Upgrading from basic 2D design to a whole suit of 3D design and precision manufacturing software has helped the firm to continue producing durable coffee machines

Originally, the firm had designed products in 2D computer aided design (CAD) software, and when it was acquired by the current owners, the data was useful when the decision was made to switch to 3D software. The decision was driven by more than just the need for precision and efficiency in 3D, other factors were considered:

  • 3D modeling would speed up the design process and reduce the number of physical prototypes — reducing development efforts by 50%
  • The upgrade would free up resources for new innovation projects because the engineering team can easily model and quickly 3D-print a prototype to get a better feel of the components in various materials.
  • Additionally, the software chosen had to be optimized for sheet metal design and manufacturing capabilities — something critical to the firm’s development philosophy of building durable products.
  • The engineering team can use software-empowered 3D visualization capabilities for better internal communications, considering that they often need to service vintage coffee making machines that are 50 years old. The 3D models of these machines afford more useful exploded views than 2D software models, thereby facilitating better product repair and maintenance.
  • Other software modules can be implemented to improve product lifecycle management, which enables secure control of the revision of engineering data, along with enabling efficient and managed design review.
  • On the shop floor, high performance parts manufacturing would benefit from the use of special software for CAD model preparation and CAM programming, to CNC machining and 3D printing.

The firm had settled on a solution and never looked back: according to Schätti: “Siemens’ Solid Edge allows us to create highly accurate 3D models which streamline our production process from design to manufacturing, saving time and resources. We remodeled all the parts of old machine designs, and made new models as well as spare parts. We started afresh and built a complete data engineering set. And since then, we have made various design iterations and improvements to the machines.”