Mining equipment manufacturer, Russell Mineral Equipment is saving up to 100 hours of staff time a week in the design of its customised mining equipment as a result of its computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) implementation from Australian specialist, Intercad .
Intercad is a leading Australian and New Zealand authorised reseller of SolidWorks 3D CAD/CAM technology, supported by a comprehensive portfolio of technical and business services.
The company has more than 20 years’ experience in the design, engineering and manufacturing industries.
Based in Toowoomba in Queensland, Russell Mineral Equipment designs, manufactures and services customised mining equipment at mine sites in every major hard rock mining region of the world. The company’s core focus is on grinding mill maintenance, for which it produces machines and services that enable relining of grinding mills with maximum safety and efficiency.
Russell Mineral Equipment is one of Intercad’s longest-standing customers having first purchased the company’s flagship product, SolidWorks in 1996. The company had always been an early adopter of technology and quickly saw the potential impact 3D solid modelling could have on its design and manufacturing cycle.
The company now has 29 SolidWorks seats and a number of other licences for a range of complementary programs such as finite element analysis and product data management to obtain even more value out of its CAD/CAM implementation.
“Part of our philosophy is to always work with the latest technology,” says Dr Rick Coker, Engineering Manager, Russell Mineral Equipment. “We rely on Intercad for high-level support. Its sales engineers and support personnel know our business well enough to know what will work for us.”
Russell Mineral Equipment was one of the first Intercad customers to experiment with product data management software, first purchasing SolidWorks Workgroup PDM, which provides version control and secure design data re-use for smaller design teams in 2003. The company has since exhausted that package and is migrating to SolidWorks Enterprise PDM.
“We have the world’s largest SolidWorks PDM Workgroup database by about a factor of five,” he says. “Migrating to SolidWorks Enterprise PDM is not just a slight modification, it’s a whole new system, and for the past nine months we have been focused on how to complete that migration without interrupting our usual workflows.
Russell Mineral Equipment has an advanced SolidWorks user base in-house so the company rarely undertakes general training courses, preferring to invest in Intercad’s customised training.
As one of the early adopters of product data management, Russell Mineral Equipment has made its expertise and experiences available to other Intercad customers that are interested in the software.
“The mining industry is all about doing things quickly and safely,” continues Piper. “Russell Mineral Equipment clearly provides those benefits to its customers and it is our job to ensure the software and services we provide helps enable those benefits.”