User Story

Mine Safety Appliances : CAE Services

Established in 1914, Mine Safety Appliances, (Pittsburgh, PA) is a global leader in the development, manufacture, and supply of sophisticated products that protect people's health and safety. The company's comprehensive line of product is used by workers around the world in the fire service, homeland security, construction, oil and gas, chemical, consumer goods, and military. Mine Safety Appliances' mission statement notes that the company vows to be the leading innovator and provider of quality products, related technologies, and services that protect people's health, safety, the environment.

Rene Burger is a Mine Safety Appliances principal manufacturing engineer. He is responsible for product tooling and new equipment purchases. For the past 10 years, he and his colleagues have relied on CAE Services Corporation (Batavia, IL) for Moldflow analyses. The software and CAE experts addresses plastics flow, fill, cool, and warp issues. "When we first started working with CAE Services," says Burger, "we asked them to perform mold flow and mold cool analyses. Ever since that effort, we have worked with them on all new projects. We recently asked for their help in determining how a certain respirator part would fill. In addition, we wanted to reduce cycle time for that part with improved cooling."

Tim Lankisch, engineering manager at CAE Services, says, "For that particular project, we ran several iterations to determine optimum gate locations to make sure the part would fill properly."

Burger says that because of MSA's longstanding relationship with CAE Services and confidence in past analyses, he and his team were confident they would obtain the information they needed. "The cost of the analysis was justified because of the savings achieved in reduced cycle time and better cooling. If you don't perform the analysis, you're left with guesswork and that's too risky in this competitive business," Burger adds. "Having to re-work a tool because of a mistake isn't worth the risk. That's why we rely on CAE Services and their expertise using Moldflow software. We view analyses as guidelines to move us a lot closer to our proposed outcomes."

Lankisch says the majority of the work that CAE Services has done for MSA is related to safety helmets. "We been able to significantly reduce cycle time, as well as modify wall thicknesses to improve filling and cooling."

To the skeptics, Burger says companies should at least try using analysis once. "See what you can achieve yourself. The analysis sets a good starting point. You still will have to fine tune processes, but you can at least get into the ballpark. And, you will be a lot better off than by guessing. We know from experience that Moldflow analyses help get our products to market faster."

In the last decade, CAE Services has performed dozens of analyses for MSA.

For more information about MSA, visit

For information about CAE Services, visit

Author: Laura Carrabine

Home | Top of page | Front of MANAGING CAD/CAM/CAE section

Page last modified on February 23, 2005
Copyright 2005 by John Stark