Continuous improvement separates great companies from mediocre ones. Innovative products, efficient manufacturing, and an energized staff are attributes of a company constantly looking at itself and asking, “How can we do this better?”
Automation tools can save the average engineer hours each day by eliminating repetitive tasks.
All of the above tasks and many others can be automated using tools found in Solidworks 3DCAD systems.
Examples of automation tools include:
- Library functions such as the SolidWorks® Toolbox, library parts, and features
- Automated fastener placement and hole creation such as the SolidWorks Hole Wizard, Hole Series, and Smart Fasteners Technology
- Part configurations and design tables
- Patterns of parts and features
- Design automation aids such as DriveWorks®
- Visual Basic® macros
- Interfaces that format and copy data to other systems
If your company is using CAD data only to make drawings, you are missing opportunities to get more value from your 3D designs. CAD models can support a variety of operations that make manufacturing less prone to errors, breakdowns, and material waste. Efficiency improvements can also help salespeople win more business by offering more accurate proposals. Consider the potential financial and time savings that 3D CAD data can yield in tool design and fabrication. 3D CAD models can inform the design of jigs, fixtures, molds, and dies to help ensure they are cut to the right specifications the first time. If your company outsources tool design and manufacture, you can make appropriate 3D models available to your suppliers. By helping them to reduce costs, your company will be better positioned to negotiate discounts.
Production engineers can use 3D models as masters to compare with data from coordinate-measuring machines and automated point-cloud scanners to assure that tools and lot samples are within dimensional specifications. Tolerance analysis assures that manufacturing drawings include reasonable, cost-effective tolerances. Data extracted from 3D CAD models can also improve cost, weight, and manufacturing time estimates
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