Saving time and legacy data at Young Industries

The design and manufacture of equipment for industrial processing of dry bulk materials is an exacting, mostly custom process. Every project requires following multiple sets of regulations and often the equipment is built to fit into an existing plant. Young Industries has been in the business since 1947, and holds several patents for their work in creating problem-solving equipment for customers in chemical, petrochemical, ceramics, and coatings industries. 

An early adopter of 3D modeling technology, Young Industries has been using SOLIDWORKS® products past for the past 20 years, including SOLIDWORKS Design Professional, SOLIDWORKS Simulation, and SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional. Despite enthusiastic use of 3D design technology, Young Industries still has tasks that are better suited to a 2D CAD tool. For years the company used MountainTop with an outdated UNIX terminal server, but the software is no longer in commercial production.

Young Industries relies on DraftSight® to perform 2D-related tasks during the development of its custom-designed bulk material-handling systems, including modification of legacy drawings, creation of simple layouts or sketches, and development of P&IDs (piping and instrumentation diagrams).


“There are certain tasks—modifying legacy drawings, creating simple layouts or sketches, or developing P&IDs (piping and instrumentation diagrams)—that we consider ‘quick and dirty,’ for which it’s faster and easier to use 2D,” explains Ryan Vandine, a Young Industries engineer. After evaluating several options, YI went with DraftSight Enterprise. 

According to Director of Information Technology J. Tyler Thompson, Young Industries decided to seek a new 2D design solution to replace MountainTop, which ran on a UNIX® terminal server, after encountering both hardware and software failures. “We simply ran out of time with MountainTop and decided to look for another 2D design solution,” Thompson recalls.

According to J. Tyler Thompson, Young Industries director of information technology, they chose DraftSight Enterprise because it is easier to maintain and support, includes the features the company needs at a better price, and is the most compatible with the company’s existing SOLIDWORKS design environment. “DraftSight provides greater flexibility in licensing and directly integrates with our SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional product data management system,” Thompson says.

Two recent projects is typical of how YI uses DraftSight. A customer needed to share engineering data with YI, but only had 2D drawings. It was a simple process to open the drawings in DraftSight. Another time YI needed to modify an earlier project when MountainTop was still the 2D software in use. They imported the MountainTop file as a DXF into DraftSight and quickly made the needed changes. “Anytime we can eliminate the transition from 2D to 3D, we save time and effort,” says Dick Ambs, Young Industries director of sales and marketing. “When it makes sense, we want to leverage DraftSight.” 

YI employees say the move to DraftSight has also improved drawing management because DraftSight is fully compatible with SOLIDWORKS PDM. “The ability to use DraftSight to integrate our drawings into our PDM system — which we couldn’t do with MountainTop — is an important advantage,” says Vandine. 

The data stored in 2D is of great continuing value to the company. “When you think about our 2D legacy drawings, it’s like we have a whole history of LEGO pieces out of the box that we can plug in and build equipment,” says Vandine. “With DraftSight, we can manipulate past projects and our design library of P&ID symbols to save time and effort.” 

If you would like more information on how Young Industries saves time and money using DraftSight Professional, there is a case study online:

Learn more about DraftSight here.

Randall Newton
Randall S. Newton is Managing Director of Consilia Vektor, a boutique consulting firm serving the engineering software industry. He is a Contributing Editor at Digital Engineering and AEC Magazine UK. You can follow him on Twitter.
Randall Newton
Randall Newton