SOLIDWORKS helps to develop work-holding solutions at SMW Autoblok 

For more than 60 years, the Autoblok brand has been synonymous with precision workholding, clamping, and tooling solutions for a variety of industries. Read on to find out how SOLIDWORKS has helped Autoblok’s continued growth.

With plants in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, SMW AutoBlok has announced that it has standardised on SOLIDWORKS software for new product design in most of its plants. SMW Autoblok uses SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software to design the industrial-strength chucks and other work holding components used by auto plants, pipeline equipment manufacturers, and virtually any other company around the world that machines parts.

“Nobody stocks anything anymore. So our lead times have been cut in half,” said Mike Dempsey, Managing Director of SMW Autoblok’s U.K. plant. “We have as little as 10 days to develop a concept, design it to within five to 10 microns of spec, and troubleshoot any problems. SOLIDWORKS makes that possible by letting us reuse parts and identify and fix problems before cutting begins. I have faith that if I can get the model in during the proposal stage, I’ll get the work.”

Right first time

Much of what Mike Dempsey and his team design involves chucks that rotate at high speeds while holding a part (such as an oil pipe that needs a groove) to be machined. The slightest imbalance throws the process off and requires two days of on-site work to fix. SOLIDWORKS physical simulation, part interference, and mass properties coupled with COSMOSXpress™ load analysis have helped engineers eliminate delays, saving about $1,200 for each instance, according to Mike.

He also credits SOLIDWORKS and eDrawings‘ email-enabled design communication tool with boosting sales. “Many prospects and customers don’t understand CAD, and therefore the detail that goes into our designs,” said Mike. “We couldn’t easily share Autodesk Inventor designs, so we couldn’t really communicate with suppliers, customers, and prospects. SOLIDWORKS and eDrawings give us that communication in models that everyone can understand.”

SMW banner

smw autoblok innova systems


SMW Autoblok will soon be able to securely vault, share, and collaborate on designs with PDM Workgroup product data management software. Companies can accelerate product design using PDM Workgroup, which enables engineers to work concurrently on product designs without introducing errors. SMW Autoblok has already saved money, time, and headaches by using detailed design process documentation from PDMWork Group to achieve ISO 9001 certification.

“In a market where lead time is increasingly scarce, SMW Autoblok has distinguished itself by having the agility to deliver right-first-time designs before its competitors,” said Mark Bradford, Managing Director at Innova Systems. “That is job number one in succeeding in a crowded market. Job number two is to design better products.”

SMW Autoblok has received knowledgeable and experienced guidance and support from leading SOLIDWORKS Reseller Innova Systems to optimise implementation, training and productivity gains.

Take a look at other companies using SOLIDWORKS in the manufacturing industry