A-dec, a privately held company founded more than 40 years ago near Portland, Oregon, has developed into one of the world’s largest producers of dental equipment, with annual sales of more than $250 million. The dental furniture division accounts for approximately 20 percent of sales, manufactures more than 17,000 parts per week, and is the North America market leader.
When A-dec introduced a greatly expanded catalog of standard-order cabinetry in 2000, orders skyrocketed. Unfortunately, the additional volume was beyond the limits of the company’s production system, and orders quickly outstripped capacity. Designs created on 2D and 3D CAD systems were entered into the complex production system by programmers, not designers.
Dassault Systèmes Response
When A-dec began looking for a new production system, it initially focused on solutions specific to the cabinetry industry, but then expanded the search to include knowledge-based 3D modeling solutions. A-dec narrowed the field to three competitors and ran full pilots to evaluate the finalists against A-dec’s 34 requirements and 21 wants. V5 PLM fromDassault Systèmes, including CATIA V5 for 3D modeling and ENOVIA SmarTeam for data management, was the clear winner. The close links between V5 PLM and Microsoft technologies, including SmarTeam’s use of SQL server and the ability to use the Microsoft .NET framework to provide system integration, offered additional value.
- 75%Physical prototypeshave been substantiallyreduced, replacedwith virtual mockups + 100%Eliminating system limitations more than doubled capacity - 90% Paper-based documentation has been largely replaced by virtual 3D models and reports in SharePoint + 100% Customized “specials” have been reinstated as designers have been freed from routine configuration work 0% Thanks to Microsoft .NET, A-dec has updated its fully integrated V5 PLM from R14 to R17 without rebuilding any interfaces