About Machinefabriek Pavro
In Nijverdal, Managing Director/Owner Henk Kamphuis runs his Machinefabriek Pavro in a very hands-on fashion. Since he started his company in 1997, he clearly has not lost contact with the products under the daily pressure of his management task. As we tour the company during our visit, he regularly allows interruptions from shop-floor employees who may ask him to glance at a drawing or briefly discuss some matter of urgent concern.
Though a lot is produced on the shop floor, the capacity is no longer sufficient. Shortly, work will begin on the construction of a new company building somewhere in Nijverdal. So, things are going well for Pavro. Mr Kamphuis believes that the switch to 3D in the design process is at least partly responsible for this.Read more
Insight and overview thanks to 3D CAD
Kamphuis knows the design process all too well, so we can take a step back to let him share his experiences. 'We develop special machines to customer specifications. The solutions we design and build are often necessarily quite complex. Only with 3D do you have the ability to maintain an overview and, very importantly, to provide insight to others.'
This sentence may appear to have come from the marketing department of a random CAD software producer, but Mr Kamphuis stated it this way without any prompting. 'Doing business and staying in business with a customer is a matter of building up a relationship in which you can work together. The building and the advancement of a good partnership with your customers will benefit from clear communication. A 3D model can play an important role in this. It's so much easier for everyone to see how your design will eventually look and function.' The designers themselves, of course, also benefit from managing the overview and insight. What's more, the 3D design process has some extras, such as strength calculation, which simplify the design process.
Importing existing drawings into Inventor
Pavro enlisted an independent consulting firm to help them choose a 3D CAD system. Their advice was based on the one hand on the requirements that Pavro had formulated, and on the other, by looking at the present systems within their client base.
Naturally, the latter was in the context of the interoperability of the design files and the reuse of the existing designs. There's that communication element again. The decision for the yet to be purchased CAM package also played a role. After reviewing all of the criteria, Machinefabriek Pavro opted for Autodesk Inventor.
An additional advantage is that this ensures the optimal continuation of the 2D work activities because AutoCAD is delivered with Inventor; all of the existing drawings at Pavro were AutoCAD drawings. Inventor has been in use since November 2006, and it has completely fulfilled the expectations. Not only where engineering capabilities are concerned, but also the important communication with third parties. He also noticed the in-house need for this.More about Autodesk Inventor
Better communication through visualization
In addition to the 'obligatory' normal views, nearly every work drawing is provided with an isometric, coloured view. This considerably improved communicating with on-site production; many of the products that Pavro builds are one-offs, and the lovely image helps others to understand the drawing. Speaking of drawings, given that Inventor can create customized, associative work drawings in AutoCAD format, and many contacts also enjoy working with this, the final decision was made. Further, the models are used for producing illustrations in the documentation and manuals that are delivered with much of the equipment.
The draughting room has three workstations with Inventor, one of which has the professional version. In addition to the standard design functionality, this version can also perform strength calculations, which are regularly required. The only professional package that fulfil the needs of all three of the engineers. The other features of the professional version, especially the dynamic analysis, are rarely used. But that which has not yet happened, still can.
The users have all been positive about the implementation process completed for Inventor. After receiving help to quickly get on track through ‘one stop-shop’ Cadac, we were easily able to work with the package without any issues. The dealer took care of the training programmes, establishing the drawing frames and parts lists, and similar items, but mainly the dealer helped with installing Vault, the document management system that comes standard with Inventor. This may be a relatively simple package, but it meets Pavro's needs, and it has become an essential part of the draughting room environment. Moreover, AutoCAD drawings can be also managed in Vault.
And what can we see on the drawings that leave Pavro's draughting room? Well, the staff is especially proud of a few regular customers for whom we have completed a great deal of work. NedTrain in particular springs to mind here.
NedTrain overhauls, maintains, and cleans rolling material for railways. Pavro supplies the railways with a wide range of resources and tools to accomplish these tasks. From simple help frames for the assembly of specific components to complete cleaning platforms and lifting equipment for locomotives weighing dozens of tonnes. Pavro designs the mechanical element, such as the electrical and electronic design, in collaboration with third parties.
Belt texturing machine
In addition, Pavro has a number of its own products. These include belt texturing machines, vibration machines, accessories for cleaning vehicles, and similar products. Have you ever heard of a belt texturing machine? No? Neither had the writer, and a Google search returns scant results. The device creates patterns on clay, which are used later to create a brick. So, now you know what they are.
Vibration machines are devices which you have probably seen street pavers using. Pavro has made them for a long time in diverse models. The drawings were once created in AutoCAD, and there is actually no need to convert them to 3D. That is unless the 3D system suddenly provides the ability to build a beautiful contemporary cabinet around the device. Then the components, which play a role in this, are processed into 3D. It is a fine example of the reuse of the original 2D design and the opportunities and possibilities that 3D provides.