The Heavy Machinery & Off-Highway Equipment industry is tasked with the staggering responsibility of designing rugged, robust, and resilient equipment and machinery to handle harsh environments, extreme service conditions, and the constant forces of friction, impact, shear, motion, pressure, and inertia. Emerging industries, such as wind power construction, are also looking to these same manufacturers to provide viable solutions for the transport and erection of towers over 300 feet high with turbine blades that span 116 feet.
Engineering solutions for the design, manufacture, fabrication and assembly of machinery and equipment look to advanced design techniques and machining processes to supply the challenging demands of the construction, industrial, and agricultural equipment industries. A recent Seimens article titled ‘Collaborative Manufacturing and Design for Heavy Equipment’ cites the many issues that need to be tackled to improve reliability, productivity, and profitability:
- industry demands for higher quality and higher performance machinery
- using cutting-edge visualization techniques throughout concept, design, and marketing presentation
- integrating heavy equipment design solutions with cost-effective manufacturing processes
- use of intelligence-based design data across the supply chain
- increasingly competitive global participants forcing faster product-to-market cycles
- heightened noise reduction and gas emissions environmental regulations
- continuous industry pressure for state-of-the-art technology innovations
- reduction of complex assembly processes into sequenced instruction-based workflows
- extra testing for equipment optimization and industry certifications
The large-scale and complex nature of heavy equipment and machinery requires project-specific solutions in concept, design, manufacturing, and visualization. Focusing on design tools and manufacturing procedures required can enhance the manufacturing process and reduce the hazards and costs from engineering oversights.
The Conceptual Design Development Process
The conceptual stages of design development of off-highway equipment and heavy machinery are often required to keep a manufacturer’s product offerings current and innovative with additional technical features, increased durability, or adding multi-functionality to existing equipment. Our conceptual design services will not only assist in the future detailed design and engineering phases but can also provide keen insight into economic feasibility studies, manufacturing de-bottlenecking, identification of machining capacities, design geometry flexibilities, and as a base model for analytical engineering calculations such as buckling, stress, fatigue, vibration, flow, and thermal modeling analysis.
For new equipment product launches, 3D mechanical drawings provide effective communication of design intent and product aesthetics to get the most from your team marketing and engineering review meetings. From hand-sketches, redlined markups, or the CAD conversion of existing product design drawings, our team of creative design specialists can develop a conceptual model of new or improved heavy equipment components or complete assemblies to quickly guide your engineering team toward a working virtual model or documentation for a physical prototype. With multiple software platforms, such as SketchUp, AutoCad, or SolidWorks, we can provide seamless and secure file transfers to benefit the entire supply chain and engineering process.
General Arrangement Drawings For Optimum Machinery Illustrations
General arrangement drawings are developed to illustrate the machinery’s overall dimensions and weights, sub-system assemblies or units, equipment technical explanations, lifting points, or operational details, and can be further used as part of the marketing portfolio or corporate website knowledge base. Using computer-aided expertise to correctly layer graphical and textual information allows a single general arrangement file to fill many needs by displaying only purpose-specific information and varying levels of equipment detail or equipment information.
Mechanical drafting of plan views, elevations, sections, isometrics, or exploded views are all options to clearly illustrate relevant information regarding complex machinery and off-highway equipment. For trade connections such as hydraulics, compressed air, electrical power and controls, a general arrangement is the preferred method for plant or field installation coordination.
Design of Jigs, Fixtures and Special Work Holding Devices
Large and heavy piecework machining will require special purpose metalwork tooling, including jigs, work holding devices, and fixtures to precisely clamp, hold, locate, drill, and perform other machining processes on extremely heavy or very large equipment components. We can supply tool designers to meet the extreme challenges of heavy equipment tooling requirements which take into account the manufacturing workflow, machine operators, and work piece precision.
Complete tool design and working drawings will detail the manufacture and assembly of specialized tooling of the mechanical devices needed for production line workers or machine operators including any calibrations, processes, limit fits or clearances, and component size and shape specifications.
Assembly Sequence Animations
Computer-generated animations of assembly sequences is an exciting visualization trend which adds motion to a geometric 3D model, depicting complex mechanical assemblies in action. A variety of techniques can approach real-world simulations to illustrate the order of assembly, motion analysis, or cause-and-effect scenarios.
Traditional methods of illustrating the dynamic behavior of mechanical systems and how machine subassemblies are put together had made it difficult for non-engineering personnel to capture the entire process. Our services can develop a well-designed animation which not only describe how the mechanical components move and interact, but can present an entire assembly sequence from an initial starting point through a step-by-step assembly procedure.
Manufacturing Drawings and Advanced Bill of Materials
As a supplemental component of your engineering and design efforts, taking on the production tasks of documenting each fabricated piece, mechanical component, sub-assembly and complete assemblies with accurate and well-documented manufacturing drawing accompanied by an advanced bill of materials list is a speciality of our mechanical drafting and design services. Heavy machinery and off-highway equipment will often require the following types of documentation for manufacturing and assembly purposes:
- modified vendor drawings when purchased items do not meet criteria
- machining details depicting all processes required for finished components
- assembly drawings joining two or more separate components
- detailed design drawings showing all information to manufacture components
- fabrication or shop drawings for permanent joining of components
- schematic drawings of wiring and cable interconnections
- process drawings indicating fluid connections
- installation drawings to show how parts are installed into supporting structures
- mechanical schematics to illustrate sequence and arrangement of assemblies
- as-built documentation
Manufacturing drawings turn ideas into reality by providing all the information required for the machining and assembly of a product or component. We provide industrial design specialists who put an emphasis on practical yet innovative approaches to solving problems. The key to efficient, cost-effective manufacturing is providing documentation which considers the component function, manufacturing processes, and ease-of-assembly, for each product regardless of size or complexity.
Advanced bill-of-materials can play a crucial role in heavy equipment manufacturing by tracking material supplier, vendor, quantities, descriptions, dimensions, and more information for each component or assembly required throughout the supply chain. Our engineering documentation can link graphical elements of the design to the bill-of-materials such that any design changes are automatically reflected, reducing purchasing errors and inventory problems.
The Role of Adherence to ASME and International Standards and Codes
As your outsourced mechanical engineering and design partner, we fully understand the legally binding issues concerning mandatory international government codes to protect the welfare of employees, populations, and the environment. Our mechanical designers also seek out and adhere to consensus-based industry standards such as ISO and ASME which serve as a base guideline to best practices for improved product performance and interchangeability.
These ethical engineering considerations go beyond choosing between a good design over a bad (often less costly) design decision to provide a firm foundation and commitment to engineering practices. Our company stands behind design principles committed to the health and welfare of the public and the inherent quality and dependability of the machinery or equipment designed.