Making stronger, safer, more reliable trailers
High quality, special attention to details, exceptional customer service and a reliable warranty comes with owning a lowboy trailer from Globe Trailers. In fact, its customers, like the United States military, state and local municipalities, and commercial builders, expect those qualities.
“If you saw our trailer next to a competitor, you’d be amazed how much better the finish is, how much better the wood looks, and how the overall design is superior,” said Jeff Walters, vice president of engineering at Globe Trailers. “Our lowboy, for example, detaches and reattaches in half the time of our competitor’s products. We develop customer loyalty by offering high-quality products, and once our customers experience one of our trailers, they’re not going anywhere else.
”Based in Bradenton, Florida, Globe Trailers was founded in 1982 and bought by the Walters family in 2004. At the time of the sale, the company was making 30 trailers a year. Within six years that number has risen to 400 trailers, and today’s industry demand is driving Globe Trailers to double its yearover-year production volumes. All trailers are made in the company’s 60,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility in Florida. However, its engineering team is international, and to facilitate global collaboration and increase time to market, Globe Trailers relies on Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE® platform, including the Single Source for Speed industry solution experience.
“Globe Trailers chose the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud because we have a globalized engineering team now,” Walters said. “We’re trying to double production every year, and that’s difficult. We needed a software platform that would support our progress instead of hindering it.”
Global collaboration on cloud
The 3DEXPERIENCE platform powers global collaboration by providing integrated project applications and data available in real time and worldwide on cloud. Walters shares that if Globe Trailers needs a resource in Egypt, perhaps an engineer with the best finite element analysis experience for suspensions, then they can share the up-to-date 3D model located on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, and he can begin working on possible solutions. Globe Trailer’s Senior Mechanical Engineer Brock Wilkinson, who is based in the Bradenton office also reaps benefits of the cloud solution.
“If I’m at home or if I’m abroad, the platform is always accessible,” Wilkinson said. “When we work with users in other offices, having the information on the cloud makes it much easier to collaborate. In the past, I would have to export analyses, transfer the files – which could be very large – and then they’d have to import them. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform makes workflow much smoother. It is easier to share information, and to collaborate quickly and effectively.” But the biggest business impact of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform is that Globe Trailers doesn’t lose information.
“We burn, bend, saw, cut, and machine our own parts,” Walters said. “People don’t realize the thousands of parts that go into a trailer. In a normal conventional system, you have your 3D data, you have your 2D drawings, and everything else and it’s spread out over a bunch of different folders. But in the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, it’s all in one place. There are no corrupt files, no downtime, and no product failures. We’re working from one sheet of music and it’s very powerful.
”Globe Trailers’ implementation was assisted by Dassault Systèmes business partner Inceptra, who also provides on-going support to them. “Inceptra is highly knowledgeable and responsive,” Walters said. “With their strong team skills and expertise, they work diligently behind the scenes to get us whatever we need.”
Using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud, we collaborate globally to make stronger, safer and more reliable trailers than anyone else.
Powerful, integrated apps save time
Another benefit of working on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform is the ability to transition easily from performing a simulation to optimizing a design. This helps streamline workflows, reduce costs, and accelerate time to market.
“All the apps are in a central location so we can just click whichever one we need and we can get to work, which saves me time,” Wilkinson said. “It’s very impressive because you’re switching between these powerful tools without even realizing it. It’s all integrated, the information is all there and you understand the depth of the functionality that’s at your fingertips.”
“Time is critical for us; we have to make our trailers on time no matter what. If there’s an issue, we have to solve it within hours, so the shop can keep building without delays,” said Sandesh Gudemane, the lead mechanical engineer at Globe Trailers. “I haven’t seen anything as good as the simulation app in any other software platform. It’s very robust and flexible. It helps us perform simulations fast, so every time we build a trailer we can optimize it more. It improves the product
Globe Trailers uses 3DDashboards on the platform to give project collaborators a unified, up-to-date view of the 3D model. 3DDashboards foster common understanding and free the creativity of individual engineers to drive better decisions.
“The 3DEXPERIENCE platform helps us manage data because everything is on the cloud; we don’t have to do a lot of knowledge transfer,” Gudemane said. “I can open up my assembly, do the design markups, and my colleagues know exactly what I mean. There might be three other engineers working on a particular assembly; it’s like three smart brains on one project, all working on the same model. That’s a huge benefit. It saves time and helps us build better trailers.
”Walters shares that the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud is easy to use and can be installed on a computer within 45 minutes. Its functional flexibility and collaborative power enables Globe Trailers to design and build the best possible product. “We can educate all our users, so when they log into a 3D model of a trailer, they can see why that hole is there, why the flange is that size,” Walters explained. “They can visualize the engineering information inside the platform and then make more-informed choices and inspire future choices.”
“The platform definitely helps spark innovation,” Wilkinson said. “Engineers are always thinking over their problems. If I come up with a new idea or a solution, I can be anywhere and get on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform and start sketching a model. I might be troubleshooting issues in the shop with my tablet or I might be at home and log-in from the cloud. It’s always accessible, with the data I need.”
Making strong impressions
To pave the way to the future, manufacturing companies are always competing to attract the best engineering talent. Globe Trailers stands out by providing the best resources.
“Globe Trailers uses the 3DEXPERIENCE platform as a recruiting tool,” Walters said. “Our competition always wants the same bright engineers we want. When applicants see the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, they see high quality. They see a lot of important features and resources that they want in a career.” The 3DEXPERIENCE platform also impresses customers, Walters said.
“They are amazed at how fast I get the information to them. I type in the reference number and it opens up, with all of the drawings and all of the knowledgeware. I completely trust that it’s all going to be there. The models look great. I can change the background with a couple of clicks. I can show the rendering, the finite element analysis (FEA) model and everything that’s in the model’s space.
That’s very powerful and very impressive.” The platform also is the key to supporting ambitious global growth plans at Globe Trailers. “Using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud, we collaborate globally to make stronger, safer and more reliable trailers than anyone else,” Walters said. “In five years, I see Globe Trailers with a much larger and more diverse product range, and a manufacturing footprint expanding across states and countries.”
Globe Trailers is a privately held company that manufactures trailers.
Revenue: $18 million
Headquarters: Bradenton, Florida
or more information: www.globetrailers.com
Based in Weston, Florida, Inceptra is the coming together of some of the world’s most experienced Product Lifecycle Management leaders. Our foundation is based on decades of real world PLM experience and our desire to provide only the very best solutions. Inceptra is dedicated exclusively to the Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE portfolio, Complementary Products and internally developed Inceptra Accelerator solutions.
For more information: www.inceptra.com