate a bill of material for each and every part in a product, along with its weight, before manufacturing begins. This provides a number of advantages, including the ability to make customeraligned product decisions early in the take-to-market process, determine how much money to invest in which many raw materials, avoid material waste and improve the company’s overall cash flow.”
Rajagopal notes, “Using synchronous technology, we can quote our products per individual customer need based on actual projected weight.”
Solid Edge also enables company engineers to improve product quality through other useful tools. Among examples, Bharat Shah, technical director at Essential Power Transmission, points out, “Engineers can leverage Solid Edge Simulation, an integrated FEA solution, to check the load handling capacity of given gearbox designs much more precisely than was previously possible. Solid Edge is excellent at simulating loads on small parts (such as a hold back) that play a critical role in determining the performance of the entire gearbox.”
Similarly, Solid Edge enables the company to improve the aesthetics of its products and therefore enhance their competitive viability. For example, engineers can use Solid Edge to visualize ribs on a gearbox. Ribs are small striplike structures that are mounted on a worm gearbox to facilitate better heat dissipation. Solid Edge enables engineers to draw ribs in required dimensions, calculate the weight of each rib and determine how many ribs are required on any given gearbox casing. As a result, an optimized rib structure facilitates a gearbox that is both strong and aesthetically pleasing.
Realizing major metrics-based improvements
Above and beyond these process-related improvements, Solid Edge has also proven its worth by facilitating a wide variety of metrics-driven improvements. Shah explains, “Using Solid Edge with synchronous technology, overall productivity has increased by 20 percent, as the company is now able to manufacture a single gearbox in 30 days, which compares with 40 to 45 days under the company’s prior process. Similarly, product turnaround has increased from 15 to 20 new products per year to 50 new designs per year. Also important, product costs have been reduced by 3 to 3.5 percent.
With results like these, it is not surprising that Essential Power Transmission is extremely pleased with its Solid Edge experience and plans to continue to expand its role as new opportunities arise.