In 1983, Applied Robotics incorporated in Troy, NY, with a focus on the integration and design of robotic automation equipment. The company’s first product, a specialty gripper, is designed using a T-square on a dining room table. Approximately 34 years later, Applied Robotics is a leading global provider of specialized end-of-arm tooling and connectivity solutions for the automation and robotics industries.
Until 2008, Applied Robotics used Solid Edge Mechanical Design and E3 Electrical Design packages to develop, manufacture, and assemble the mechanical and electrical design aspects of its robotic automation solutions. According to Stefan Casey, VP of Engineering, difficulties related to using the electrical schematic application and recruiting engineers who were trained in the mechanical package prompted the company to re-evaluate its 3D design solution.
“We couldn’t get local support for the electrical schematics software and few of the companies and designers in our area were familiar with or trained in Solid Edge,” Casey recalls. “When we looked around at similar companies in our area and recruited designers and engineers, we kept encountering SOLIDWORKS® software. So, we decided to purchase a copy and try it out. That experience resulted in our full transition to SOLIDWORKS in 2013.”
“In terms of collaboration, the electrical design schematics need to be completed first so our mechanical designers know what needs to be connected and what the space parameters are, such as does the current limiter need to fit in a space that’s the size of a shoebox or a quarter,” Marcella adds. “Electrical schematics development goes much faster with SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic software because it’s more simplified, allowing us to collaborate more effectively.”
With the combination of SOLIDWORKS Premium mechanical design and SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic design software, Applied Robotics has realized better collaboration and documentation, resulting in productivity improvements during both design and assembly. “We’re collaborating more effectively since we switched to SOLIDWORKS because the combined solution simplifies things,” Marcella says.
Applied Robotics invests in SOLIDWORKS Subscription Services because the company places a high value on fast, accessible local support through CADimensions, its SOLIDWORKS reseller. “Buying maintenance on our SOLIDWORKS licenses is nice because it keeps us current with the latest features and capabilities,” Marcella says.
“However, the greater benefit is being able to call someone who knows the software and can provide a quick solution on the problem that you’re facing,” Marcella continues. “Fast, local support, which we didn’t have with our previous solution, helps us resolve any issues that we may encounter, so we can keep working and contribute to our improvements in productivity.”
Applied Robotics’ continued use of SOLIDWORKS has enhanced their quality and efficiency of electrical schematics, improved collaboration between electrical and mechanical engineers, and increased their efficiency in system manufacturing. The ability to add trained engineers to support growth, while receiving local support for their engineering teams has enabled them to remain a leader in the automation and robotics industries.