Thule Designs Virtual Roof Racks
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The supplier says that the software is now helping it develop a new “foot” piece for the carrier, that attaches to the car. Featuring an integrated torque gauge, the new roof rack ensures a tight, but not exaggerated fit.
In use at some of the company's operations for years now (the Swedish HQ of the supplier has been using it ever since 1996), SolidWorks will become a standard at all of its facilities. Using it also allows the company to save time by sharing designs.
The software contains a simulation application that allows for the virtual testing of a given product. Usually, when a new roof rack is developed, it is physically attached to a vehicle and taken out on a dirt track, where it is put to severe testing, including intentional overloading.
SolidWorks does all that too, but only in the virtual environment, so that the actual prototype is not destroyed or damaged, because it simply doesn't exit yet.
“We face a lot of design challenges, and SolidWorks helps us meet them with intuitive software for designing products, configuring them for all kinds of vehicles, shortening the prototyping cycle, and collaborating within and beyond the organization,” said Joe Flaherty, technical design manager, new product development, for Thule’s North American vehicle solutions business.
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