Skip to Content
Choose a Siemens Country/Region
Steelcraft's workholding division challenged to streamline design procedures
Steelcraft specializes in workholding assemblies and high-precision components in the machine tool, aerospace, defense, power generation equipment and marine industries. Two years ago, the workholding division sought ways to improve its profitability through new design processes. Since most of Steelcraft’s jobs are one-offs, it didn’t need a “master mode” approach, where a change to the CAD model would automatically be reflected in the CAM environment. Mick Waller, Steelcraft’s CAD/CAM manager, explains, “The nature of our business is that each workholding design is unique to the component being machined. So we can’t have a generic design from which to derive variations, and we have to be sure each one is right before it goes to production.”
Steelcraft examined the division’s design capabilities and found its existing 2D CAD was holding it back. Furthermore, getting support for the package was becoming more and more difficult. After evaluating a number of modeling packages, Steelcraft decided on six seats of Solid Edge for several reasons. First, Solid Edge provides powerful 3D modeling and integrated drafting facilities. Solid Edge is also easy to learn and use. Finally, Solid Edge is fully compatible with Steelcraft’s existing seats of NX.
By modeling parts in the context of the assembly, Solid Edge allows designers to visually check that machining tools can reach the component being made. “The main benefit is a reduction in errors,” says Waller. “If the Solid Edge model goes together then so will the manufactured parts, because we build the assembly in Solid Edge the same way the fitter will build the physical fixture.” The overall effect is that the workholding division, in two years’ time, has significantly improved its profit margin and Steelcraft’s bottom line. Waller also notes, “Solid Edge was a major contributing factor in turning design and manufacture around, giving an increase of 20 percent on the hourly rate over the first two years of use.”
Keys To Success:
Client's Primary Business:
Steelcraft provides workholding assemblies and high-precision components for the machine tool, aerospace, defense, power generation equipment and marine industries.
"The nature of our business is that each work holding design is unique to the component being machined. So we can't have a generic design from which to derive variations, and we have to be sure each one is right before it goes to production. The main benefit is a reduction in errors. If the Solid Edge model goes together then so will the manufactured parts, because we build the assembly in Solid Edge the same way the fitter will build the physical fixture."
Steelcraft Precision Tools
Share this page through any of the following channels.