MTS Systems Uses SolidWorks to Accelerate Custom Configuration of Testing Equipment

MTS Systems Corp. ( is using SolidWorks 3D CAD software to more efficiently design, configure, and assemble the testing products it develops for customers across a broad range of industries.

MTS products include road simulators for automobiles, earthquake simulators for buildings, frame testers for aircraft, wear testers for biomedical devices, and a variety of sensors.

Since adopting SolidWorks software, the $421 million Eden Prairie, Minn., company has accelerated delivery of highly customized load frames so that customers can execute their testing programs earlier and move their products quickly to market.

MTS is using SolidWorks in conjunction with its SAP Ag ( enterprise resource planning system to create new assembly designs from interchangeable parts, originally designed in SolidWorks, with variable dimensions.

“Over time, this system should save our customers many hours in their project schedules,” Rod Ingalls, engineering services manager at MTS, said.

MTS used SolidWorks to develop a high-performance road simulator, its Heavy Truck 329 system that can apply virtually any force to any combination of wheels on a heavy truck. The simulator tests yaw, camber, and response to braking, jouncing, vertical acceleration, and lateral acceleration.

“The goals of this initiative were affordability and accuracy. SolidWorks and its integrated analysis software, COSMOSWorks, helped us get there, enabling us to efficiently iterate and analyze range of motion, resulting in a superior design,” Ingalls said.

MTS also has begun using the SolidWorks eDrawings e-mail enabled communications tool to give manufacturing personnel information in three dimensions to more quickly and easily assemble custom load frames.

The company began purchasing SolidWorks software in 2005 and has steadily grown its team of SolidWorks users. It now has 40 users, and plans to expand to 55.

“After an extensive evaluation two years ago, we chose SolidWorks over alternatives because of its ease of use, streamlined user interface, extensive VAR-based support and training, abundance of experienced users in our area, and general costeffectiveness of design and analysis tools. Our employees are enthusiastic about the move to SolidWorks and looking forward to taking further advantage of its increased efficiency,” Ingalls said.

“MTS Systems is a stellar example of a company using 3D CAD software in innovative ways for competitive advantage,” Rainer Gawlick, vice president of worldwide marketing for SolidWorks Corp., said.

MTS Systems Corp. is a global supplier of test systems and industrial position sensors. The company’s testing hardware and software solutions help customers accelerate and improve their design, development, and manufacturing processes and are used for determining the mechanical behavior of materials, products, and structures.

MTS’ high-performance position sensors provide controls for a variety of industrial and vehicular applications.

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