Case Study

Intuitive 3D CAD improves design precision and boosts production efficiency

Victor Taichung Machinery

Machine manufacturer finds Solid Edge much easier to learn and use compared to its previous 3D software

Quality ensures repeat orders

Victor Taichung Machinery Co., Ltd. is the largest machine tool manufacturer in Taiwan. The company takes pride in its slogan,“High Quality Brings Repeat Orders,” and works continuously to achieve higher precision and durability in its products, and to provide clients with better service. In 2006, Victor Taichung Machinery extended its product warranty from the industry standard of one year to two years.

Victor Taichung Machinery has been using CAD since 1987 as a way to stay competitive. In 2004, the company upgraded to the Solid Edge® 3D design system from Siemens PLM Software (formerly UGS). Senior CAD system user, R&D engineer XiangChang Gao explains that a main reason for going to 3D was to reduce design errors in the company’s products. “In recent years, schools and professors have been teaching 3D CAD,” Gao explains. “So recent graduates entering the industry commonly lack the concept of 2D and can only use 3D software. Forcing them to use 2D drawing tools would only result in flawed and error-prone designs that lack quality.” Adopting 3D CAD was necessary to accommodate trends in the talent pool as well as the growing complexity of design requirements. Another reason for moving to 3D was to improve productivity, from R&D through to manufacturing.

CAD supplier listens to clients

“Currently we are using both 2D and 3D design software simultaneously,” explains project engineer Stanly Tsai, of Victor Taichung Machinery R&D. “The old 2D system is still being used to modify previous designs, while models created after January 2004 are designed in the 3D CAD software.”

Tsai is in charge of CAD system planning. He says that during the selection process for the 3D design system, factors such as market share, software cost and functionality were taken into consideration. The company performed intensive testing and evaluations on Solid Edge and found a number of unique features that supported its design requirements. There were some areas where the company asked for additional functionality from Siemens PLM Software. “Most of our suggestions have been incorporated into the version of Solid Edge we are currently using,” says Gao. “We think the vendor’s ability to listen to suggestions and quickly improve the product ensures the client’s technical investment benefits.”

The company appreciates the ability to open a drawing file in Solid Edge without opening the 3D model.One benefit of this is that manufacturing personnel can quickly and directly access drawing files for printing. “Compared to other 3D CAD systems that require both a drawing and the components model to function, this feature of Solid Edge allowsVictor Taichung Machinery to save time in going from the design phase to manufacturing,” says Tsai. “Now we can send a drawing directly to the appropriate departments for printing. Especially in times of urgent deadlines, this type of convenience is of great benefit to the overall production process.”

Another feature that is a favorite among R&D engineers is the simplified “drilling and tapping” process. “In the original design software, the tapping process required three steps but Solid Edge has simplified the process to two steps, thereby saving us time,” adds Tsai.

Fast service response, shorter learning curve

The channel partner for Siemens PLM Software,NST Technology Inc., demonstrated exceptional technical expertise during the implementation of Solid Edge atVictor Taichung Machinery. The partner’s quick response, its solutions to various issues and its services have enabledVictor Taichung Machinery to smoothly transition into 3D design.

During the process of adopting the new 3D design environment,Victor Taichung Machinery found that training time for Solid Edge was less than that for other CAD software. Using the plastics plant situated in the Taichung Industrial Area as example, the original software (Pro/Engineer) required approximately six months of training for users to get to the intermediate level.With Solid Edge, it took only two weeks for new users to grasp the majority of the functionality.

The software’s ease of use has improved the productivity of the R&D engineers, improving design output. “Using Solid Edge to integrate the design process for our machines has significantly improved our productivity,” Tsai adds. “Even when a product has a complex design, we do not need to delay other orders. This is the reason we continue to win our clients’ businesses and acclaim.”

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