New Zealand cable car manufacturer takes on the world with SolidWorks 3D CAD software supported by Solidtec
A Wellington, New Zealand-based niche manufacturer of inclined lifts is using SolidWorks 3D CAD software to grow their business in Australian and Asian markets.
Also known as cable cars, the inclined lifts from Access Automation Ltd are a common sight in New Zealand and beginning to appear in Australian cities.
Access Automation faced a number of challenges in designing 3D structures, importing files from diverse CAD systems, communicating with clients and council planners, and modelling custom designs before manufacture.
Key challenges included:
- Communicating the actual appearance of complex 3D structures prior to their construction to clients and council planners
- Finding the most efficient rail geometry to fit to a 3D topographical surface
- Making large diameter flowing curves to high accuracy in fabricated steel sections
- FEA analysis of steel sections
- Importing drawing files from various CAD systems and professionals such as architects, engineers and surveyors
- Ability to fully model custom designed cable car machinery and check its operation on a variety of rail geometries before manufacture
Following the implementation of SolidWorks 3D CAD software at Access Automation by Solidtec Solutions, the company has been able to resolve these challenges effectively with the design software becoming an important part of their business today.
According to Access Automation’s General Manager, Darin Phillips-Brown, the starting point on a job is a 3D site survey, data from which is used to fully model the rail layout and overall job using SolidWorks. The resulting 3D CAD model is used to communicate with clients, council planners and their NZ-based manufacturing staff.
Mr Phillips- Brown adds that Solidtec Solutions has been very responsive in providing technical support and ongoing staff training for SolidWorks 3D CAD software.
Key benefits derived by Access Automation from SolidWorks 3D CAD software:
- Functions as a powerful marketing tool in presenting new cable car designs to clients as a 3D image on the computer or a photo rendered printed image
- Communicates the visual impact of proposed installations to council planners
- Versatility in importing various drawing files from surveyors and architects all around the world
- Essential design and development tool for custom cable car systems
- Helps generate laser cut templates to accurately manufacture large sweeping curved fabrications to high accuracy
Solidtec Solutions won the SolidWorks ‘Highest Customer Satisfaction, Asia-Pacific, 2010’ award, and has built on this reputation by continually providing and adding value to their customer subscription program.
Solidtec Solutions CEO, Shane Preston says that they ensure their customers get the absolute most out of the SolidWorks software, and the training and support package provided by their subscription services.
Mr Phillips-Brown is very enthusiastic about growth potential for the company, especially in the Australian and Asian markets. A key aspect to Access Automation’s success is their commitment to finding high quality custom design solutions for their clients to meet specific requirements.
The company has developed rail systems that can turn and follow the natural topography of the land and provide discreet and convenient access options for property owners who live on steep sites.
Lift cabins can also be custom designed to meet individual customer requirements and development styles as their project in Vietnam where the cars have been designed to look like local fishing boats.
Access Automation technology has been utilised by some of the most prestigious hotel and resort operators in Asia including Ritz Carlton, Bulgari and Pansea.