If you’ve been in business for over a century like Superior Graphite, you might have seen a few CAD programs come and go. As a chemicals manufacturing company, Superior Graphite thermally purifies graphite and calcined petroleum coke for use in multiple applications, from smartphone and electric car batteries to lubricant and loss of circulation material. Superior Graphite has expanded throughout the years with multiple versions of CAD software, with a clear need for better organization of their files as they continue to grow and innovate.
It wasn’t until Superior Graphite reached out to Computer Aided Technology that they consolidated their team under one common CAD program. Before, Superior Graphite was using multiple CAD programs without sharing a common storage location. Some files were even stored on paper. “It was a big problem,” says Director of Corporate Engineering, SH&E, and Quality, Justin Dyer. “Not only did we work with CATI on SOLIDWORKS, but we used EPDM [SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM] as well. So, now we have a proper storage area for our drawings, we have a common platform, and that in and of itself has been an eye-opening and time-saving endeavor.” According to Justin, Computer Aided Technology was chosen as a solutions partner not just to finally get the files in one format and one place, but because he knew with PDM and CATI’s help, SOLIDWORKS would assist them in converting the legacy files. “Because we had so many disparate file types and so many different CAD systems,” Justin says, “I chose CATI so that we could actually import them and save as much of that effort that we had expended before, so that we didn’t have to redraw everything. You took Babel and you made it all one language!”
Using PDM has been incredibly beneficial for Superior Graphite, and they’re thankful to have support on Computer Aided Technology’s end, especially from one of our PLM Support Engineers. “Hannah Harmon is golden,” Senior CAD Designer Jim Pazen says. “I haven’t been able to come up with a question that she hasn’t been able to answer quickly and correctly.” Hannah has been there to answer any questions along the way. As Jim puts it, “you talk to Hannah, and bang, you’re back in business!”
Solving their storage and cross-sharing problem wasn’t the only solution CATI provided. Jim also found that SOLIDWORKS could help them take matters into their own hands in terms of keeping intellectual property in-house. Jim says, “I had a project that I’m working on that we’re reducing some parts in size. I drew all the files for an assembly at the size it’s currently being used. I used SOLIDWORKS‘ equations and other connectivity within assembly tools, and we got a quote for nearly six thousand dollars to have an outside vendor draw it up. I said, ‘Wait a minute,’ and within an hour and a half, I had the assembly completely redrawn.” Not only did Jim save six thousand dollars, but kept the assemblies for their intellectual property in-house. That’s the power of SOLIDWORKS.
Of course, coming onto the team with SOLIDWORKS experience gave Jim an advantage; regardless, he’s gotten great use out of our CATalyst training program: “I’m already getting good value out of the PDM Admin class, and everything I’ve taken, I’ve gained something.” Justin agrees to the benefits of the training CATI offers, and as a veteran of the U.S. military, Justin and other members of the Superior Graphite team are planning to take advantage of our free training extended to veterans.
All in all, Superior Graphite has seen a tremendous improvement since switching to SOLIDWORKS, not only in their CAD performance, but in eliminating silos of information for their team. Looking forward with CATI, Superior Graphite sees the benefits of using SOLIDWORKS Electrical for P&ID (Piping and Instrumentation Diagram), and they look forward to completing training to take full advantage of their SOLIDWORKS suite. “Thanks to CATI being our provider,” Justin says, “they’ve provided a holistic solution for our needs and a pretty clear path forward with a common CAD.” We look forward to continuing to work with Superior Graphite to grow and excel in their industry.
To learn more about Superior Graphite, visit www.superiorgraphite.com.