Solid Edge delivers advantages for consumer products design
Features such as built-in intelligence and large assembly visualization help this Chinese manufacturer get new products to market faster while reducing development costs
Market demands reveal the limits of 2D
Emerson Junkang Enterprise (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., a Chinese subsidiary of Emerson of the United States, specializes in products for the kitchen and the closet. The company is well-known in this arena and its products are sold all over China. Emerson Junkang’s innovative research and design team, which creates products that are known and valued by Chinese consumers, is backed up by strong marketing and sales capabilities.
Like other companies in the consumer products arena, Emerson Junkang faces pressure for shorter delivery times. And over the years, it has become increasingly important for the company to deliver products on time.
Real benefits – from design to production
Once the company realized the limits of 2D, management decided to upgrade to 3D modeling. Solid Edge® software was the easy-to-use solid modeling solution, and its powerful design capabilities for assembly and fabrication were also very important to the company. In addition, the company was facing the needs to maintain the design compatibility with its US offices. “Solid Edge can significantly shorten time-to-market and this is the competitive edge we need,” says an engineer at Emerson Junkang. “Solid Edge enables us to design complicated products faster and easier, and this helps us expand into new markets.”
The transformation from 2D design to solid modeling had a big impact on the design process at Emerson Junkang. The company now takes advantage of powerful new functionality such as parametric design, visualization of virtual assemblies, fabrication design, interference checking and so on. One result is a faster design process, particularly for steel structures. With Solid Edge’s powerful functionality for steel frame design, the 3D drafting tool is used to quickly define a frame. Then, designers simply select a standard section and the software automatically creates a 3D model of the structure. Highly intelligent optional parameters are available to locate steel structure members in the proper position and direction. When a design is complete, a detailed material list for steel pieces can be automatically generated almost instantaneously. Mr. Zhao Wei, another engineer at Emerson Junkang, says, “By using the 3D modeling method, we have been able to express our design intention rapidly and accurately with a very simple and visual operation.”
Business consequences of the upgrade
The 3D model data created with Solid Edge is sent directly to manufacturers for NC machining. This has had a very beneficial economic effect. The ability to re-use the design data for production dramatically reduces the time needed to generate machining programs, shrinking production time and reducing costs.
The ease of generating assembly drawings is another area where Solid Edge has made an impact. Typically companies such as Emerson Junkang spend a lot of time generating these drawings, which is very difficult and time-consuming to do in the 2D environment. With Solid Edge, a designer simply puts parts into an assembly and the assembly view can be automatically generated. This has improved the efficiency of designers in the R&D department. An equally important benefit is seen in production. Since adopting Solid Edge, assembly time has been reduced because the design intention in the drawings is very clear. And more accurate drawings mean less rework. From the business perspective, this means fewer delivery delays.
After completing several projects with Solid Edge, it was clear to the management team that solid modeling was faster and more accurate than working in 2D, and that Solid Edge was well-suited to the design of Emerson Junkang’s products. Now that the company is using this solution regularly, productivity has increased greatly. For example, with 2D CAD it took an average of more than two weeks to design a new product, complete with detailed manufacturing drawings. And because it was very hard to clearly represent the product with 2D drawings, errors occurred frequently. In contrast, the company needs only three days to do the same amount of work with Solid Edge and all the disadvantages of 2D design are avoided. The management team of the company is firmly confident that, as engineers become even more familiar with the software, design efficiency will be further enhanced.