Sonnax Designs Aftermarket Transmissions Products with SolidWorks

CONCORD, Mass., USA, Oct. 14, 2008 – Aftermarket auto transmission components manufacturer Sonnax has standardized on SolidWorks® 3D CAD software to re-engineer worn out parts so they are as good or better than the original, Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. (DS SolidWorks) announced today. Using SolidWorks, Sonnax engineers have become more productive and more creative in their design approaches than with 2D software.

Since 1978, Vermont-based Sonnax has been designing, manufacturing, and distributing replacement components for automatic transmissions, torque converters, drive shafts and related products worldwide for the passenger vehicle, racing and heavy-duty vehicle markets. Precision and durability are critical as its parts are used in rebuilt transmissions which often carry 100,000 mile warranties.

“We get worn out parts that we reverse engineer to find out where the part failed,” said Steve McAllister, a technical group manager in engineering at Sonnax. “SolidWorks lets us identify the original failure point and design it right out of the product.”

Sonnax engineers need to study every design aspect of a city bus drive shaft, for example, to make sure that the replacement part will last. Because the bus travels hundreds of miles every week, durability is critical. Sonnax engineers have to collaborate closely with part suppliers since many aftermarket parts are custom designed to a specific vehicle. “There’s a lot of back and forth in the design stage to meet customer demand,” said McAllister. “SolidWorks substantially cut the time for modifying the designs based on supplier feedback from when we had to change multiple AutoCAD drawings. That helps us deliver products faster.”

Improved communication

Aside from sharp 3D models that give both Sonnax engineers and suppliers a comprehensive view of part designs, Sonnax also uses SolidWorks eDrawings® e-mail-enabled design communication tool to share 3D models and 2D drawings of its components with suppliers and customers. The company also uses PhotoWorks™ photorealistic rendering tool to create life-like images of its parts for the technical documentation that accompanies the parts – a process that previously was delayed up to three weeks while engineers had to wait for the prototype to photograph it. Now the documentation is ready before the part arrives.

Sonnax is deploying SolidWorks Simulation and SolidWorks Flow Simulation to analyze component durability and fluid flow during everyday use to ensure optimal performance. Sonnax engineers will soon have even more visibility into potential failure points while analyzing how parts will perform in normal and high-performance operating conditions.

“Time to market is important in the automotive after-market industry, but reliability is everything,” said Ken Clayton, vice president of North American sales at DS SolidWorks. “Sonnax engineers are on a mission to make OEM parts better, and using SolidWorks will help them continue achieving that goal.”

Sonnax relies on authorized SolidWorks reseller CADD Edge, Inc. for ongoing software training, implementation, and support.

About Sonnax

Founded in 1978, Sonnax has become a leading supplier to the automotive aftermarket. The company designs, manufactures and distributes replacement components for automatic transmissions, torque converters, drive shafts and related products worldwide. ln addition to serving the passenger vehicle aftermarket, Sonnax also has strong product offerings for the high-performance and heavy-duty markets. For more information, visit the Web site (

About CADD Edge, Inc.

CADD Edge is the developer of the Mechanical Engineering Productivity Machine™. The CADD Edge Productivity Machine enables engineers to design imaginative products exceptionally fast with superior quality. Customized for industry-specific SolidWorks environments, this performance-driven machine is fueled by four components – auditing, implementation, multi-level training, and software utilities – all working together to help companies be first to deliver winning designs from concept to customer. For more information on CADD Edge, please visit or contact the company at (508) 475-2900.

About Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp.
Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp., a Dassault Systèmes S.A. subsidiary, develops and markets software for design, analysis, and product data management. It is the leading supplier of 3D CAD technology, giving teams intuitive, high-performing software that helps them design better products. For the latest news, information, or an online demonstration, visit the company’s Web site ( or call 1-800-693-9000 (outside of North America, call +1-978-371-5000).

About Dassault Systèmes

As a world leader in 3D and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, Dassault Systèmes brings value to more than 100,000 customers in 80 countries. A pioneer in the 3D software market since 1981, Dassault Systèmes develops and markets PLM application software and services that support industrial processes and provide a 3D vision of the entire lifecycle of products from conception to maintenance to recycling. The Dassault Systèmes portfolio consists of CATIA for designing the virtual product - SolidWorks for 3D mechanical design - DELMIA for virtual production - SIMULIA for virtual testing - ENOVIA for global collaborative lifecycle management, and 3DVIA for online 3D lifelike experiences. Dassault Systèmes is listed on the Nasdaq (DASTY) and Euronext Paris (#13065, DSY.PA) stock exchanges. For more information, visit


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