Create complex design impossible with previous 2D system
World-class mechanical sealing specialist chooses Solid Edge for 3D modeling
AESSEAL (Solid Edge and NX)
Solid Edge has empowered AESSEAL’s design team to work more effectively, enabling the company to develop and introduce the complex products that are now demanded by the highly competitive mechanical sealing industry
The AESSEAL group of companies are world-class specialists in the mechanical sealing industry that design, manufacture and distribute precision engineered mechanical seals and sealing systems. It is an incredibly competitive industry and AESSEAL has become the only major international new entrant in the last twenty years.
The company has sold several million seals since 1979 and has increased sales by more than 20 percent year over year, to reach an expected turnover for 2004 of £46m. Today, they export 75 percent of its output to 64 countries worldwide.
The keys to AESSEAL’s success are continued product innovation and development and a strong belief in customer service. Over the years the company has started to develop increasingly complex products. It was becoming more time consuming and laborious to create the sophisticated designs that were needed and the designers found it difficult to visualize complex products using the 2D computer aided design (CAD) software the company had relied upon for many years.
A need for 3D modeling software
In 1999, AESSEAL had ambitious plans to broaden the product range and to introduce even more speciality components. Recognizing the extra burden this would place on the design team and the 2D CAD software it was using, the company tasked senior designer, Chris Newton, with the objective of finding more effective 3D CAD modeling software that would enable the designers to do their job more effectively. If they continued to use their old 2D CAD software, the designers would find it almost impossible to visualize and create many of the new components that were planned for the future.
There were growing inefficiencies and wasted time because the designers were restricted by what they could do with the software. “It could take two to three days to create and lay out the design of intricate components such as helical scrolls – a part which is incorporated into pumping devices,” Newton explains.
On top of this, it could take another full day to transfer information from the 2D CAD package to the machine tools that are used to manufacture the components. This cumbersome process required engineers to perform trigonometric calculations and re-program the machine tools manually. All the while, the machine tools were sitting idle and it was estimated that they were running at 20 percent efficiency.
By upgrading to 3D CAD modeling software, the company was hoping to eliminate bottlenecks and to reduce the time it took to bring products from conception to production.
The company felt the solution that most suited its needs was Solid Edge® from Siemens, a powerful 3D CAD software that embeds design data management capabilities. This, complemented by Solid Edge’s superior core modeling and process workflows, greatly eases the design of the increasingly complex products required to meet today’s changing market demands.
In addition to Solid Edge, AESSEAL realized that it could benefit from the total integration of NX™ CAM, the machining module from Siemens’ NX digital manufacturing portfolio. NX CAM enables the 3D designs that have been created on Solid Edge to be programmed to create CNC part program files that can be loaded directly onto the multiple machine tools on the shop floor at any one of AESSEAL’s production facilities worldwide.
One of AESSEAL’s priorities was to choose a design product from a major player that was sure to be around and providing ongoing support for years to come. The company built a short list based on the large well established suppliers of 3D modeling software which included Solid Edge, Solid Works, Pro Engineer and Mechanical Desktop from Autodesk.