Improve Product Development for High-Powered Radio Frequency Products
Nautel creates advancing radio broadcast transmitters with integrated SOLIDWORKS solutions
Advance the development of radio broadcast transmitters, navigational radio beacons, eLoran transmitters, weather transmitters, and sonar systems by improving design performance, reducing product weight and volume, and shortening development cycles to accelerate time to market
Implement integrated SOLIDWORKS® mechanical design, electronic (PCB) design, simulation, product data management (PDM), visualization, and technical communication software solutions
- Shortened development cycles from 18 months to one year
- Cut transmitter weight in half via simulation
- Dramatically expanded product line
- Designed largest circuit board in company history with SOLIDWORKS PCB
Nautel Ltd. is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of AM and FM radio broadcast transmitters. With facilities in Canada and the US, Nautel is a worldwide leader in designing, manufacturing, and supporting high-power, solid-state radio frequency (RF) products.
Before deciding to standardize on one 3D CAD system, Nautel evaluated the Autodesk Inventor®, Solid Edge®, and SOLIDWORKS® 3D design systems. Nautel chose SOLIDWORKS because it is easy to use, provides access to a host of valuable integrated solutions, and is backed by the quality support provided by SOLIDWORKS value-added resellers.
Benefits Across the Board
Using integrated SOLIDWORKS mechanical design, PCB design, and simulation tools, Nautel reduced its development cycles by 33 percent, cut transmitter weight in half, and designed the largest circuit board in company history—a 12 x 8-inch board containing eight layers and more than 2,000 components.
When we first implemented SOLIDWORKS, we immediately realized productivity gains in sheet-metal design because you can pretty much generate a flat pattern at the push of a button.
With the dynamic analysis capabilities of SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium and the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) capabilities of SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation, Nautel can more quickly and cost-effectively prototype designs, reducing the volume of physical prototyping required while simultaneously improving design performance.
SOLIDWORKS Simulation products played a key role when Nautel developed sonar systems for the Canadian Navy as the company needed to run shock and vibration analyses to ensure that the vibration of a ship’s engine and the ocean current would not interfere with system performance.
Nautel also uses SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation to validate and optimize electronics cooling systems as the company responds to market demands for smaller, lighter products.
“The lighter a product and the less space it takes, the better,” Panczyk observes. “However, when tasked with putting the same power levels into smaller packaging – such as cutting the weight of our 70-pound VS 2½ kW FM transmitter in half – it becomes more critical to optimize the electronics cooling system by simulating the effects of fins, fans, and heat sinks, for which we use SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation software.”
Single Design Environment
For its largest installation ever – a 2 mW AM mediumwave transmitter for Antenna Hungaria’s facility near Solt, Hungary – Nautel used SOLIDWORKS PCB Powered by Altium electronics design software. “With SOLIDWORKS PCB software, our mechanical and electrical engineers can collaborate much better in a single, familiar design environment.”
"SOLIDWORKS PCB software allows our engineers to work on a single board design that is more realistic and representative of the actual PCB,” Panczyk continues. “The software helps our designers improve the quality of the PCB design and also saves time during development.”