ARFO AB is an engineering company based in Skelleftea, north of Sweden, that designs and manufactures machinery equipment for customers worldwide. The designs are customer specific and their customers come from a variety of different fields within manufacturing, meaning that ARFO needs a flexible 3D CAD system that allows them to tailor machines to customer needs and communicate ideas and changes efficiently.
Examples of products that ARFO produces are welding automation equipment, complicated fixtures for manufacturing industries, and equipment for vehicle industries that work with sandwich-constructions. Typical sizes of machinery that ARFO manufactures can consist of 1,000–2,000 unique parts.
The task at ARFO is to engineer customer production lines more efficiently while designing more effective and productive machinery equipment. To solve this task, ARFO needed to find a faster, easier to use, more stable 3D CAD system over their current platform.
ARFO’s 3D CAD System of Choice
To find the ideal 3D CAD system, ARFO evaluated most midrange 3D CAD systems for solid modeling before choosing IronCAD. Peter Forsell, manager of the engineering department states:
“We work within tight time frames, and we must have a CAD system that will allow us to focus on the design. Quickly we noticed that most CAD systems forced us to follow all kinds of rules, to work as the program wanted us to, not allowing us to work the way we wanted and needed to. For example, we found that it was not at all easy to move parts/assemblies as you want! Which is very basic!
“In IronCAD, we just click on what we want to move and use the TriBall to move it! Who can say what the end result should look like when you start? We can’t predict what will need to be changed, and these last-minute changes are much more easily accomplished in IronCAD.
“Many designs for our customers require the use of sheet metal. With IronCAD’s unique drag and drop technique for sheet metal, we can create our designs faster, saving us a lot of time to use elsewhere in the design process.
“Also, we often use the integrated rendering and animation capabilities of IronCAD. Early in the design phase, we can create a realistic rendering and animation to show our customer what the design will look like and how the machinery will work in their environment.
“This capability saves us time and money by avoiding mistakes early in the design process instead of costly changes that may occur in the downstream stages. After getting the approval of the design from our customer, we go on to finish the 3D design and create 2D drawing for manufacturing.
“With IronCAD’s rendering capability, it’s so much easier to do time consuming things, such as technical manuals, because it’s easier to make .jpg/.tif/.bmp images from models in IronCAD than taking actual photographs of finished equipment!
“IronCAD ends up creating better results in a shorter time, along with making it easier to show only the parts that are relevant for the topic without having to assemble/disassemble a real machine.
“From the time we started using IronCAD as our 3D CAD system, we have saved time and money. We believe IronCAD is clearly the most user-friendly program because you do not need to think about the program; instead you can concentrate on the design. The user interface, together with TriBall and handles technology, places IronCAD in its own class of 3D modelers.
“Even with all these unique and powerful features, IronCAD is still easy to use and easy to learn. We didn’t even need to go to any training to grasp the concepts — we started to be productive from Day 1 in IronCAD!”
“So when customers now turn to ARFO for solutions of their technical problems, they get an answer fast and with great graphical presentation. The customer knows exactly what the end result will be without having to wait for a finished product. With the help of IronCAD, the delivery time to customer from ARFO is even shorter from an already fast company!”