World's Leading Ladder Manufacturer to Increase Product Development, Reduce Time to Market with SolidWorks 3D CAD Software
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World's Leading Ladder Manufacturer to Increase Product Development, Reduce Time to Market with SolidWorks 3D CAD Software


Werner Co. to drastically reduce its design cycle with leading CAD software while using SMARTEAM to manage data and streamline workflow


CONCORD, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 4, 2003-- The world's leading ladder manufacturer and distributor will use SolidWorks(R) three-dimensional computer-aided design (3D CAD) and SMARTEAM(R) product data management (PDM) software to dramatically shorten its design cycle time, SolidWorks announced today. SolidWorks' powerful modeling capabilities and intuitive user interface will enable Werner Co. to increase product development and quickly migrate from static 2D drawings to 3D solid models. The ability to visualize products in 3D will help Werner Co. troubleshoot potential design flaws, reducing the number of expensive prototypes it builds, and speeding products to customers.

"Working in 2D limited our ability to transform our ideas into compelling designs that we could use to stay competitive," said John Fiumefreddo, vice president of engineering and new product development at Werner Co. "SolidWorks 3D solid modeling will allow us to go from part design to finished product faster, and with fewer errors, than with AutoCAD. That efficiency will help us meet a new company-wide goal of increasing product development so that we can further distance our products from a growing number of competitors' 'me-too' designs."

Founded in 1922, Pennsylvania-based Werner Co. pioneered the extension ladder market. The company designs and distributes a variety of climbing products ranging from step stools to attic ladders and scaffolding for both residential and commercial uses. The company purchased 22 licenses of SolidWorks because the software's Windows(R) interface simplifies 3D CAD and helps users work more efficiently. "Designing new products for the climbing industry requires building several prototypes that the marketing team must try out," said Fiumefreddo. "The feel of these products is essential. If they feel too clunky, or too flimsy, they won't sell. SolidWorks will allow us to quickly and easily tweak our solid models without having to reconstruct the design from scratch so that we can begin production sooner."

For example, Werner Co. will use SolidWorks to calculate the volumes and density of materials for a new extension ladder design to determine the finished product's weight. If the ladder is too heavy, it won't be practical for both residential and commercial use. With SolidWorks, Fiumefreddo and his team can quickly revise the design to reduce its overall weight and make it more marketable.

Streamlining product design and workflow

Werner Co. will use SolidWorks SMARTEAM PDM software to manage all of the CAD data it generates. Werner Co. engineers will use SMARTEAM to create parts libraries that they can easily access to plug already-designed parts into product designs without having to recreate parts. SMARTEAM will also help Werner Co. engineers maintain version control over product designs so that engineers working on the same design see the most up-to-date version.

Werner Co. plans to link SMARTEAM to the company's enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to streamline product design and workflow and eliminate the paper trail involved in product development, delivery, and sales. For example, the company usually has 200 to 300 engineering change orders (ECOs) - requests to change a finalized design - per year. Each ECO usually takes nearly three weeks to process because it affects design, manufacturing, scheduling, and sales departments. By linking these different departments via SMARTEAM and its ERP system, Werner Co. can reduce the ECO time from three weeks to less than two days.

"In a market where product differentiation can sometimes boil down to a matter of ounces or a couple of inches, design innovation becomes absolutely crucial," said Mike Crismond, vice president of North American sales at SolidWorks. "SolidWorks will enable Werner Co. to smooth the transition from 2D to 3D and help engineers better visualize how they can improve product design. SMARTEAM will manage all of the company's CAD data to maintain version control and pave the way for more efficient workflow, so Werner Co. can stay on top of the world's climbing product market."

About Werner Co.

Werner Co. is the world's leading manufacturer and distributor of ladders, climbing equipment, and ladder accessories. Backed by over 50 years of product innovation, Werner leads the industry with its commitment to design and manufacture quality products that meet or exceed applicable Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) codes and standards for strength and structural integrity. Werner is headquartered in Greenville, Pa., and has manufacturing operations in Greenville, Chicago, Anniston, Ala., Carrollton, Ky., and Merced, Calif.

About SolidWorks Corporation

SolidWorks Corporation, a Dassault Systemes S.A. (Nasdaq: DASTY, Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA) company, develops and markets software for mechanical design, analysis, and product data management. Founded in 1993, SolidWorks' mission is to unleash the power of 3D for everyone in product development and foster a collaborative user community. In seven years of delivering product, SolidWorks has shipped more than 230,000 total seats of software worldwide. SolidWorks has offices around the globe and sells, distributes, and supports its products through a worldwide reseller network. For the latest news, information, or a live online demonstration, visit the company's Web site ( www.solidworks.com) or call 1-800-693-9000 (outside of North America, call +1-978-371-5000).

SolidWorks is a registered trademark of SolidWorks Corporation. SMARTEAM is a registered trademark of SmarTeam Corporation Ltd. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective owners. Copyright (c) 2003 SolidWorks Corporation.

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