My favorite way to watch football, American football, is through the melodrama of NFL Films. Their cinematographers can capture the frozen breath of the offensive line and turn it into visual poetry. I prefer to watch sports while I’m warm. If you’re a purist and enjoy shivering in the stands, there’s good news: NAFCO International’s Helios Olympia outdoor stadium lights work in cold temperatures as extreme as minus 40-degrees Celsius or minus 40-degrees Fahrenheit (that’s the only spot on the thermometer where Celsius and Fahrenheit meet).
Based in Wisconsin, the company focuses on the annual $5 billion municipal park lighting market. “It is a massive market that people often forget about because they get really focused on pro stadiums,” notes NAFCO co-owner Adam Rupp. “The reason our customers, sales reps and distributors come to us is that we can do custom-engineered LED light pole, bracket and fixture assemblies on demand – in many cases, 50 to 80 feet off the ground.”
“Because many of the large lighting conglomerates are making thousands of units at a time in China and shipping them in, they’re very limited in what they can do for customization,” he adds.
To design the eco-friendly Helios Olympia Series, NAFCO chose full-cloud Onshape to help them be more nimble in an industry that demands constant innovation. The average product shelf life in the commercial outdoor lighting market is just 2 to 3 years.
“There’s now a more rapid pace to design and development – and from idea to creation, we need to do things very, very quickly,” says NAFCO engineer Trent Burmesch. “We're not in the business of scheduling meetings to discuss problems. If we have an idea, in many cases, we'll pull up the design model, and we'll hash it out. I think that Onshape is a tremendous help with that.”
“While I’m meeting with our metal fabrication guys, I can just pull up Onshape on my iPad and say, ‘Hey, what do you think about this? How can we improve it? How can we reduce costs?’” he adds. “I also like the flexibility of accessing CAD wherever I’d like. It doesn’t matter if I’m working at home or at the office. I’ve even designed things in the car (as a passenger). You can’t do that with other CAD systems.”
To learn more how NAFCO International’s design and manufacturing team uses full-cloud CAD to speed up their time to market, visit Onshape’s Customer Story page.