b'A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWNIt was somewhat typical in the industry at thedeveloping its Beamline 600. The 3D nature offrom the model, it is imported into the machine time. So, just as it had built its own blastingthe process created a need for some bespokecontroller, interpreted and we make parts.and painting plant, and formed its ownmodelling software to talk to the machine. While modelling solves a number erection team, Dixon & Haddon once moreIt was an early automation step, says Mike.of problems, some challenges remain, took control of the process and established itsThat sort of thing is endemic now, but backparticularly as structures become more own drawing office.then it was quite new.complex. Its not AI, it doesnt read the The operation wasnt based at Span Farm; The commissioning of the Beamlinedrawings for you, it still requires skilled it started in Lincoln Road in Henderson beforeprompted Dixon & Haddon to investigatedetailers to accurately interpret what the moving to a larger office space above theand implement a newer, commerciallyarchitect and engineer have designed and feed Thirsty Rooster Bar & Grill, a local institutionavailable 3D modelling package in 2002 calledit into the model. D&H has a great team of in Glendene. In 2002, Dixon & Haddons officeProstructures, which the company still usesexperienced detailers; its their knowledge and team moved in with DrafTechall of thetoday. It was the single biggest step forwardexperience that counts.admin, quantity surveying, project managers,in terms of technology, says Mike.With the 3D modelling came lots of data and the management team including Mike Dixon & Haddons quality stepped up aand lots of unexpected benefits. The model and Bob. It was the first step towardsnotch because its so much more visual quickly became the root of many other integrating the drawing office with the rest and any errors, like holes that dont line up,processes. As well as the machine code, it of the business. are easier to spot. It streamlined the processdelivered information to the team to run When Mike Thompson first started in theconsiderably. schedules for site, manufacturing and quality drawing office, 90 percent of the drafting wasMike remembers Dixon & Haddons platechecking purposes. It produced concise still done manually with pen and ink and allshop at Span Farm. Jackie [Jack McLean]information about the bill of materials for the calculations were done by hand. There wasand a couple of old hands were using ourstructure and how much steel we needed to one computer that sat in a corner and it haddrawings to make plates. Theyd work out theorder, down to the last millimetre.rudimentary computer-aided design (CAD).dimensions, mark things out and punch holes.The model has affected every area of There was some pretty cool stuff in the 3DAll day every day, they were making platesthe business and its going to carry on doing space but it wasnt affordable at that point. and angles and brackets. Ninety-nine percentso because I think there is more that we can It stayed that way for a few years. of things were made by hand then, now 98leverage from it, says Mike Thompson.Then Dixon & Haddon set aboutpercent are made by machines. We export data 72'