- Reduced design cycle by 50 percent
- Performed in two days a calculation that previously took an outsource lab three months to complete and cost $26,000
- Decreased number of prototypes from eight to two
- Identified design flaw early n the process, saving thousands of dollars
Dräger Medical is one of the world's leading manufacturers of breathing and anesthetic equipment for operating rooms, intensive care units, and ambulances. Engineers at the company's Lubek, Germany, headquarters handle new product designs and ongoing modifications to more than 70 existing products, including ventilators, anesthetic systems, incubators for premature infants, and gas and oxygen piping systems for hospital units. The company's system of testing by building physical prototypes and sending analysis work to outside labs was slow and expensive. Dräger averaged four years to bring a new product to market. Facing intense pressure from competitors, Dräger's board of directors ordered the company to cut its design time in half.
The company decided to replace as much physical prototyping as possible by integrating SolidWorks Simulation and SolidWorks Flow Simulation software with its SolidWorks 3D CAD software. The decision was easy because the enormous time and cost savings afforded by the SolidWorks Simulation products. Their seamless integration with SolidWorks enabled engineers to carry out complex FEA calculations and flow simulations quickly, without switching systems, giving them time to explore new ideas. The associativity of SolidWorks made design changes fast and easy. There were other time and cost savings as well. Before SolidWorks Simulation, the typical design process required eight physical prototypes and outsourcing dozens of FEA calculations. Now, Dräger averages two prototypes per project. In redesigning an anesthetic unit, SolidWorks Simulation performed in two days a calculation that previously took an outsource lab three months to complete and cost $26,000. Early in the design process, SolidWorks Simulation identified a flaw engineers would not have discovered until physical prototyping, saving $1,600 on each prototype. Just as important, using all of these systems makes a vital contribution to the quality and safety of Dräger Medical equipment.