Wausau Window and Wall Systems Re-invents its Automation
Significant Upgrade Means Greatly Expanded Systems
Wausau Window and Wall Systems, part of Apogee Enterprises, Inc., designs and manufactures windows and curtain wall components for buildings large and small.
Image courtesy of Bass Adler, Thornton Tomasetti
Began Automating Engineering 15+ Years Ago
The company embarked on an ambitious plan to automate the engineering behind its products more than 15 years ago. Its first system, using Intent technology, cut custom design time from weeks down to an afternoon for one of its custom product categories.
Subsequent systems have grown to cover many of Wausau's product range, using Intent technology on Autodesk AutoCAD, with the help of Engineering Intent's development services.
Then, two years ago, Autodesk ended AutoCAD support for Intent technology. At that point, Wausau considered upgrading to Inventor ETO to take its engineering automation systems to the next level.
Need for Expandable Capabilities
Wausau knew that it would need ever-expanding capabilities to adapt rapidly to architectural esthetic design evolution, as well as to the explosive growth of construction technologies.
Part of this rapid adaptation includes ever-faster response to requests for quotations for ever more complex building projects.
And it increasingly includes rapid 3D design not only for new types of windows, but also for creation of hardware for installation, hardware that uses the latest building technologies.
Concerns About Inventor ETO
Well into its planning last last fall, Wausau became concerned about the future of Inventor ETO. Using Engineering Intent as a trusted adviser, the company quickly re-mapped its plans.
It wanted to re-engineer its systems with the objective of coalescing them into a comprehensive top-down engineering and sales automation solution.
With Engineering Intent's input, Wausau carefully considered all of its options and ultimately decided to move ahead on Rulestream.
Rulestream Fits Wausau's Future
We helped them lay out a master plan using Rulestream, and began development of its new solution, which now includes not only Rulestream, but also our own advanced web-based graphical user interface tools.
Our Principal Solution Analyst, Stephen Green, has many years of experience in the window and curtain wall business. Prior to joining Engineering Intent, he recently led the implementation of a major design automation solution at one of the largest international curtain wall manufacturers.
Some of our other deeply experienced personnel helped with the planning, solution architecture, and implementation, including Gene Libardi, Jack Gregory, Ray Tetreault, and especially Justin Rice.
Wausau expects rapid payback of its investment in its new system.
Working with major architects and construction firms, Wausau's offerings are often custom-designed. This requires extensive engineering that includes not only geometry, but also such parameters as local building code compliance, wind coefficients, percent sun load, temperature and dimension excursions, insulating properties, glass color/type--right down to creation of custom installation hardware.