Shanghai Edunburgh Elevator Company Ltd (Edunburgh Elevator) takes on manufacturing, sales, research and development, and installation and maintenance of elevators, escalators and car parking equipment. Recently, Edunburgh faced a variety of product development issues in areas like engineering change management, design analysis, R&D, and collaboration. In order to deliver quick and accurate quotes in a highly competitive market, Edunburgh sought after 3D computer-aided design software and simulation technology. In order to fulfill their customer requirements, these technologies would look to exponentially improve their product development processes.
Edunburgh Elevator chose product lifecycle management specialist Siemens PLM Software to address their issues. Solid Edge and FEMAP with NX Nastran were chosen by Mao Zhongwei of Edunburgh Elevator. Elevators feature sheet metal processing and partial assembly with complex product configurations, product design efficiency factors and a high degree of customization that impact R&D on new products.
Chief engineer of R&D at Edunburgh Elevator Mao Zhongwei is quoted: “For many years, our company has applied 2D CAD software for product design. Engineers normally start the product design process after receiving customer orders and confirming requirements. Our older designers are generally accustomed to using 2D CAD. While it is possible to handle a small quantity of orders using 2D software to draft product drawings, the downside of using 2D software becomes increasingly apparent as the workload grows. To make even the smallest alteration to a design, such as changing a dimension from 2 to 3 millimeters, sometimes we had to go back to the very beginning for redrafting. Plus, when designing a new part, the impact of a change on a design could not be readily understood. Designers would have to build a physical prototype first and then change the design based on the prototype. Then they would make another physical prototype for verification. This repetitious process led to a long design cycle.”
Zhongwei went on to say that “Without a uniform 3D design platform, it was common for engineers to have difficulty communicating with each other, especially because they used diverse design platforms. As a result, our prior process sometimes seriously delayed order delivery. The unique capabilities of synchronous modeling helped us cut two months off the new product R&D cycle, from 1 year to about 10 months, this significant improvement in product development efficiency has given our engineers greater freedom to explore innovative design ideas and improve product quality, and we are seeing the results. The use of Femap with NX Nastran clearly improves design verification. Compared with our prior approach, when design verification was conducted using physical prototypes, we can now evaluate a virtual assembly and immediately conduct program evaluation and design optimization. This has reduced costs and material waste by 18 percent.”
Information director at Edunburgh Elevator, Wang Ke states: “The R&D challenges we faced continued to grow, making it apparent to management that 2D CAD software could no longer meet our design requirements, nor could 2D serve to effectively facilitate engineering innovation. We urgently needed to upgrade to a common 3D design platform to bring about a meaningful and compelling product development process transformation. Considering our needs and Siemens PLM Software’s reputation for outstanding design, engineering and manufacturing software, we chose Solid Edge with its powerful synchronous technology capabilities and Femap with NX Nastran for early and effective simulation and analysis.”
Ke also mentioned “Solid Edge is easy to operate and provides exceptional design functionality, especially synchronous technology, which makes it easy to edit design models created using other 3D software systems. Such re-use of previous design models, after simply changing certain parametric information, greatly simplifies our design work and notably boosts productivity. The use of Solid Edge has helped optimize our product design and manufacturing business processes,” says Ke. “Our employees are delivering faster, better results, enabled by smarter decision-making. We have a very positive atmosphere inside the company regarding our technological solutions and business strengths. We are now working with Shark Networking on delivering a quick configuration capability for complex products. We plan to further improve our customer responsiveness, and with this enhancement, we envision a new round of rapid growth.”