Viscon Slashes Plant Layout Design Errors and Streamlines Operations

Automation provider enhances factory layout design by reducing errors, improving performance, and allowing real-time adjustments—boosting overall efficiency—with SOLIDWORKS and 3DEXPERIENCE Works solutions.

Challenge

Quickly and cost-effectively develop, manufacture, and market unmanned drones with their own comprehensive logistics tracking technology and drone management platform to meet a variety of needs, ranging from agricultural and cinematographic applications to surveillance, police, military, and relief operations.

Solution

CAD modeling, design, data management, simulation, collaboration, and communication solutions from the 3DEXPERIENCE® Works portfolio, which operate on the cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

Results

  • Cut design cycles by 30 percent
  • Shortened time to market by 20 percent
  • Reduced development costs by 25 to 30 percent
  • Slashed manufacturing costs by 50 percent

Viscon Group specializes in automation solutions for the agriculture and food industries. The Dutch company designs and manufactures automated systems, production lines, and material handling equipment to streamline labor-intensive processes.

As Viscon expanded its customer base, the design team struggled to manage the bigger factory layout designs with its traditional 2D tools. “It becomes nearly impossible to manage everything in these massive layouts, especially using conventional tools,” explains Business Information Manager Ton Van Gilst. One of the key limitations of Viscon’s legacy system was that projects had to be separated into smaller sections to effectively manage the sheer size of the designs. “Details got lost, and the system would eventually crash [or crash at startup],” reports Van Gilst.

Flexibility that Gets the Job Done

Viscon had used SOLIDWORKS® for 3D mechanical design of conveyer systems and other equipment, along with SOLIDWORKS PDM for data management. After thoroughly researching a new software for plant layout, management decided to adopt the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform for its flexibility and its capacity to work directly with SOLIDWORKS files.

“In 2D, you only see the top view, so in scenarios where conveyors intersect at angles with products still moving over them, there's often a slight miscalculation in height,” notes Van Gilst. Viscon drastically reduced these types of errors since implementing the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

He continues, “You don’t miss out on any details. These [3D] layouts are suitable for everyone—from sales to the project office, PLCs [programmable logic controllers], electrical, all the way to the service department. Everyone is working within the same ecosystem, which is helping us progress much faster than before.”  

Related Resources

It becomes nearly impossible to manage everything in these massive layouts, especially using conventional tools. Details got lost, and the system would eventually crash [or crash at startup]

Ton Van Gilst
Business Information Manager

Exceptional Performance

Using simplified models in a separate library is a common approach to strategically managing the complexities of large-scale factory layout design in traditional systems. This approach balances the need for detailed accuracy with the practicalities of computer processing limitations and simulation speeds. However, Viscon discovered that this convoluted and time-consuming step was no longer necessary with 3DEXPERIENCE and SOLIDWORKS.

“We use the engineering models directly from SOLIDWORKS, integrating them into these plant layout designs, and it’s one-to-one,” explains Van Gilst. “There are no performance issues with these large assemblies, even if you include a point cloud or an entire BIM (building information model) with all the details. I hear from all the engineers that the performance is exceptional compared with what we've previously used.”

The transition to 3DEXPERIENCE began with a pilot phase of testing the integration on small-scale projects before expanding enterprise wide. The switch to 3D from 2D layouts enabled a comprehensive view of the plant designs that revealed potential miscalculations and allowed adjustments in real-time, which significantly reduced errors. This transition was complemented by rigorous training for engineers and project managers that ensured a smooth adaptation to the new system.

Exploring Future Opportunities

With their plant layout design under control, Viscon plans to run a pilot of 3DEXPERIENCE Factory Simulation Engineer which will allow customers to visualize their operation in real-time and actively participate in the decision-making process. Van Gilst concludes, “With simulation, customers can understand their product flow and tell you when to adjust it, find bottlenecks, and optimize product flow throughout their facilities—which provides a lot more value, a lot more control.”

Products:

  • SOLIDWORKS Professional
  • SOLIDWORKS Simulation
  • Collaborative Industry Innovator
  • Collaborative Business Innovator
  • Product Release Engineer
  • Equipment and Layout Engineer
  • Manufacturing Items Engineer
  • Factory Flow Simulation
  • Plant Layout Designer
  • 3DSwymer roles

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