3D CAD SOLIDWORKS Case Study Industrial Ventilation

The Challenge
Dealing with Indoor Air Quality, satisfying environmental regulatory agencies (OSHA, DNR, or EPA), or general ventilation issues is what Industrial Ventilation Inc. (IVI) does. This one-stop sheet metal shop for all ventilation and fabrication needs provides their customers with turnkey industrial ventilation systems from their new state-of-the-art facilities located in Greenville, WI.

Looking to enhance their products by way of flow analysis, Industrial Ventilation, Inc. investigated their options and all signs pointed to SOLIDWORKS 3D Modeling Software and SOLIDWORKS Gold Solution Partner SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation. They also discussed the situation with an equipment supplier already using SOLIDWORKS and determined how they could speed their coordination if they were using the same CAD system. Meanwhile, IVI employees were also investigating SOLIDWORKS as a means to create solid models as opposed to using their current 2d system, AutoCAD.

Initial meetings with SOLIDWORKS provider Computer Aided Technology, Inc. (CATI) began with discussions for flow analysis needs. After learning about IVI business and processes, the need for solid modeling for marketing and sales purposes came through. With the ability to show customers a 3D model as opposed to a 2D concept, IVI would not only communicate better with their customers, but also use the power of a 3D design tool to garner more business.

The Solution
After the purchase of SOLIDWORKS Office, SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation and training with CATI, it took approximately 3-4 months for the IVI staff to begin all new projects in SOLIDWORKS. Ease of use of the software and the appropriate training insured that IVI employees were up and running quickly. IVI designated one employee to participate in a yearly comprehensive training program from CATI, called CATalyst. Within 4 months, the designer had completed 6 CATI Training Courses and he began the first new project in SOLIDWORKS with confidence. From the top management to the end user at IVI, the support to make this change from 2D to 3D was there in anticipation of providing better quality products, faster for their customers.

Automating the engineering and enhancing the marketing and sales tools was not where it would stop for IVI. By providing the fabrication department with 3D models, the repetitive work of redrawing for their NC system was eliminated. Communication with customers using eDrawings Professional allowed IVI to send information easily and communicate designs clearly, with settings allowing recipients to measure and mark-up as IVI saw fit.

Other successes were achieved with SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation. The tool was adopted by IVI due primarily to the fact that unlike other fluid flow simulation products on the market. SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation was designed and developed for design engineers. After one training session, IVI engineers were able to cut down their analysis time by one week. Keith Bretl, HVACR Engineer, said, β€œIt (SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation) has saved us days and days of manual calculations. And it not only saved us time, but also increased our accuracy.”

Coordinating state-of-the-art facilities with state-of-the-art technology aligns the business model of one-stop shop convenience for customers at IVI. Customers who previously wanted to divide the project between a contract engineering house for design and a sheet metal contractor for installation can rely on IVI for the expertise in design using high-tech design tools in addition to their well known sheet metal fabrication proficiency.

IVI purchased SOLIDWORKS Software, SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Software, Subscription Service and Training from CATI