Eliminate physical prototypes and cuts time-to-market

Venture Products | USA

Eliminate physical prototypes and cuts time-to-market

Venture Products

Case Study

Tractor manufacturer eliminates physical prototypes and cuts time-to-market

Venture Products

Use of synchronous technology accelerates 2D to 3D migration

2D to 3D to better 3D

Venture Products Inc. (Venture) must protect a long-standing investment to ensure the quality and the reputation of its Ventrac line of compact tractors and commercial grade attachments. If designed parts don’t fit together in manufacturing, these high-level goals come under extra pressure.

Ventrac targets a wide variety of applications and markets, including golf course turf management, municipalities, schools, universities, snow and landscape contractors, hobby farmers, homeowners and estate owners. The competition comes from other tractor suppliers and multiple companies that focus and specialize within one or more of these applications.

“It’s key to us to be able to design and build a quality product – something that will last for a lifetime,” says Dan Swartz, product support manager at Venture. “Some CAD (computer-aided design) software we’ve used in the past has kind of hindered some of that. We invest a lot of time and money to make sure that quality’s good. That’s our biggest challenge from a marketing aspect – just making sure we’re building a great product for the end user.”

Venture used 2D AutoCAD® software from Autodesk for many years. With a power user in the 2D application, the company built a strong line of tractors and specialty attachments. But one issue continued to impact manufacturing time: parts didn’t fit the equipment correctly or moving parts interfered with each other.

2D to 3D

Like so many manufacturing companies around the world, Venture decided to move from 2D to 3D design. One of the company’s go-to new product development experts continues to work in 2D; however, he is near retirement. “As a company, we do not want to handicap his creativity,” says Swartz, adding, “But the negative issues with 2D design still needed to be addressed. That included parts not fitting. It was very difficult to see in the 2D view how parts fit together.”

Other issues included having to create a large number of physical prototypes to get the design right and time-consuming design changes often stretching out for a year after production started.

Venture moved to 3D Solid Edge® software from Siemens Digital Industries Software in 2007, selecting it over SolidWorks® software. The primary reason for selecting Solid Edge was its sheet metal design advantages.

Venture could then take its large number of 2D designs and convert them to 3D using Solid Edge. This eliminated the delayed time-to-market caused by all the prototypes that had to be built to find the part interferences and fit issues during manufacturing.

The move to the 3D capabilities of Solid Edge also allowed Venture to produce high-quality manuals with easy-to-create isometric views to show how to adjust or assemble each product, instead of having to wait to take pictures of the manufactured unit.