Case Study

Information seamlessly flows between multiple teams for Chinese manufacturer

Jiangnan Jiajie Elevator

Jiangnan Jiajie Elevator Company reduces prototypes using 3D modeling with built-in design management


Jiangnan Jiajie Elevator Company increases design efficiency and speeds the development of its elevator and escalator systems.

Great reform leads to great opportunities

With explosive growth inside the country and trade barriers between China and the rest of the world relaxed, Chinese manufacturing companies have been attracting business with their engineering expertise. Suzhou Jiangnan Jiajie Elevator Co., Ltd., located in the city of SuZhou in Jiangsu province, is capitalizing on this opportunityrich environment. With 500 employees and an industrial value of 300 million RMB, it has become one of the top 100 private businesses in the region.

To increase design efficiency and speed the development of its elevator and escalator systems, the technical department of Jiangnan Jiajie was given the task of upgrading the Company’s CAD capabilities. A CAD system that could easily create accurate 3D models and virtual assemblies was very important to the engineers on the selection committee. Since elevator and escalator systems are heavily comprised of sheet metal fabrications, a robust sheet metal package was another important consideration. In addition, with the Company growing so rapidly, the team searched for a CAD system that could be easily upgraded in the future.

CAD system lifts productivity

“After lengthy and careful comparisons between CAD systems, we chose Solid Edge as our CAD system because it was the only one that had all the tools we were looking for,” says Zhang Rui-lin, chief engineer and general manager of the Technical Department at Jiangnan Jiajie. “Not only does Solid Edge have the design tools and functionalities we demanded, but Siemens’ worldwide reputation for industry-leading products and support services gave us confidence we were making a wise investment.” Jiangnan Jiajie purchased Solid Edge® software from the local distributor, United Digital Systems (UDS), whose support during both the selection and implementation process was outstanding.

The fact that Solid Edge can be seamlessly integrated with NX™ software, Siemens’ nextgeneration digital product development system, was another important factor in its selection. “With the rate of our business growth,” explains Zhang Rui-lin, “we know that at some point in the future we may want to seamlessly expand to NX. Siemens has an ‘open by design’ philosophy, which supports unique interoperability between Solid Edge and NX. We feel confident that we have chosen a product development provider that can support our needs now and our projected needs in the future.”

Satisfying the Company’s demand for powerful and effective modeling capabilities, Solid Edge has led to a remarkable improvement in design efficiency. “In the past, much of our design work had to be proven with physical prototypes,” explains Zhang Rui-lin. “Now we can view 3D models of the designs and verify our intent without the need to interrupt the design process while we build prototypes.” In addition to individual part modeling, the engineers use Solid Edge to combine the 3D models into virtual assemblies to check for part interferences on screen. “This allows us to detect any design problems well in advance of actual production,” continues Zhang Rui-lin. “We can then correct these design flaws well before they become a problem. All this was unimaginable in the past.”

Managing the design environment for maximum efficiency

The Solid Edge CAD platform came with an unexpected but greatly appreciated feature, Insight™ – Solid Edge’s powerful tool for managed collaboration, which is included with every copy of Solid Edge. Insight assures that data is always current and accurate. Unlike conventional stand-alone PDM systems that have additional commands to be learned and often require long implementation times, Insight requires no user training and can be implemented in days or weeks instead of months. “We were pleasantly surprised to find that Insight allows our engineers to design in a fully managed environment,” Zhang Rui-lin explains. “No longer will we have to worry about incorrect revisions or unreleased drawings making their way to the shop floor.”

The ability to link all technical documents with product designs is another aspect of Insight that has proven to be invaluable to Jiangnan Jiajie. “We had a long existing problem of technical documents getting separated from CAD blueprints,” explains Zhang Rui-lin. “Now we create and manage all relevant documents such as product installation guidelines, product graphics and packing lists while we are designing new products.”

Leveraging Insight even further, Jiangnan Jiajie uses it to make up-to-date design information available throughout the entire Company. “Insight allows other departments, such as purchasing and various workshops around the plant, to look up relative blueprints and materials lists,” adds Zhang Ruilin. “Even sales documents delivered by the sales department may be read from the Insight system.” With Insight ensuring that everyone works with current, accurate information, the Company can concentrate more of its resources on designing and manufacturing rather than managing data.

Making full use of the wide array of design tools in Solid Edge, along with fully utilizing the included Insight feature, Jiangnan Jiajie is raising its reputation around the globe. “Solid Edge has greatly enhanced our design capability and efficiency,” says Ruan Jian-hua, general manager of R&D at Jiangnan Jiajie. “This has made us more competitive both domestically and internationally.”

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