CONCORD, Mass : Doors and windows are easy to take for granted, but not in Florida when a storm like Gustav is trying to blow them apart with a 150 mph gale.
Ensuring they hold up and protect the human beings behind them is why Lawson Industries of Medley, Fla., uses SolidWorks® 3D CAD software and SolidWorks Simulation software to design its Hurricane Guard® product line.
In Florida and other hurricane hot zones, doors and window are truly “engineered” products that require manufacturers to submit sealed drawings, stress calculations, and lab reports to local permitting agencies before selling a new product. For years Lawson relied on AutoCAD® software because of the need to submit drawings to the Miami-Dade product control review office.
The company recently realized, however, that SolidWorks 3D CAD software automatically generates drawings while dramatically improving design speed, automation, accuracy, and problem-solving. With the help of authorized SolidWorks reseller The SolidExperts, Lawson set up its SolidWorks software to create new door and window designs in order to expand its product line choices for the large residential developers that place the vast majority of orders.
“Once the parametric product models are set up, we simply type in two numbers, length and width, and SolidWorks does the rest of the work with its parametric evaluation of the model equations and configuration tables,” says Thomas Sotos, engineering manager for Lawson Industries. “The program develops a new set of drawings instantly, cut sheets for the factory floor, raw material quantities for cost calculations, and visuals the marketing folks love. It’s a great feeling, because we know the SolidWorks model is a mathematically accurate representation of what we are actually building on the floor.”
According to Sotos, the company can now bring a concept to prototype about five times faster than with AutoCAD. It has reduced errors by 75 percent since 3D visualization –especially using sectional views – enables engineers to see and correct errors early in the design process. SolidWorks’ 3D capabilities have cleared the way to new products, such as a three-point door lock mechanism, previously too difficult to design efficiently in AutoCAD.
SolidWorks Simulation software has reduced Lawson’s spending on expensive lab tests because it helps the company be confident every product will pass the first time through. “SolidWorks is basically a virtual prototype machine,” says Sotos. “SolidWorks stress analysis software predicts what happens in the lab, so now we do one lab test for confirmation instead of four tests for trial and error, saving in the neighborhood of $15,000 on each product. We can extensively test the product both technically and aesthetically, even before we cut any dies or order metal for prototypes.”
Lawson relies on authorized SolidWorks reseller The SolidExperts for ongoing software training, implementation, and support.
SolidWorks and SolidWorks Simulation are products of Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. (DS SolidWorks), a world leader in 3D solutions.
About Lawson Industries
Lawson Industries’ mission is to manufacture the finest quality aluminum windows and doors, with no exceptions and no excuses. It is a privately held, actively involved family-managed company that prides itself on timely delivery with its own fleet of company-owned trucks. And it specializes in direct installed sales to local builders from its warehouses in Tampa, Miami, Port St. Lucie, and Boynton Beach. For more information, visit www.lawsonwindows.com.
About The SolidExperts
The SolidExperts enable innovation and new product development for engineers and manufacturers across Florida through the power of SolidWorks products and applications. With a qualified team of experienced engineers and certified SolidWorks professionals, The SolidExperts provide comprehensive sales, support, and industry-leading training for the full line of SolidWorks 3D design products. For information, visit www.thesolidexperts.com.
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