Leveraging 3D CAD tools to establish a seamless product data-sharing environment

Product: Solid Edge
Industry: Industrial Machinery and Heavy Equipment

Using Solid Edge XaaS, we can efficiently check and modify product designs before we enter the manufacturing stage, which significantly reduces overall process time.

Lee Chang-woo, CEO
Robogates

Developing robotics and AI technology solutions

Robogates develops and supplies robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) technology solutions to customers in industries such as smart factories, smart farming and warehouse automation. Robogates has an AI Robot Technology Research Center to help designers study and develop robot and AI-related research. Robogates is expanding its operations not only in South Korea but also in foreign markets like Japan, China, Vietnam, Myanmar and India.

Combating increasing production costs

Since Robogates is a small and medium-sized business (SMB), it must develop and sell various robot products such as AI robots and collaborative robots in small quantities, often with short delivery times. Since one designer is in charge of a product project from concept to production design, the designer’s workload has become a big problem. The company was using a 2D computer-aided design (CAD) tool and the designer could not keep up with the work-flow demands. Robogates was looking for a solution to this problem and started using Solid Edge® XaaS software to streamline the product development process. Solid Edge XaaS is part of the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio, the comprehensive and integrated portfolio of software, hardware and services.

Since it was impossible to develop the product in three dimensions with the previous design tools they used, the company could not determine whether interference or parts could be assembled during actual production. Due to this, frequent design changes occurred, resulting in delayed product shipment and deteriorating quality. Robogates repeated these design changes until it could ship the goods as perfect products, resulting in major unexpected losses, such as increased costs and workload due to repetitive manufacturing.

Since product design errors were only discovered at the production stage, product shipments were often delayed. In the previous environment, there was no choice but to evaluate the quality based on the experience of skilled workers and the product results that were completed.

Since there was no link between assembly drawings, part drawings and various lists, workers had to manually update them all or ignore them altogether. Even if designers had the latest version of the blueprint, this resulted in low accuracy. Designers had to spend a lot of time and effort on design work, such as front view, plan view, side view, hidden lines, construction lines and dimensioning. This prevented designers from investing time in improving product quality and over-coming these problems. Robogates began to reassess this process with Jikyung Solutec, a Siemens Expert Partner.null

Focusing on efficiency and productivity

Because a single designer is responsible for a product project from conceptual design to production design, the designer’s workload has always been a major issue. Robogates needed a 3D CAD solution that could be used to organically manage small quantities and varieties of product data during the entire process.

With Jikyung Solutec, Robogates first examined whether it could use Solid Edge XaaS to organically link 2D and 3D product data at each stage of development.

The Robogates team focused on how using Solid Edge XaaS could help them with design verification, design change, design time, efficiency and design data scalability. The designers anticipated that using Solid Edge XaaS would help them efficiently create 3D shapes, drawings, product properties, specifications and bill-of-materials (BOMs). They also hoped that they could use Solid Edge XaaS to remove design changes due to design errors and reduce unnecessary drawing work. They also expected to reduce the amount of ancillary work that could decrease product shipment time and significantly reduce related costs.

Robogates confirmed that using Solid Edge XaaS helped the team re-use existing 2D-based product data and modify products quickly with more freedom. Designers were also able to use innovative product design ideas by using synchronous technology. “Using Solid Edge XaaS, we can efficiently check and modify product designs before we enter the manufacturing stage, which significantly reduces overall process time,” says Lee Chang-woo, chief executive officer (CEO) for Robogates.

However, it was still difficult to introduce new solutions and change the existing process that employees were familiar with. To introduce this new software solution, each department went through lengthy discussions and implemented Solid Edge XaaS training for designers. The team also relied on success stories of similar companies and they highlighted many advantages of using Solid Edge XaaS. Using Solid Edge XaaS allowed designers to modify work faster and more easily, which ultimately sped up the design process tremendously.null

Benefits at every stage of production

As a result, Robogates used Solid Edge XaaS to develop collaborative robots for smart factory implementation and robot products for customers in warehouse automation. The company has improved productivity by using multiple BOMs, including robot product simulation and 3D shape information. This helped the designers share product data using the new data flow system, that delivered accurate product information to product processing and and manufacturing processes and also improved the re-use rate of product data.

Using Solid Edge XaaS product data management helped make collaboration between departments more seamless. Now, when there is a request related to product analysis, designers use the Solid Edge XaaS simulation to obtain the product analysis result.

By using Solid Edge XaaS, the designers performed assembly and interference checks between parts and the simulated product operation prior to actual production, which eliminated many problems. Even when Robogates deployed multiple robots in a customer’s smart factory, they were able to easily check interference during operation in advance.

Previously, the team had to produce prototypes for each product to identify problems or performance in actual operation, which was time-consuming and costly. Using Solid Edge XaaS to perform interference checks between parts and product operation simulation led to a reduction in product design errors, which enabled more complex mechanism design as well as reduced overall product production costs by 15 percent compared to the previous environment.

By using Solid Edge XaaS and the BOM input and output function, they produced accurate workorders, which was useful in the production and parts purchasing process.

Additionally, Robogates used Solid Edge XaaS to create complete 3D models for each robot product. Now the team can easily produce a driving simulation and actual images of robot products and create customer presentations and product promotional materials to use for the sellers, which also helped increase sales.

“In the robot product development stage, it is now possible to use Solid Edge XaaS to easily and quickly identify interference problems during complex operations that were difficult to grasp at a glance in the past,” says Chang-woo. “We can use Solid Edge XaaS to correct problems immediately during the product design stage.”null

In the robot product development stage, it is now possible to use Solid Edge XaaS to easily and quickly identify interference problems during complex operations that were difficult to grasp at a glance in the past. We can use Solid Edge XaaS to correct problems immediately during the product design stage.

Lee Chang-woo, CEO
Robogates

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