Bouldin & Lawson Cultivates a Green Approach with SolidWorks

CONCORD, Mass.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—November 5, 2007— Horticulture equipment maker Bouldin & Lawson is at the forefront of the "green" movement using SolidWorks(R) 3D CAD software to design a series of machines that will convert household waste into biofuels and electricity.

Designing the machines for the company's WastAway sister division, Bouldin and Lawson engineers have developed a system that is already converting waste for all of Warren County, Tennessee (population 38,276, according to 2000 Census figures). The process yields a wood pulp-like substance called Fluff(R) used for everything from construction material to park benches to potting material for plants.

Based in McMinnville, Tenn., Bouldin & Lawson began in 1959 as a way to automate horticulture processes so nurseries can get more plants on the shelf faster. Now the company has more than 80 different machines that automatically trim geraniums, pot and plant zucchini seeds in large plastic flats, water cactus plants, transplant tomatoes, wrap roses, and even clean soybean seeds. The company has standardized on SolidWorks software for all new product design.

"Our designs have evolved from soap stone sketches on a concrete garage floor to 2D AutoCAD(R) sketches and now 3D models," said Larry Flatt, executive vice president at Bouldin & Lawson. "That evolution has opened new doors to design creativity, streamlining routine CAD functions so we can focus on discovering new approaches to machine design. This is at the heart of the designs for the latest generation of the WastAway process, which converts waste products to usable energy."

On its first project using SolidWorks, Bouldin & Lawson cut design time in half, from 12 weeks to six, ensuring the company could introduce a new watering system and a new trimming machine in time for the industry's largest trade show. This reduction in design time has also given engineers more time to explore more design options for both its horticulture machines and the WastAway process.

While the horticulture machines can be as long as 25 feet, the WastAway process is massive, involving a series of machines requiring a building 265 feet long and 100 feet wide. It has multiple shredders that break down incoming waste and also includes Bouldin & Lawson's patented steam chamber, which is the only component of its nature to continuously sterilize the processed waste. The steam chamber makes the transformation much faster, more economical, and more environmentally friendly than other waste conversion technologies.

Design confidence

SolidWorks enables engineers to reduce prototyping costs by enabling them to ensure moving parts such as two 20-inch blades running at 1,000 RPMs don't collide. They can also make sure motors fit correctly within machines and still have the space to run efficiently and cool properly. "SolidWorks gives our designers a sense of satisfaction when they can build a model and know that it works and is production-ready," said Flatt. "It gives them the courage to try things they wouldn't have dared in 2D."

Engineers depend on SolidWorks' sheet metal capabilities to design each enclosure, mount, and assembly to exact specifications. This precision is especially important for the WastAway system, which must efficiently process thousands of pounds of waste per day. The next generation of WastAway - slated to be in production in a year - will convert fluff into biofuel and/or electricity.

"The green movement is fast becoming a mandate that requires solutions sooner rather than later, and Bouldin & Lawson is taking the lead in engineering waste-to-fuel technologies that are efficient and have less impact on the environment," said Rainer Gawlick, SolidWorks vice president of worldwide marketing. "Innovating early in the design process is a huge advantage, and one that Bouldin & Lawson is capitalizing on - perhaps to set a standard for how we'll manage waste in the future."

Bouldin & Lawson works with authorized SolidWorks' reseller MK Technologies Corporation for ongoing software training, implementation, and support.

About Bouldin & Lawson

Founded in McMinnville, Tenn. in 1959, Bouldin & Lawson is one of the largest manufacturers of greenhouse and nursery equipment in the country. The company's mission is to continue automating the agricultural industry so growers around the world can work more efficiently. For more information, visit the Web site at

About MK Technologies

MK Technologies is an authorized SolidWorks reseller with sales, training, and technical support facilities located in Tennessee. MK Technologies offers SolidWorks, COSMOS(R), PDMWorks(R), and a wide offering of integrated complementary software products. MK Technologies was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn. For more information on the company, visit

About SolidWorks Corporation

SolidWorks Corporation, a Dassault Systemes S.A. (Nasdaq: DASTY, Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA) company, develops and markets software for design, analysis, and product data management. It is the leading supplier of 3D CAD technology, giving teams intuitive, high-performing software that helps them design better products. For the latest news, information, or an online demonstration, visit the company's Web site ( or call 1-800-693-9000 (outside of North America, call +1-978-371-5000).

SolidWorks, COSMOS, and PDMWorks are registered trademarks of SolidWorks Corporation. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective owners. Copyright (c) 2007 SolidWorks Corporation.

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