The Ex Zone designs and manufactures control panels for areas where explosion proofing is key. We customise the enclosure for the needs of the end user which could be an offshore platform or an industrial compound.
We have customers in the Middle East, Far East as well as in the United States. SolidWorks gives us the ability to design everything in 3D as our customers are now asking quite a lot about 3D design which means we can sometimes be in a better place against our competitors to sell our products.
SolidWorks gives us flexibility to switch between different regulations such as European Standards or Australian Standards. SolidWorks helps us a great deal to reduce design time and time-to-market for all of our products. SolidWorks is able to manage all of the changes a customer requests of us, SolidWorks is able to come up with the solutions and we re-issue drawings quickly for approval in a short period of time.
All the manual labour involved that used to be involved in modifying things on paper which is then duplicated as many times as there are versions of that design… well now that is not there anymore.
Because of the way in which the design is finalised it is much quicker than any other software in the production of design drawings and can save us a couple of days in lead times. You can be on top of any problems before they occur in the assembly stage.
A great feature is the configuration tool which allows you to change sizes, proportions and details of the model to obtain different variations of the same model all done with minimal effort.
We use the Sheet Metal in the design a range of stainless steel boxes. The good thing about SolidWorks is that you can model your design with a particular module, the Sheet Metal module, which allows you to create all the bends, angles and folds as they would be needed in production. Also if you use Toolbox we have a big library of fasteners with different standards and materials. This is good because when you are designing the last thing you want to do is to have to spend time designing a bolt.
We use PhotoView to present the product especially for marketing purposes. We are able to give the client a preview of what the product is going to look like, even down to the materials with accurate colours, shades and perspectives. We can even use sections to show realistically what the products will be like inside which for our enclosures is key really.
SolidWorks Electrical gives us the ability to customise the bill of materials and the records we need including heat dissipation calculations, papers for purchasing and drawings for the workers to help them at the assembly stage. I can generate a bill of materials for the sales team to work out costs so it is basically involved in the whole company. A key thing with SolidWorks Electrical is that it looks after the whole library. After that it is easy to pick up the components and get the right size of circuit breakers, contactors or terminals in accordance with all of the features you need when designing electrical solutions.
Cadtek has been key for two reasons. The first was SolidWorks Electrical. We were completely new to it but the improvement for the business has been massive and we had a great deal of support from Cadtek to implement it, troubleshoot and to merge the capabilities of the software with the needs of our business. The other is that SolidWorks has helped us in the past couple of years in terms of our growth and will help us in the future as well because it’s a great tool that with the minimum amount of effort can create a great deal of data. In terms of introducing new products and product ranges it’s very quick and that is priceless in our company.
Established in 2003 The Ex Zone specialise in the design and manufacture of Atex certified hazardous area control systems to companies all over the world. By using SolidWorks the in house design team are able to offer a totally bespoke service to exacting standards.