Company Saves On Raw Materials With COSMOS Analysis Software
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Company Saves On Raw Materials With COSMOS Analysis Software

CONCORD, Mass.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—November 13, 2006— The humble manhole cover is easy to overlook - unless you work for LeBARON Foundry of Brockton, Mass., the dominant supplier of cast iron products to New England's construction market. The 150-year-old company pours 100 tons of molten iron a day to supply the region with nearly all of its manhole and sewer drain covers. Although its products are low-tech, the company has used high technology, specifically SolidWorks(R) and COSMOS(R) software, to great advantage.

"We're saving more than $500,000 on raw material costs annually because of design work performed in SolidWorks 3D CAD software and facilitated by COSMOS analysis software," said LeBARON Foundry President Steve Clinch.

The story began in December 2003, when scrap metal prices spiked, tripling over the next six months, thus tripling LeBARON's raw material costs. The company had no way to pass along these costs because it was locked into long-term contracts with municipalities. Fortuitously, Clinch had just invested in SolidWorks Office Premium, which includes COSMOSWorks(R) Designer software, in hopes of updating the company's manual product testing processes. Those processes employed hydraulic presses applying upwards of 60 tons of force to determine their strength.

Clinch set up simulations in COSMOSWorks Designer, built samples in the resulting geometries, and tested them against real-world conditions to establish validity. He quickly determined that many of its best-selling products were significantly over-designed - i.e., they were thicker than they needed to be. Using SolidWorks and COSMOSWorks Designer, Clinch and his team quickly redesigned a wide variety of the products in less than two days each. This process shaved as much as 50 pounds of material from a typical manhole cover. It was a savings of as much as 25 percent by weight without sacrificing safety. The company recouped the company's projected shortfall, estimated at more than $500,000 in the first year alone.

"Sure, we could have done this without COSMOS," he said. "We could have built a pattern, made castings, noted when they broke, made a leaner pattern, and repeated the cycle ad nauseum until we ran out of time and money. It would have been a horrendously time-consuming and expensive process. With COSMOSWorks Designer, I was able to iterate six different models in two afternoons until I came up with streamlined designs that still had more than adequate strength. Our work was simplified by an easy-to-use, relatively inexpensive finite element analysis product combined with an elegant 3D CAD package. I think the world of these products."

LeBARON is now using SolidWorks and COSMOSWorks Designer to expand its product line to include custom configurations.

"You'd think that after 15 decades there would be nothing more to say about manhole covers," said SolidWorks Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Rainer Gawlick. "What this story teaches us is that sharp minds using powerful tools can always design better products. Sometimes these improvements yield extraordinary benefits."

LeBARON Foundry relies on authorized SolidWorks reseller CADD Edge for ongoing software training, implementation, and support.

About LeBARON Foundry

LeBARON Foundry, Inc., first established in 1855, has poured gray iron castings to serve the needs of the construction industries of New England from its Brockton, Massachusetts, facilities since 1911. The ultimate recycler, it turns all manner of scrap iron waste into manhole covers, storm-water grates, and trench-drain systems which it delivers to contractors and municipalities throughout the region. For more information on LeBARON Foundry visit or call 508-586-3130.

About CADD Edge, Inc.

CADD Edge, established in 1995, is the developer of the Mechanical Engineering Productivity Machine(TM). The CADD Edge Productivity Machine enables engineers to design imaginative products fast with superior quality. Customized for industry-specific SolidWorks environments, this performance-driven machine is fueled by four components - auditing, implementation, multi-level training, and software utilities - all working together to help companies be first to deliver winning designs from concept to customer. For more information on CADD Edge, please contact the company at 508-475-2900 or 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 is a registered trademark of SolidWorks Corporation. COSMOS and COSMOSWorks are registered trademarks of Structural Research & Analysis Corporation. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective owners. Copyright (c) 2006 SolidWorks Corporation.

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