Time savings for 3D drawing of technical installations
Lotec of Eindhoven started in 1867 as a plumbing firm and has now become a renowned specialist in water technology. The company specializes in the complete engineering, construction, and maintenance of swimming pools, from public and private swimming pools to specialist wellness environments. Their knowledge and experience extends beyond swimming pools. Lotec develops and installs wave systems, whirlpools, attractions, and equipment for water treatment.Read more
New 3D CAD software
With more than 60 employees, Lotec is primarily active in the public sector, working on projects such as municipal and therapy pools. The company is even the market leader for swimming pools in the Benelux region. The company was looking for new 3D CAD software better suited to the design of the technical & sanitary installations.
Lotec was an early adopter of 3D drawing. Around fifteen years ago, the industry began using 3D in addition to the standard 2D draughting work, using a package that was originally intended for the plant design industry. 'The industry made that decision at the time because there was nothing available for the 3D design of sanitary installation,' according to Stan Weckx, Head of Production Planning at Lotec.
Reliable 3D software is essential
Stan explains: 'Our installations can be incredibly complex. We design and develop our own swimming pool installations and filter and filtration techniques, but we also do the demolition work: pretty much anything that has to do with piping.
We develop wave machines ranging from small to large options. For instance, the Tongelreep (a major swimming pool in Eindhoven) has an installation with four chambers, whereas we installed one in Portugal consisting of at least ten chambers. We also make water attractions like the SurfRider (a non-stop, two-metre high artificial wave for surfing), the Fly Over in Duinrell, and the Rock Plunge in Center Parcs De Eemhof (a unique shooting waterslide).'
Greater ease of use
Lotec began using Cadac Techline in the summer of 2012. Stan explains: 'We quickly arrived at Cadac Group. I have known about the company now for over twenty years because I followed various training programmes and purchased AutoCAD licences. 'Cadac Techline offers our technical installation engineers greater ease of use than the 3D software we used in the past.
The software is based on the AutoCAD platform, so our engineers could start using it quickly. Good software was not the only important consideration though; we were also looking for reliable support. Because it is very frustrating when, for example, you cannot generate decent cross sections from a model for whatever reason. And I must say, we are very satisfied indeed with the support we receive from Cadac Group. Support requests are responded to and resolved quickly. That is quite a change from what we experienced in the past!'
Time savings during the drawing process
Cadac Techline provides additional 3D design functionality that is missing from the standard version of AutoCAD. 'Drawing sections was formerly a chore, but now it's a piece of cake. Moreover, we can also create different views and generate bills of materials faster.
The biggest advantage is that we can now draw our technical rooms directly in 3D.' I am heavily involved with the planning stage of projects. Now, we are able to draw directly in 3D in the same amount of time, and not only in flat 2D surfaces. A lovely 3D visualization is not only much clearer for customers, technicians can also view the 3D technical installations which can prevent many errors,' according to Stan.
Automated components generation
In addition to time-saving features, Cadac Techline offers an enormous library with installation engineering components. Gerard Wittebol, Product Engineer at Cadac Group, added extra components to the library for Lotec. Stan explains: 'For example, he has created an entire library with PVC fittings from our supplier, VDL.
Various modules have also been developed. For instance, for heat exchangers or for building bulk waste traps that we make ourselves. Thanks to the convenient input screens which contain connections, diameters, height, width, connection placement, and more, components can be automatically generated. Currently, a module is under development for inserting plastic butterfly valves in standard steel piping, in which flanges can be added automatically. In a technical space with hundreds of valves, this saves an enormous amount of time!'