Successful transition to new CAD software

After 20 years of working with a familiar drawing program, Kingspan Light + Air made the switch to HiCAD in early 2022. An interview with Rob Jacobs, Senior Project Planner at Kingspan Light + Air, about his first experiences with the CAD software that automatically generates 3D data for direct control of the production environment.

From the previous CAD software, Kingspan Light + Air's engineering department was used to drawing in 2D and then turning it into a 3D model at the end of a project. "However, BIM projects require us to start working in 3D right away," Jacobs begins. "That caused the necessary problems in our previous drawing package. And the software was not at all keen on curves in a construction. Due to an external takeover, the updates no longer arrived on time for us either. Reason enough to look out for new CAD software."

Smooth transition

HiCAD is not new to Kingspan Light + Air. "Due to shortcomings in our previous package, special projects had been carried out in HiCAD for some time," Jacobs acknowledges. "At some point, the decision was made to switch completely as a company. We are in our department with a team of eight people who took turns in training at ISD Group, supplier of the CAD software. One of our employees was already quite proficient with the package from his previous employer and helped to tailor the software to our way of working. So that the transition and control of production would also run a bit smoother. And it did. I myself completed the training in October and have already worked out about seven projects completely in HiCAD. The changeover has therefore not been too bad. Meanwhile, the last one in line has also completed the training, which means that we have completely switched over in a year's time. Now all that remains is to make flying hours!"

The CAD software automatically generates 3D data for direct control of the production environment". 



Rob Jacobs, Senior Project Planner

Much faster

According to Jacobs, experiences with HiCAD to date have been purely positive. "For example, the DXF files we use to work out sheet metal are very complete. In our previous package, the production engineering department still had a lot of work to complete the results. That is now a thing of the past. HiCAD is also graphically much better. You really work in 3D instead of in 2D planes. Also ideal is the 'Kingspan tools' tab, easily called up from the ribbon at the top. This allows us to bring in complete profiles with cover strips and rubbers as a group. All standard solutions that we don't have to model ourselves, but can insert correctly by entering variables. That just works very pleasantly and is also much faster in the end. Although, of course, in the beginning it takes some searching for all the settings and tools, but that is inherent in using new software. All in all, we are convinced that with HiCAD we are set for the future."

About Kingspan Light + Air

Kingspan Light + Air operates in the Netherlands with around 350 employees, covering a wide range of siciplines. From advice to design, from production to realisation and maintenance of projects. With our high-quality, functional and sustainable customised solutions for daylight, natural ventilation, smoke control and climate technology, we are a well-known player in the market. Our climate solutions are marketed under the Colt brand, part of Kingspan Light + Air.