Bosch Rexroth Canada Corp. said today that it saved money, improved drawing accuracy and boosted its designers’ drawing output by switching to 3D digital prototyping on a canal modernization project in the St. Lawrence Seaway.
James Lambert, a Bosch Rexroth design manager, made the statements at a session titled “Design Technology – Virtual Prototyping, 3D Design in Manufacturing” at National Manufacturing Week in Chicago, IL.
Using digital prototyping instead of conventional 2D CAD modeling, engineers said that drawing accuracy improved by 18 percent and drawing output per designer increased 34-45 percent. Bosch engineers employed the software in the design of taintor valves, mitre gate cylinders and other components. The huge project — undertaken to modernize the locks in the Seaway’s Welland Canal — has already consumed five years.
At the session, Lambert added that engineering managers who take on 3D digital prototyping need to be patient about realizing benefits. “One misconception is that you’ll get immediate return on investment,” Lambert told the audience of design engineers. “But you’ve usually got engineers with 10 years experience in 2D CAD modeling. It takes about two months for them to be proficient. And it takes them about six months to be 100-percent proficient.”