Skip to Content
Choose a Siemens Country/Region
Affordable solid modeling helps a niche automaker create great vehicles, lure investors and sign up dealers
TOMCAR Ltd. is a state-of-the-art, licensed Israeli auto manufacturer developing off-road vehicles for civilian and military use. The company was founded in 1990 to turn experience gained developing experimental off-road vehicles for the Israeli Army into a commercial business. TOMCARs, as its products are called, have been referred to as a cross between an SUV and an ATV. TOMCARs are not as expensive or easily damaged as SUVs, nor are they as risky as ATVs. They are friendly, forgiving, reliable and easy to use. They can travel over any terrain, no matter how rugged, without tipping over, making them popular with border patrols and police departments. TOMCARs sell for $13,000 for a basic model to $25,000 for a model that includes such features as four seats and heating.
TOMCAR Ltd. does most of the work of designing and manufacturing the vehicles in house, all under one roof. All major components (except the engine), including the transmission, gearbox, shock absorbers, frame, suspension and steering, are proprietary technology, designed in house.
In the company’s early years, 2D drawings (created in AutoCAD) were used to communicate design information to production. Then, Gili Hacohen, chief technical officer, joined the company and decided it was time to upgrade to 3D. He had the opportunity to compare the Solid Edge® system with competing software and chose Solid Edge because it had the superior sheet metal capability and was better at handling large assemblies.
Using Solid Edge, Hacohen created an assembly model of the TOMCAR that contains more then 5,000 parts. He modeled the majority of the parts in Solid Edge himself although he was able to import geometry for some items, including the engine, which had been modeled by its manufacturer in NX.
There are many benefits to having a solid model of the entire car. It is helpful for studying fit, for example, and avoiding interferences between parts and subassemblies. Hacohen also performs motion analysis using the Solid Edge geometry to optimize the action of systems such as the suspension and windshield wipers. He also uses Solid Edge models as the basis for finite element analysis (FEA) of vehicle components. This work is done using Solid Edge’s Femap Express for FEA.
TOMCAR must generate a great deal of documentation for regulatory agencies such as EPA, CARB, DMV, FIA, U.S. ARMY, IDF, TUV and so on. Solid Edge was used to produce all of this material, as well as graphic images for owners’ manuals, shop manuals and advertisements. “The ability to easily create so much documentation allows us to work with different suppliers all over globe,” Hacohen adds. “The knowhow transfer is much simpler and effective thanks to Solid Edge.”
The use of Solid Edge doesn’t stop there, however. Equally important, perhaps, is the role Solid Edge plays in the company’s marketing efforts. “We have many people come to our R&D site in Israel, potential investors and people thinking of becoming dealers,” explains Hacohen. “When they see our design software, they see that we are a serious company. Solid Edge lets a small company grow while still looking like a big company.We’re not GM, but we have similar technology and do things the same way they do. Solid Edge gives us impressive technology that is also affordable.”
Hacohen also uses Solid Edge to design some of the equipment needed to manufacture the cars, such as jigs and special tooling. This is particularly beneficial when it comes time to build this equipment. The biggest jig designed in Solid Edge was the one that holds the car’s frame. It has 1,200 parts, weighs around 3,000 pounds and can handle all 13 models including right-hand steering. The parts for the jig were modeled in Solid Edge to 1/20-inch accuracy and ordered from the company’s laser cutting supplier. They were delivered in pieces. “It was amazing how all the parts came together with no mistakes,” says Hacohen. “How could we do that with 2D?” Solid Edge is also used for production-line design and for logistics support in all areas of the company.
TOMCAR uses Solid Edge’s integrated data management capability, Insight, to manage the 5,000 parts for 13 different models. “Another great thing is the way a part file can hold all information needed for manufacturing the part,” Hacohen notes. “And with Solid Edge’s compatibility with CAM applications we can send that information directly to our CNC machine.” The free Solid Edge viewer makes it possible for the company to hold virtual meetings with colleagues in China and Spain with everyone looking at the same model, moving it around and even making measurements on it during the discussion. “The free viewer is a great tool for discussing an engineering issue with a company that does not have Solid Edge software,” adds Hacohen.
In all these ways, Solid Edge is helping TOMCAR design and build its unique vehicles. It has also allowed the company to get the car to market sooner. Hacohen estimates that design time with Solid Edge was five times faster than it would have been with 2D, and that time to market was accelerated by a factor of three.
Keys To Success:
Client's Primary Business:
TOMCAR is a state of the art, licensed Israeli auto manufacturer, developing a mature line of off-road vehicles to civilian and military markets.
"Solid Edge lets a small company grow while still looking like a big company. Solid Edge gives us impressive technology that is also affordable"
Chief Technical Officer
Share this page through any of the following channels.