The client is UK-based manufacturer and installer of custom balcony systems of sheet metal conforming to country-specific standards.
The client used AutoCAD to generate 2D drawings and DXF files for CNC machines to cut sheet metal parts for manufacturing balconies. 2D workflows increased the probability of errors and design engineers met with collisions between balcony parts. Rectifying these errors at later stages was heavy on losses so they wanted to switch over to 3D CAD.
They were looking for a partner with extensive experience in 3D CAD modeling, who could manage high and fluctuating workload and meet delivery timelines.
- Each balcony assembly had approximately 100+ parts and even a small design change in one part could lead to modifications in adjacent parts.
- Checking and resolving internal assembly collision and getting an overview of space limitations using 2D drawings.
- Exporting the drawings to DXF & STEP format was time-consuming, error-prone as all parts were made to a specific drawing scale.
All balcony designs were migrated to Autodesk Inventor and detailed 3D CAD models were prepared using top-down approach. Also, iLogic with macros was used to automate repetitive tasks and reduce delivery time.
The client provided GA drawings of balconies and architectural layout of the installation site with an overall plan, elevation and side views in DWG format.
Defining initial scope of work and design rules:
- Inventor 3D CAD software experts at Hitech studied the drawings; documented requirements and raised RFIs to resolve queries.
- The team equipped itself with the specific design rules needed to meet client’s requirements for balcony design and create part drawings with DXF files, STEP and pdf handouts.
Developing parametric models:
- 3D parametric models and drawing templates with top-down approach using Inventor and iLogic were created.
- Team also used iLogic macros to auto-update iProperties and design parameters to interlink parts and subassemblies for easy, efficient and error-free design modifications by the team.
- Project team also introduced smart Inventor tools with iLogic for creating DXF to nearly nullify the errors occurring in generating DXFs for sheet metal bent parts.
Quality check and shipping deliverables to the client:
- Once all part drawings and assembly models were ready, senior engineers performed QC against the following checklist:
- Zero collision between parts using ‘Analyze Interference’ command in Inventor.
- Outer to outer dimensions (length, width, and height) for balcony geometry.
- Conformation of drawings and BOM as per the latest standard 4.12.
- Balcony parts nomenclature as per standard 4.12.
- Material of all parts and finish against the inputs provided.
- Mass (Kilogram) and area (mm2) in BOM as per the Standard.
- Quality checked 2D manufacturing drawings, 3D models, Excel BOMs and other engineering documents are submitted to the client via email regularly in a phased manner
Value addition and expanding scope of work:
- Modeling, drafting, and various standards guideline documents created for reference and training to new resources as the scope of work increased.
- Value addition as part of ongoing engagement enhanced the design process and a database was created for material information, hardware call-off standards to be followed etc.
- Within two years, the team size grew by 300%.
- Scope of work expanded to include additional takeoff/blend services, 3D visuals, animations, and high resolution images for quick review and approval.
- Dedicated Inventor specialists and experts delivered 150+ custom designed balconies compliant with country-specific standards.
- Parametric modeling approach and automation reduced design cycle time from 60 hours per balcony to 30-35 hours per balcony.
Increased daily productivity from one balcony installation to 40+ balcony installations.
Eliminated 50% design iterations.
Reduced design and manufacturing TAT by 30%.
Reduced engineering lead time by 50%.