Somewhat by accident, Manders-Dortmans Lasbedrijf B.V. (MDL), a welding company from the Netherlands, came across HiCAD drawing software. Within a few months, that single moment led to the choice and later the implementation of the same software at the company. Bas van Weert, co-owner and draughtsman at MDL: "We want a quick respond, both internally and to customers, so speed is very important for us."
Being a draftsman himself, Van Weert prefers to look at the adoption of HiCAD from a practical point of view. "It was special to see how our partner could make use of all kinds of pre-programmed functions. That saved a lot of work. The package gives you the opportunity to pre-programme a lot of functions and save time."
Before the switch to HiCAD, MDL was using drawing software that is used by many companies. "It worked fine, but we missed possibilities to deal with customer-specific wishes in a handy way. Think of the very simple generation of workplace drawings. Now a sheet is automatically created for each workplace drawing. The software takes eighty percent of the work of drawing off your hands. Engineers are able to create accurate 3D models themselves on the basis of information supplied by the customer. We then work it out internally for the manufacture and assembly of the product. We then generate all the workshop drawings at the push of a button." Two other aspects that Van Weert lists as plus points are the ability to easily read and write out different file formats. This is very easy for controlling our processing machines.
Although the change-over brought a smile to the draughtsman's face, drawing with HiCAD did take some time getting used to. "It took a little change, it's a different way of working. The training provided by ISD was good. The fact that we switched to this package in one day did not cause any problems. It's a cool package, I'm happy with the functions I now have at my disposal."
De implementatie zelf verliep ook vlot, vertelt Van Weert. Na een systeemcheck hebben de ISD-consultants HiCAD in een dag geïnstalleerd. Daarna kregen we een uitgebreide uitleg en onze training. Nu willen we niets anders meer.” Tijdens de uitleg en training kwamen ook de slimme functies naar voren, die de efficiëntie van een bedrijf als Manders Dortmans kunnen opkrikken. “Voor bedrijven met een omvang die vergelijkbaar is als de onze, is HiCAD echt een uitkomst. Neem de beschikbare configuratietools, iets wat handig is bij het tekenen van trappen en leuningen. Binnen de stairs configurator kun je kiezen voor ‘trap aanmaken’, vul je de hoogte en breedte in en vervolgens start het programma zelf al met tekenen. Er ontstaat een ruwe basis die je zelf kunt finetunen.”
Not only does HiCAD offer more speed, it also reduces the risk of errors. "You can have more functions performed automatically, which virtually eliminates the risk of making mistakes. Afterwards, you simply control a machine with the right files. Yes, I am really enthusiastic. The software is not one of the cheapest available, but you earn that back because you can work faster and make fewer errors."
Something that is very important in a software implementation is the cooperation between the customer and the supplier. "ISD is a similar company, not a huge corporation and as a customer you quickly know everyone, from the consultants to the helpdesk. If you have a question, you get real help, a support call doesn't end up on the pile."
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