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ShapeSpace 3D CAD part search technology from Radford HMY Group

Radford HMY Group are about to use ShapeSpace 3D CAD part search technology to rationalise their enormous part database before they export it into a new line-of-business system.

Radford HMY design, manufacture and install bespoke shop fittings for major retail outlets (customers include Tesco, Asda, B&Q and Dixons), public, educational and commercial spaces.

All shop fittings supplied by Radford are designed to meet their client’s unique and specific requirements. They have therefore amassed a huge part library of CAD component designs.

Greg Ashby, Director of Engineering at Radford said: "We are in the process of migrating to a new business system and we don’t want to take any unnecessary or legacy data with us."

In common with most large databases, Radford’s part library contains duplicates. It is easily done; a part could be indexed as ‘300mm right angle bracket’ by one design engineer and a ’30cm 90° bracket’ by another, but they are essentially the same part.

"The Plan is to considerably reduce the part numbers within our database, deleting duplicates, removing obsolete designs and most importantly standardising common parts" said Greg. "Using the search and retrieval tools within our CAD/Technical database system would take far too long and probably more importantly, not capture all design iterations, therefore rendering it inaccurate. We will use ShapeSpace to speed up the whole migration of the new business system."

ShapeSpace searches an entire CAD filing system for similar shaped parts and displays the results collectively as 3D images on the screen. Instantly, users are able to see all similar part files held in the system and identify them by 3D shape. All duplicates, triplicates and superceded part designs can be deleted at the click-of-a-button, retaining the most up-to-date and frequently used part in the library for ongoing use.

Going forward, Radford’s design teams will be able to utilise ShapeSpace to quickly and easily check if a component part exists and if so, reuse it in the design process. This will cut down the time spent redesigning something that probably already exists, but could not be found using traditional search methods. Time will be saved as there is no longer the need to ‘reinvent the wheel’ so frequently.

ShapeSpace is distributed in the UK by ProcessFlows, providers of business process management solutions to commercial, legal, finance, healthcare and public sector organisations.

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