Strengthening sales and customer relations with SOLIDWORKS Simulation
Leveraging Flow Simulation, Sarlin Furnaces AB is able to create better products, boost effective sales communication and work more closely with its customers developing new solutions.
SolidWorks Flow Simulation plays a crucial role in the development of new industrial furnace solutions with the Swedish manufacturer Sarlin Furnaces. By simulating a variety of physical properties, it has become possible to predict how the furnaces will behave in the real world before they are physically constructed while offering precise adaptability to customer requirements.
Simulation as a sales tool
“Above all, the simulation results constitute a huge advantage to us in the sales process. Using the results of simulations we are able to engage our customers deeper with their own processes and develop solutions together that meet their needs for both quantity and quality,” says sales engineer Per Lundström, Sarlin Furnaces. “It is fruitful and profitable for both parties to discuss a solution based on 3D models and simulation results. It is a great way to enter into a dialogue with our customers and their commitment to a development project is a very important sales tool for us,” he explains.
Customers usually order new furnaces from Sarlin Furnaces based on a need to increase their capacity, but it is becoming more normal that factors such as energy savings, smaller Carbon Dioxide footprint as well as quality assurance and traceability of products also influence the acquisition of new furnace solutions.
In the sales process, Sarlin Furnaces often needs to be able to demonstrate a wide range of properties of its products. In this context SolidWorks Flow Simulation has become very important. The furnaces are designed as 3D models in SolidWorks and then Flow Simulation is used for both analysis and visualization of properties, such as heat flow and transfer as well as heating and cooling time. “Using 3D models and simulation has become an increasingly important competitive factor for us, which helps to give us a technical edge over the competition,” says Per Lundström.
Design insights drives innovation
Normally, new furnaces are developed to meet the customer’s specific needs and Sarlin Furnaces therefore have to develop unique solutions. This means, for example, that it is necessary to test various concepts against each other to find exactly the right concept and design for each project.
“Flow Simulation gives us big savings because we discover potential problems earlier, which means less errors throughout the development process. Previously we had to calculate many things manually resulting in both a higher risk of making errors and much less accurate results,” says Per Lundström.
He adds that 3D modeling and simulation also allows to provide an estimate of both the price of the finished solution and the repayment period earlier in the process: “Simulation brings us much closer to the physical world during the design process. When we compare our solutions to actual physical results, we can see that we have been very accurate in our predictions. This means that we dare to issue promises around new solutions to our customers earlier in the development process.”
Per Lundström also emphasizes that Sarlin Furnaces’ technical documentation of the company’s products has been significantly improved with 3D models and simulation: “We have much better documentation than previously. We can find and re-purpose the files, parts and drawings easily now and we can share design information and automate workflows. If a machine, for example, has a technical problem after 15 years, we have a much better drawing base in our SolidWorks Enterprise PDM-system to easily go back and see what we did when the design was done. This was very difficult in the past.”