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
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.
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 www.mktechcorp.com.
About SolidWorks Corporation
SolidWorks Corporation, a Dassault Systemes S.A. (Nasdaq:
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
(www.solidworks.com) or call 1-800-693-9000 (outside of North America,
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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