SPG was formed in 1988 and today is a leading specialist in the design, supply, installation and maintenance of refrigerated display equipment to major retail groups across the UK.
As the company expanded to take on an increasing number of major refurbishment and refit programmes, so the pressure increased on its design facilities and, in 2002, the company recognised the need to move from a 2D to a 3D environment.
“As designs became more complex, so the pressure to be able to visualise what we were doing in 3D became irresistible,” says drawing office manager, Phil Ginn. SPG looked at what the market had to offer and chose Autodesk Inventor Series because it was easier to learn and use and had greater functionality.
“However, what clinched it for us without doubt was having the opportunity to view Inventor in action in another local business,” he recalls. “Seeing was certainly believing!”
As anticipated, Mr Ginn and his team were up and running with Inventor within days of the initial training and it now allows them to design in a “completely different and more effective way”. The amount of prototyping required has been reduced and the need for a pre-production stage virtually eradicated, as ‘fit’ is guaranteed.
SPG has also established closer client relationships, as customers are able to see early on precisely how the end product will look and fit. Many customers like to have a design input and Inventor allows them to become involved in the design process much more effectively. At the same time, it enables the design team to introduce and locate additional elements such as the electrical control boxes and pipe work, something which was impossible in 2D.
The design team occasionally uses its previous AutoCAD software to design a basic profile, before utilising 3D where visualisation becomes important.
Yet what has been the biggest change for Mr Ginn and his colleagues? “Inventor has put the fun back,” he confirms, “and we really enjoy designing once again!”
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