Automating the Creation of Shop Drawings
Walters & Wolf's Seattle area facility designs, fabricates, and installs curtain wall systems for commercial buildings. For a given project, the design team may produce hundreds of detailed drawings, one for each segment of extrusion used in a curtainwall. Each of these drawings is used by the machinists in the shop to create the finished extrusion. The process of creating these from Inventor models is tedious, repetitive, and time consuming.
The goal of this automation work is to reduce the time to create detail drawings of these parts from up to an hour each to minutes and to deliver something to Walters & Wolf they could begin using and refining as soon as possible. Of the two automation approaches available, the customer chose to have the automation created using Inventor iLogic rather than an Inventor Add-in. The automation should reduce the amount of checking time for each drawing and reduce the amount of material scrapped due to drawing errors.
The scope of the automation proposes to:
Determine the correct format for the drawing based on the model indicated by the user.
Place base and projected views in their required orientations per the format above.
Break the views, to fit them onto the space available while maintaining all relevant features.
Dimension the model, locate holes, identify, and detail standard notch profiles, as possible.
The only manual work would be to move/align dimensions for clarity.
The program that was delivered to handle the tasks described above reduced the average time to detail each part from 30 to 5 minutes, reducing the detailing time for a project by six times. The time to detail a project consisting of 300 parts would drop from 150 hours to 25. Checking time has been reduced to almost none and drawing errors that would result in scrap have been eliminated.
From the time we began working to define the scope of work until we had a working program was a matter of weeks. Updates have been handled quickly, as well. The program handles all but the most complicated examples of extrusions (upwards of 95% of cases).
A sample return on investment (ROI) would be as follows:
20 projects per year with an average of 250 fabrication drawings per project. The manual method of detailing these parts would require 30 minutes per part. 20 projects X (250 X 0.5/hr.) = 2,500 hours X $50/hr. = $125,000.
Using the automation tool, the cost for the same number of projects would be reduced as follows: 20 projects X (250 X 0.083/hr.) = 415 hours X $50/hr. = $20,750
125,000 - 20,750 = $104,250/$5000 (program cost) = 20.85
Assessment of Needs
Strategy & Planning
Optimize Accelerator Delivery
Software Development & Customization