Macro Plastics Inc. SOLIDWORKS Case Study
Macro Plastics Inc. Cuts Cost in half with SOLIDWORKS Simulation.
Macro Plastics, Inc., is the leading manufacturer of large agricultural bins in North America. As the cost of plastic resins continues to rise, optimizing designs for material usage while maintaining performance has become an important goal. The company needed finite element analysis (FEA) capabilities to achieve that objective. “It’s natural for someone to think that we’re designing a primitive product—a plastic box, if you will,” notes Senior Product Development Engineer Todd Turner. “However, when you consider the lengths to which we go to reduce material while maintaining strength and how elaborate our ribbing patterns need to be, our product development effort is really quite sophisticated.”
Macro Plastics benefits from using SolidWorks® Standard, SOLIDWORKS Professional, and SOLIDWORKS Premium design software in the development of its products. Turner says that design tools such as the rib command and draft and wall thickness analysis are very helpful, but SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium analysis software plays the most dramatic role in helping the company produce agricultural bins using the minimal amount of material necessary to do the job.
“We wouldn’t be able to do the type of product development we do without finite element analysis (FEA),” Turner contends. “I have used SOLIDWORKS design software since its very first release, so the selection of an FEA package was easy. SOLIDWORKS is easy to use. SOLIDWORKS Simulation is fully integrated. It was a natural fit.”
- Cut development time from months to weeks.
- Tripled new product offering.
- Saved 30 to 60 percent in capital costs for new products
- Reduced product weight by 10 to 25 percent overall.
“Simulation helps me improve what I refer to as the right-the-first-time factor,” Turner adds. “In the past, most engineers allowed time at the end of a design project to work out all of the unforeseen problems. With SOLIDWORKS Simulation, I can identify and resolve potential issues during design, so that when we mold those initial pieces, they are right the first time. It’s an incredible tool that has let us save 30 to 60 percent in capital costs in the development of new products.”
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