One of the largest and most costly issues in the realm of electrical manufacturing is the lack of communication between the product design and the production phases.
According to The National Academic Press, “Design engineers concentrate on developing product functions and features with little or no consideration for how the product is to be made.”
Adam Simons, Solutions Specialist at CADimensions, draws from an automotive industry example to further illustrate this problem.
“Take an automotive application, where you have a lot of electrical components within the automobile, like lights, speakers, and controls that need to fit. Those parts need to tie back to the battery, but the driver doesn’t want to see any of the wires,” Simons said.
“So you have these situations where you have designed purely from the mechanical standpoint, but may have missed the fact that electrical engineers need space for their parts to fit and work appropriately.”
Although it is not a technical skill, the absence of communication can have numerous negative effects on a business, such as lower efficiency, higher production cost, and a longer time to market rate. In order to negate these complications, SOLIDWORKS Electrical software fosters two-way collaboration between electrical and mechanical designers; a feature that is unique in comparison to other CAD platforms.
Through SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic and 3D, the two groups are able to make design changes and simultaneously make the other party aware of those alterations, resulting in an increase of communication within a more cohesive system. The improvement of communication in manufacturing companies often results in a 10 percent increase or more in their bottom line, according to an article in Diversity Journal.
In addition to coordinating electrical and mechanical functions, SOLIDWORKS Electrical gives users that operate within dozens of schematics and hundreds of electrical components the ability to accurately generate documentation needed in manufacturing including drawings, Bills of Materials, “From-To” lists, and wire cut lists.
The layout and design change capabilities of SOLIDWORKS Electrical has improved the ease and efficiency of many employees within numerous companies, such as Dave Martini, a design engineer at Air Innovations.
“It has already proved very useful. I created a 2D layout of the PLCs, since they are on a separate side panel. We found out that they would not fit as originally planned and I was able to adjust the sheet metal before it was manufactured,” Martini said.
With SOLIDWORKS Electrical, industry recognized problems transform into solutions that help achieve a shorter time to market, decrease in product development costs, and consistent manufacturing and assembly.