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Light Fixtures Manufacturer Improves PLM Process with Help from Dassault Systèmes

October 21, 2009

SEC Lighting manufactures light fixtures for indoor and outdoor use. Some of its products include emergency, industrial and customised lighting for the interior of public transport vehicles such as trams, trains and buses. Dedicated to producing the highest quality products, SEC is one of the few lighting manufacturers certified ISO 9001 for design, development, production, marketing and services.

SEC Lighting needs to be flexible to quickly respond to customer requests. It also has to use the latest, cutting edge technology in order to be able to rapidly design and manufacture customised lighting products for the public transportation sector. In order to meet these requirements and streamline its design and sales process, the company turned to Dassault Systèmes software.

For the design and development of mechanical parts, SEC Lighting uses Catia. This application allows the company’s engineers to create innovative designs and to simulate the lighting fixtures in their virtual surroundings for the best positioning. “Very often we receive rough design ideas from our customers with all the associated technical specifications or sometimes the detailed 3D virtual data itself,” explains Roman Vachal, engineer at SEC Lighting. “In effect, the customer provides, for example, the design of the inside of a bus. This design includes everything except the lighting, which SEC designs and positions inside the bus using Catia according to the customer’s specifications.”

SEC also performs advanced interference checking and analysis of the digital mock-up using Catia’s DMU Space Analysis. “This helps us inspect all possible collisions in a virtual environment,” says Roman Vachal. “We create several shape and colour variants, which we then send to our customer so that they can choose the desired lighting. We then produce a physical prototype, which is tested for shock and vibrations as well as for resistance to fire and smoke.” SEC engineers also measure real lighting parameters, such as lighting fixture efficiency before proceeding with series production.

Employees have benefited significantly from having access to real-time data in order to keep up-to-date sales records and cut administration time. Using Enovia SmarTeam to store and manage all product-related data, engineers and sales teams can share and retrieve the same data very quickly – all new information created in Catia is linked to a project, a customer and a product no matter how small the part is. “This avoids accessing out-of-date data, which often leads to problems in manufacturing,” says Vachal. SEC Lighting has also adopted 3DVIA Composer to create marketing and production documentation. This solution enables its sales force, for example, to create sales documentation using real Catia data. In very little time employees, even those with few technical skills, can upload the 3D Catia models developed by designers to 3DVIA Composer and create their documents.

SEC Lighting Employees in production also have access to the 3D data, which eliminates the often tedious task of reading 2D drawings. “With 3DVIA Composer’s animation capabilities, our production engineers are able to see how the lighting is assembled in 3D, which helps avoid time consuming errors,” explains Vachal. Some lighting products contain up to 400 components; it is therefore easier and faster to see how these components are assembled by viewing the actual 3D model. It also helps prospects and customers better understand SEC’s design solution. Vachal concludes: “Thanks to 3DVIA Composer, our customers have a visually pleasing and easy to understand document.”