Custom 3-D automation enables manufacturer to boost production levels as homeland security issues mount
Baltimore, MD — March 8, 2004 — Bauer Compressors, which began manufacturing high-pressure and purification systems over 50 years ago in Munich, Germany, announced today that it has partnered with Avatech to standardize its custom engineering applications on an Autodesk Inventor 3D platform.
With the Avatech solution for manufacturers, Bauer said it was able to convert to a more modern manufacturing system and design products in some cases in just an hour, compared to days with older methods.
Bauer said it is duplicating this success by aggressively redesigning approximately 60 to 70 percent of its core product lines using Inventor. The company said this fast-track method is especially important with the increase in Bauer's business due to fire departments and military increasing readiness/capabilities in response to Homeland Security.
John Dwyer, chief engineer at Bauer Compressors, said, "With one project, we were able to reduce the part count by 68 percent while dramatically increasing the profitability and throughput. With a production volume of approximately 350 units per year, the savings were significant. By being able to create design after design at high speed with lower costs, the company has been able to react quickly to changing market demands, resulting in 25 percent growth this year, when many of our competitors were downsizing or losing market share."
Bauer's engineering needs are based on modular assembly techniques to build very dense componentry for its compressor systems. Using Inventor as its design tool, Bauer said it is able to design in solids based on sheet metal or plate designs, export them to laser technology for cutting and then weld parts with the use of robotics.
Avatech assisted Bauer with the process of establishing libraries of frequently used components such as filter housings or electric motors, allowing Engineers and Designers quick and easy access to components, while designing and creating assembly models. This method has enabled Bauer to develop modules and shared components and reducing part count and scrap.
Bauer is currently implementing Inventor Professional to draw stainless steel tubing, which allows the automation of those manufacturing processes as well. Dwyer commented, "Inventor is much more than a drawing tool, it's a conduit directly to the sophisticated manufacturing technologies available to us today."