For more than 50 years, Swagelok Company has maintained high standards and has built an unequaled reputation for quality in designing and producing precision fluid system components. In 1997, Swagelok began to reassess its product design process. The company decided to upgrade to a newer 3D solid modeling technology that allows it to generate new designs more efficiently, thereby reducing product development time and lowering costs.
Enhancing 3D productivity
Swagelok chose SOLIDWORKS® software, a Windows®-based, computer-aided design (CAD) package selected for its modeling power as well as for its ease of use and short learning curve. “You can tell that the Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS Corp. developers work with users in mind. The interface is highly intuitive,” says William Gurley, engineering project manager at Swagelok. “Once people start using SolidWorks software, they learn it in no time.”
Gurley also notes that parametric features enable users to quickly modify designs, in contrast to laboriously re-creating 2D engineering drawings to reflect changes. Moreover, solid models can be used to produce color-shaded images that are easily interpreted by everyone involved with the product development process. At Swagelok, these renderings are useful to both engineers and managers, as well as manufacturing, sales, and marketing personnel. “From day one” says Gurley, “you get accurate photorealistic renderings, so everyone in the process can see the concepts that designers have in mind.”
Gurley notes that by using assembly modeling capabilities, Swagelok maintains accuracy and proper fit among the many individual components that compose a particular design. The ability to handle complex, curved shapes enhances product aesthetics. He adds, “SolidWorks software can generate contoured surfaces in just a few clicks, instead of 10 or 15 with other systems we saw.”
- Reduced time-to-market by 100 percent and engineered a new product line in under a year
- Lowered costs and shortened lead times, while improving service
- Enhanced enterprise-wide engineering controls through product data management
- Eliminated development cycles with integrated add-on analysis and simulation solutions
"From day one, you get accurate photorealistic renderings, so everyone in the process can see the concepts that designers have in mind."
Engineering Project Manager