A time saver: Sony shrinks vehicle development cycles with 3D CAD software

Sony’s Professional Services Division  greatly reduced the time it takes to produce custom-made outside broadcast  vehicles by automating its design process using the Pro/ENGINEER 3D CAD software suite from PTC.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff February 23, 2008

Sony’s Professional Services Division has greatly reduced the time it takes to produce custom-made outside broadcast (OB) vehicles by automating its design process through use of the Pro/ENGINEER 3D CAD software suite from PTC .
“We integrate 19-inch rack-mounted products in every OB vehicle we build, but the traditional process to install each piece of equipment into the 3D model of each rack was taking a considerable amount of time,” said Adrian Plant, project design manager at Sony Professional Services, based in Basingstoke, UK. “Thanks to PTC’s unique process that automates the population of our rack mounts within Pro/ENGINEER, we have been able to remove the bottleneck and the team is now expecting about a man year’s worth of work in time saving.” Sony creates OB vehicles for a wide variety of customers in the broadcast industry based on custom-built trailer or truck chassis provided by various OEMs. These special purpose vehicles are fitted with leading-edge technology from Sony and customized to each customer’s requirements. By enabling the design team to transfer the basic spreadsheet of customer requirements into Pro/ENGINEER, which automatically creates a complete and accurate 3D model of the rack-mounted units, Sony’s Professional Services team has succeeded in significantly reducing the development time of each build. By showing the customer what their vehicle is going to look like very early on in the development process, the team of engineers not only benefits from faster decision-making but also has more time to focus on delivering other parts of the build.
Chad Hawkinson, VP, product strategy, electronics, PTC., said: “The accelerated production time experienced by Sony’s Professional Services team is evidence of the power and flexibility of Pro/ENGINEER for highly complex tasks. “By automating design activities and rapidly developing digital prototypes, we aim to provide the extra edge for high-end technology companies which strive to deliver great service to their customers.”