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Osgood Industries Cuts Costs by 25% with AutoCAD Electrical

Osgood Industries (Osgood) has been making machines that fill, package, lid, and seal food products for over 30 years. Known for quality and durability, Osgood's custombuilt machines typically run several shifts a day, six or seven days a week—for as many as 40 years. The designers at Osgood recently turned to AutoCAD Electrical to execute new designs, and already the solution is doing more than just helping them design high-quality, durable machines: AutoCAD Electrical has reduced schematic and layout errors by 90 percent and design costs on projects by 25 percent, making Osgood more competitive.

A Reputation for Quality

Through the years, Osgood's commitment to quality has inspired the company to look for ways to improve its processes. This commitment has not gone unnoticed, and customers have made a habit of returning to Osgood whenever they need food packaging machines. "AutoCAD Electrical is making us more competitive than ever," says Tim Hortaridis, a controls engineer with Osgood. "Because the software automates a number of key processes and produces more detailed schematics, it's allowing us to do more for customers in less time. AutoCAD Electrical is going to be a cornerstone of our electrical engineering design process into the future."

Tedious, Time-consuming, and Error-prone

Before turning to AutoCAD Electrical, Osgood's designers spent approximately 80 to 85 hours designing the electrical portions for each machine. The design process was slowed by the fact that designers could not easily create templates that allowed them to mix and match common design elements. Designers were forced to spend hours redrawing common elements for every new project. In addition, the designers would have liked to create and use custom symbols for wiring diagrams to enhance the clarity of plans with custom components, but developing the symbols in the formerly installed software was often more trouble than it was worth.

One of the most tedious and time-consuming aspects of the design process was the manual cross-referencing of coils and contacts. Whenever coils were changed, the corresponding contact had to be found and changed. Because of the sheer number of coils and contacts in the design documents, cross-referencing errors were not uncommon. Osgood caught virtually all errors during its review process, but the rare coil and contact error that makes it to the shop floor can be costly. It could take several hours to trace a coil's corresponding contact, or worse, the machine could be wired incorrectly, damaging expensive components.

Osgood Industries

"If we changed a coil number and didn't change a contact number, the contact went nowhere," explains Hortaridis. "We generally caught errors in reviews, but it's better to have it correct from the beginning. That way we can devote more of the review process to ensuring customers get the most options for the best price."

Winning with a Racehorse

When Autodesk acquired the solution Osgood had formerly used to create wiring diagrams, it fully integrated the solution with AutoCAD. The new Autodesk solution, dubbed AutoCAD Electrical, included a number of new features—features that generated excitement within the electrical design team at Osgood. Osgood upgraded to AutoCAD Electrical almost immediately. "Upgrading early was a smart move," says Hortaridis. "Based on our first six months of use, it's one hundred times better than the old software. AutoCAD Electrical is a racehorse."

With AutoCAD Electrical, designers at Osgood can create templates and import them into their current projects. The designers then modify the designs based on the project's specifications. Though Osgood uses about 75 percent of the symbols that come with the software, they can now easily create custom symbols and use them across multiple projects. "Our templates are basically completed projects that we import and modify," says Hortaridis. "Being able to reuse them saves an incredible amount of time. The software even automatically updates changes to title blocks as projects are modified. We can also create custom symbols and import them into other projects."

The aspect of AutoCAD Electrical that has brought the most change—and benefit—to Osgood is the software's ability to automatically cross-reference design features, including coils and contacts. Now, when a coil number is changed, the corresponding contact number changes automatically. "With AutoCAD Electrical, it's virtually impossible to make a coil and contact crossreferencing error," explains Hortaridis. "But beyond coils and contacts, it also tracks other design components. When I make changes to a component, all the affected pages of the design are updated automatically."

The Result: 90% Fewer Errors and a 25% Cost Savings

Thanks to AutoCAD Electrical, the designers at Osgood are spending significantly less time designing machines and more time on research and development. According to Hortaridis, "Projects that used to take 80 to 85 hours to design now take about 60 hours. We've also cut our review process from five reviews to two reviews per project. That 25 percent time savings on design time translates into a 25 percent cost savings. We are able to devote those time and money savings to research and development, which helps us stay ahead of the market." The time savings attributable to AutoCAD Electrical are not limited to the design phase: the review process has been accelerated as well. But perhaps more importantly from a cost and quality perspective, schematic and layout errors are now rare. "Because errors are so much harder to make, we've cut about 20 hours from the review process," says Hortaridis. "The number of errors that we do find has fallen by 90 percent. Fewer errors mean that there is less of a chance that mistakes will make it to the production phase where they can be very costly." 

 

Learn more about AutoCAD Electrical here, or contact us using the form below.

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