A recently introduced three-dimensional modelling system has dramatically increased customer service levels. It not only facilitates quick turnaround for costs and drawings, but also provides an accurate 3D view of the finished storage solution.
The new system, entitled ProCreate, is AutoCad-compatible, and uses the new AutoDesk Inventor software to produce highly realistic 3D walkarounds of installations, from small office store-rooms to large distribution centres.
With the integration of ProCreate into the long-established Dexion Design Program, a number of processes have been streamlined; allowing a better interpretation of a customer’s needs and providing far quicker turnaround. For example, staff can now output the complete component design of a 20,000 to 30,000-pallet warehouse and generate drawings in less than 10 minutes. In the past, that would take two or three days to do.
In addition, customers can easily communicate the key features of a project within their own businesses, allowing all stakeholders to get a genuine feel as to what the installation will look like.
The Dexion Design Program had been around for12 years. The Dexion Design Program was written and developed in-house, but in recent years had become an engineering-focused package, rather than sales and customer driven.
The Dexion Design Program was excellent for structural engineering calculations, and produced engineering type 2D drawings. But, it was relatively inflexible and did not provide much in terms of quick and easy output and it certainly did not provide much in terms of presentation.
After a survey of competitive offerings and client requirements, an internal working group was established to create a modelling program with design tools.
Representatives were chosen from the sales department to drive the project; and from the engineering and IT departments to turn the vision into a reality.
The group found it already had a powerful tool in the Dexion Design Program, a flexible database, which is able to be infinitely moulded and adjusted to suit any needs.
With the addition of ProCreate, the functionality and features of the program have increased dramatically, providing a platform capable of costing a job, putting the job into the plant, commissioning the job, and providing detailed 3D site drawings.
According to Dexion, due to the popularity of AutoCad in the warehousing and logistics marketplace, it was essential to maintain AutoCad compatibility.
As a result of the investment, AutoDesk has put into its suite of products; its Inventor product is new in design and drawing packages. Therefore, Dexion commissioned AutoDesk to write an interface between the Dexion Design Program and Inventor, which involved the modelling of the thousands of components in the Dexion range.
ProCreate provides a 360° view of the warehouse, including a snapshot or cross-section in still format. It can also take a virtual camera in and view any area or can provide fly-through simulations from any view in almost real-time. Staff can then convert these drawings into a format that customers can use; supplying stills in either JPG or bitmap format or as PowerPoint slides.
Dexion can also supply fly-throughs in Windows-compatible software, so customers do not require 3D modelling capabilities. Dexion provides this capability as a value-added service. As leading industry suppliers, Dexion’s customers expect this level of service.
Dexion understands that other parties such as builders and consultants expect good tools, quick turnarounds and industry-best practice from a quality partner. In addition, the service will not just be used for major projects, with the interface now written, a drawing can be generated every time for any sized project.
Internally, Dexion called this Project Leapfrog because it aimed at progressing well ahead of competitive services. Now that ProCreate is fully implemented across the entire Dexion network, Dexion is confident that this objective has been comfortably achieved.