The guys at CADPRO Systems reckon if you haven't seen them yet. Take a look at the awesome machines our friends at Vertigo Technologies are engineering and manufacturing it off Westport. Impressive stuff.
Focussing tightly on the idea that “information” is the foundation on which BIM is built, this CADPRO Systems' event demonstrated technology solutions that support the information flow between office and field. Supported by Stephan Gumpert from Autodesk, our own Gary Page, Adrian Lobo, and Gary Fohl presented to receptive audiences in both Auckland and Christchurch. It has been great to see the interaction between presenters and their audiences at these events with “real-world” questions being addressed live during the presentations.
CADPRO Systems CPS Tools
Also announced at these events was the launch of the CADPRO Systems CPS Tools. Through an exclusive partnership between KobiLabs and CADPRO Systems, we’re bringing some serious productivity tools to Autodesk Revit and Civil 3D:
These tools are being provided FREE of charge for the first year to all subscription & maintenance customers who have their contracts with CADPRO Systems.
Some helpful advice brought together by Peter Crawley who was asked recently if there was a method to notch, bend, and straighten hollow sections using Inventor. I’ve discovered a couple a couple of methods, both of which are shown below. There are probably more, but these two look worthy of sharing. If you have any feedback or want to suggest an alternative, please use the comments below. (Notch and bend description – see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notching)
Unfolding the part pictured above
Being a fan of Frame Generator, I was keen to see if I could find a method that could be used to unfold an existing frame. In conjunction with an unlikely partner (Sheet Metal) it can! See the second method below for details.
Method 1 – Notch and bend using the “Bend Part” feature
This method assumes you can straighten the design in your head before modelling it and bending it into shape. If you have the brain for that process, then this is the method for you because it’s quick and easy. If you’d prefer to model the final result and then “unfold” it, skip over to Method 2 below.
Depending on your preference for modelling steelwork, this might appeal because it uses standard sketch-based features on the part file itself. I like it for its simplicity, but for multiple bends, it can quickly become difficult to calculate exactly where the cuts should be made, especially if the part is bent in more than one plane.
Once again CADPRO Systems participated in the South Island’s Premier Technology Trade Show, SouthMACH17
Run over two days (24-25 May) the show provided a great opportunity for the manufacturing community to come together under one roof to see all that’s new in the industry.
Our stand at SouthMACH was busy throughout the two days, with plenty of existing customer visiting and potential new customers looking at the technology on display. It’s interesting to stand back sometimes at these events and watch generations of engineers and designers absorbed in discussions about engineering. Gone are the days of talking about software and features. These people think far more about design and manufacturing issues than picks & clicks in a CAD system. And that’s exactly how it should be.
Autodesk HSM / Inventor and Fusion 360 were hot topics this year. We put particular emphasis on the “art to part” workflow – the CAD model to the machining centre – in many cases bypassing the 2d drawing altogether, with tolerancing & probing featuring heavily in the discussions.
Data Management also came up in many conversations with customers and prospects looking for better tools to manage and protect their growing volumes of digital intellectual property. Data management tools like Autodesk Vault and cloud storage tools like Fusion Team were conversations customers wanted to have this year. On one occasion, we even discussed hosting Autodesk Vault on a cloud server.
This year, the show really demonstrated the readiness of the manufacturing community to embrace the considerable benefits some of these technologies can bring to geographically distributed teams.
SouthMACH this year was particularly enjoyable because we had several occasions where existing customers started conversations with new prospects. Often the conversations included comments about why they’ve remained a customer for ten years or more, so thank you to all those existing customers for your support!
There are still a few places left on Neil Markham's 17 May and 21 June 2017 AutoCAD Essentials Training Course.
The course gives students the opportunity to acquire knowledge and understanding of the essential core topics working with the AutoCAD software. The teaching strategy is to start with a few basic tools that enable the student to create and edit a simple drawing, and then continue to develop the skills necessary to demonstrate competency such as:
Navigating the AutoCAD workspace and user interface
Using basic drawing, editing, and viewing tools
Organizing drawing objects on layers
Inserting reusable symbols (blocks)
Preparing a layout to be plotted
Adding text, hatching, and dimensions
A CADPRO Systems “Certificate of Attendance” will be issued following your Instructor-led Training.
Autodesk will issue a “Certificate of Completion” direct to the student once the Autodesk course valuation’s completed at the end of the training. Courseware
Autodesk eBook training manual (Internet access required) will be provided at the Instructor-led training. eBooks are license based and your property once activated
| Auckland - May 2017 | Local engineering company reaps the benefit from investing in extended software training with CADPRO Systems following their purchase of new CNC machinery.
Training keeps staff fit for purpose
At Howick, whenever we sell a customer a new framing machine, we strongly recommend that they undertake specialist software training to get the most out of their investment. Even if the buyer is familiar with current machine use, there are always things that you can learn to be more productive. While some customers might baulk at ongoing training costs, we believe that investing in your operators and providing refresher courses, can only lead to improved productivity and output.
We practise what we preach
We decided to put our money where our mouth is when we recently purchased two new CNC machines. Although our operators had previously taken part in CNC training and our design team had been using SOLIDWORKS since 1998, we signed up with the supplier for training.
Even before the equipment arrived, we arranged for the team to do some initial training for HSM Works - the CAM package that integrates our designs to the machining centres. What we soon realised is that there was a lot of tooling and work holding to understand, as well as how our design effects the machining process.
Training and support
When the machines arrived, our two main operators received the standard training which, as anticipated with any new technology, was something of a steep learning curve. Once we had been running for a few weeks, we realised that there was still a knowledge gap which would only be closed through further training.
While we were having regular contact and great support from the team at HAAS Factory Outlet NZ, CADpro (HSM Works) and Sandvik Tooling, we wanted to accelerate our learning curve even faster. Understanding that we had already invested a significant amount in tooling, software, PCs and the machines themselves, we decided it was time to look at investing in our people more.
This involved getting a member of the team from CADpro in 1 day a week for 6 weeks to help us with on-the-job training. Although a significant cost, the value of the exercise can be easily seen through the accelerated learning and production it provided.
Our team got a massive boost from learning on live jobs with the trainer and were able to continue production during the week, noting down queries for the trainer to help resolve at the next session. This meant the team could keep moving forward with confidence. A great example of this is that through training, we have improved the engraving time from 27 minutes to 47 seconds on our Haas ST35 machine.
Keep up the good work
As a business, one thing we have always done since we started using Solidworks is take the yearly 1 day update course to look at new features. We find that the most valuable part of the day is when we roll out our list of things that are challenging or annoying us and receiving immediate resolutions.
The cost of sending our design team offsite for a day is quickly recouped in efficiency gains.
For us, investing in additional training was quickly recouped when you consider we achieved full production in 3 months, vs the anticipated 18 months.
Howick - here to help
For those looking at investing in a Howick FRAMA Roll Forming machine, or existing customers looking to get more out of their machine, I would suggest you talk to your chosen software partner about what they can offer training-wise to get the most out of your investment.
We have recently employed Davy Binois (a former employee at Vertex in the UK) who has trained many of our European customers. He is now New Zealand based so that we can upskill our local customers through tailored training and process development specifically related to our products.
The speed at which technology is moving is unprecedented and the adage ‘You don’t know what you don’t know,’ is more relevant now than ever. At Howick, we know our proprietary machines inside out and what capabilities they can offer. If you want to ensure your machines and staff are operating at full capacity, get in touch, and we’ll recommend a course of action – 0064 9 534 5569. www.howickltd.com
For our Customers elsewhere in the world our software partners Tekla, Strucsoft and Vertex can offer local training or remote training.