Analox is a gas sensing company we are over 30 years old based in the North East of the UK. We’ve been providing gas solutions to beverage and hospitality, to military customers on boats and submarines and we do a mix of commercial products, but also bespoke customer led projects. But across all of it our primary objective is to save lives and keep people safe where they’re working and that’s why we get out of bed in the morning.
So that has to run through all of the process from why you might create the product at all but also all the way through our design process. It’s super important that we understand that and we manufacture something really reliable and fit for purpose.
We first started using SolidWorks back in 2001 and went away from it and went to AutoCAD then came back to SolidWorks and have been using it ever since. It’s just a much easier programme to use than anything else on the market. AutoCAD is not good for 3D design.
I’ve used SolidWorks in previous places so I was pleased to find it when I got here. The speed of use, it seems easy to use for the guys who’s living in it day to day. We get a really good level of support from using it as well there’s a really strong community of people around it. The company themselves and Cadtek we get great support from them.
Things like Visualize, Composer and PDM. Those are the bits that are really useful to us. It’s control over workflow and being able to collaborate on stuff. One of the really powerful things having something like SolidWorks as a tool and what’s changed our industry completely is that very early on with the customer if it’s an opportunity to rebrand something that already exists or it’s an opportunity to develop a new updated version of something we already have, we can very quickly take those models, reapply stickers and things like that and show them what their product may start to look like. We can visualise very quickly.
You start to be able to see very quickly the challenges you may have so you can chew through iterations much more quickly If you do rapid prototype something you’ve a greater chance of that being what you want when it comes back. It also allows us to use things like the eDrawings app to take to shows on iPads. Taking a tiny printed sheet of paper with a QR code on it pointing an iPad on it and you can see it to the correct scale in the room, you know it’s not there physically and you can’t touch it but you can open the door you can look inside you can show people where the gas sensing path is so show them where the tubing is where they’ll have to maintain show them where the bench is – all of that helps bring a product alive.
You can do a building structure using composer basically in a couple of days where as before you actually had to build the product – take photos whilst you’re building it then write the procedure out. With Composer you just bring the 3d model in and it’s a lot quicker.
Composer is our new favourite were starting to experiment now where a product, instead of having written instructions, has a series of animations and pictures put together in Composer. So for us the model is critical because where we have to manage the product through its life we can update things like building instructions by just updating an image or just updating the model it pulls, it’s incredible.
We use composer for doing our animations which will then go through to the marketing department and they can be linked in PowerPoint presentations or lots of animations on google drive and could be used in shows too.
PDM has been a really important cultural change for us because up until that point we had lots of manual processes for controlling changes to documents. What’s really powerful about the PDM is, for example, me and the management team get notifications on our desktop when we have to sign something off or when we have to review and authorise it. So that is really good at getting us engaged with what we have to do and when we audit it it’s in the right place, that’s incredibly useful!
Cadtek have been a really good partner to us. They respond really rapidly, we’ve done some onsite training with them and they always arrive prepared, they’re good at answering our questions. When we and the team play with the systems afterwards, when PDM got installed for example, they worked really well with our IT team. They’ve always been really responsive, it’s been great.
Analox have been providing safety critical gas detection solutions since 1981. Recognised as a world leader in the design and manufacture of gas sensors and analysers, with 350 years of collective, specialist mechanical, electronics and software engineering expertise.
Serving industries including diving, labs, beverage and the military, Analox use SolidWorks to provide a wide range of fixed and portable gas monitors as well as OEM sensors and bespoke solutions.
Visualize, Composer and PDM, those are the bits that are really useful to us
What’s changed our industry completely is that very early on with the customer if it’s an opportunity to re-brand…we can very quickly take those models, reapply stickers and things like that and show them what their product may start to look like.
Composer is our new favourite
A product, instead of having written instructions, has a series of animations and pictures put together in Composer.
Cadtek have been a really good partner to us
When PDM got installed for example, they worked really well with our IT team. They’ve always been really responsive, it’s been great.