Allan J Hargreaves
We are very much driven by customer focus and the standard prevailing that we have to build machines to the railway it all revolves around safety and productivity. We are one of the few companies, I think there is only four companies in the UK that can provide a service that we provide. Having a good team around us, we can use SolidWorks to come up with solutions to make economical and reliable solutions for customers’ needs, machines needs and industry needs to make railways a better and safer place.
We chose SolidWorks because of the ease of use and all of the extras you can bolt onto it to make your design easier and quicker to market. I’d probably say it cut down, by 50%, time to market.
“As we do designs we’ve got to prove the designs and we get audited on what we’ve installed on the machine, we’ve had to go to SolidWorks and get a proper system so it’s all auditable and all licenced. It’s reduced our risk because we know we have proven the design before we actually manufacture it.”
SolidWorks helps the prototyping stage because you can do many design iterations on the computer, do the analysis, do the calculations and the stress etc. and when you then build it, it’s hopefully right first time.
Right at the start of the process from building a model up in SolidWorks and making the drawings to getting all the parts laser cut. To then feed through simulation we would take it for a static study and the buckling study. Through to Visualize for the finished product which we can then display to a customer. Either on screen or by visuals on paper.
So Visualize has opened up a big doorway within the company that wasn’t here before. It has really helped me create images for the company to show the customer. That includes lighting, form texturing we can then produce photo-realistic images. The animations I have created in SolidWorks and then I have exported this through Visualize. Which has been a very easy transition. Also has setting up your lights within SolidWorks ready to go through to Visualize. It also enables the use of HDR environments which easily maps out a scene. You can then render clouds on an animation easily.
So we use SolidWorks Electrical for doing 2D Electrical schematics and hydraulic schematics. When we design the integration of 3D SolidWorks for the machine we also need to integrate electrical systems into the machine hydraulic systems into the machines.
SolidWorks Simulation, its enabled me to do stress analysis, static analysis and buckling analysis. SolidWorks also has an add in called sheet metal, we use sheet metal a lot. One of the manufactures we use to do the laser cutting for us, they have their own bend table, which I have incorporated into sheet metal in SolidWorks. This allows me to easily fuse the measurements they would use for bending.
Although the upfront cost is there for the system and the software, it does pay back as we have the information before we go to the production. That’s where are finding our benefits with SolidWorks.
From our purchase of SolidWorks going over the last 7 years we have been through many training programmes at our works here and we have also been to Cadtek facilities. Also on top of that will be webinars that we can go on to find out what’s new, what other tips and tricks there are and every year we have an upgrade event. We can go and see what’s new in the new release of SolidWorks.
So Cadtek have not only come on and set up software for me but they’ve actually done online tutorials and shown me how to use SolidWorks. Whenever there’s a problem Cadtek are there to help. I phone Cadtek up and they’re instantly on the phone by remote desktop. Instant. So in seconds Cadtek can help me with whatever my situation is at the time.
I think that without SolidWorks we would struggle doing what we’re doing now, so it’s sort of invaluable to us.
I’m a great believer that change is good for a business and we’ve got to keep changing, evolving, new innovations. So as new technologies moving forward we want to try and provide the customer something they’ve not even thought of, with the aid of SolidWorks, that’s where we see the future for our company.
Allan J Hargreaves Plant Engineers was founded in August 1983 and incorporated in 2005 for the repair and maintenance of construction plant machinery, specialising in 360 degree excavators. Qualifying under ‘RISQS’, the Railway Industry supplier Qualification Scheme and ‘ISO 9001:2008’ accreditation, Allan J Hargreaves supply the UK with RIS-1530-PLT compliant rail conversion plant hire and sale.
Using the latest technology to offer a cost effective solution for various 360 Excavators wheeled and tracked, tracked dozers, dumpers, rail trailers, ballast brooms and attachments. All backed up with mobile service support throughout the UK.
I’d probably say it cut down, by 50%, time to market.
We chose SolidWorks because of the ease of use and all of the extras you can bolt onto it to make your design easier and get quicker to market.
SolidWorks Visualize has opened up a big doorway within the company that wasn’t here before.
It’s really helped me create images for the company to show the customer.