Joinease Industries Ltd., a Hong Kong-based global plastic injection molding manufacturer, is replacing its 2D design tools with SolidWorks 3D mechanical design software to improve the quality and development time of molds used to make everything from plastic cups to car parts.

The company's mainland China factory, PMI Joinease Plastic & Metal Products Ltd., provides original equipment and design manufacturing (OEM, ODM) to customers around the world. Joinease customers make a variety of plastic goods, including housewares, toys, and most any plastic product. Joinease had been using 2D software since its inception in 1990, and increasingly found the software's limitations slowed or prevented design completion and production. It also frustrated engineers forced to make last-minute design changes because they often had to re-create designs from scratch.

After an extensive evaluation of all 3D computer-aided design (CAD) packages, Joinease replaced all of its 2D systems with SolidWorks because it delivers 3D functionality and ease of use in an affordable package. "It's important for us and our customers to be using the industry's 3D design standard," said Kin Wa Tong, general manager at Joinease. "Using the same design platform eliminates any design collaboration barriers and helps us meet customers' needs faster. SolidWorks also helps us train new engineers to use 3D nearly 50 percent faster than the time it takes to learn 2D technology. That equates to more time spent on customer designs."

SolidWorks also helps Joinease engineers troubleshoot errors before they make it to the in-house tooling department, streamlining design to manufacture. Tong and his engineering team appreciate how SolidWorks simplifies design changes with mouse-click control without forcing engineers to manually re-draw designs, as they would have to with 2D software. Joinease uses SolidWorks PhotoWorks photorealistic rendering tool to strengthen marketing efforts by showing prospective customers how finished mold designs will look and operate. It also uses FeatureWorks feature recognition tool to quickly convert designs from other CAD platforms into SolidWorks.

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