A cool transition to 3D
Spain’s leading air conditioning and refrigeration company consolidates its position with Solid Edge
Refrigeration on a large scale
Ramón Vizcaíno is Spain’s leading provider of refrigeration and air conditioning systems, with a 20 percent share of the domestic market. The company, which pioneered this field when it was founded in 1942, designs systems, manufacturers them, installs them and then provides ongoing service. Its core business areas are the agri-food sectors (meat, fruit and vegetables, dairy, beverages and fish), logistics and industrial processes. Major customers include national and international companies such as Puleva, the Leche Pascual Group, Campofrío, the Eroski Group, Carrefour, Frudesa and Repsol YPF.
When a third generation took control of the company in 2005, it inherited a rich history (60+ years) of research in the area of large-scale refrigeration solutions. The new management team put together a strategic plan to improve the company’s competitiveness by boosting research, development and engineering activities, and by ensuring a presence in high value-added activities such as applications engineering.
Streamlined piping design
To support the strategic plan, the new management team decided to upgrade its design software from 2D AutoCAD to 3D. The company chose the Solid Edge® solid modeling solution from Siemens PLM Software, which it purchased from the value-added reseller, Pixel Sistemas.
Ramón Vizcaíno chose Solid Edge for a number of reasons. One was that the product development and manufacturing departments of its subsidiary, Equipos Frigoríficos Compactos (EFC), had previously standardized on Solid Edge. Another was Solid Edge XpresRoute functionality, which streamlines the design of tubing and piping. A third reason was the support available from Pixel Sistemas. “Pixel Sistemas was able to help us improve our design processes thanks to their expertise with the software,” explains Iñaki San Jose, I+D+I director at Ramón Vizcaíno.
Pixel Sistemas provided Solid Edge training at Ramón Vizcaíno’s facilities and also helped with the transition to the new software. “I should emphasize that there was a high level of commitment and professionalism on the part of our staff as well as those from Pixel Sistemas throughout the entire transition process,” says Iñaki San Jose.
Building on the experience of EFC, Ramón Vizcaíno initially introduced Solid Edge for refrigeration and air conditioning equipment design. Solid Edge was phased in over time to ensure that the evolution from 2D to 3D was never traumatic even though it was a project of considerable scope. The first stage in the implementation was the formation of different work groups that developed ideas for productivity increases and for reducing the learning curve to a minimum.
The next stage was an actual design project – a next-generation, motor-driven compressor. In addition, the Installation Department had its own Solid Edge project – an installation plan for the centralized refrigeration infrastructures of the Ciudad Agroalimentaria de Tudela. This unique, centralized cold generation project is based on the production of refrigerated water (up to 6°C) and a water-glycol mix (down to -6°C) using processes that are environmentally friendly. This was an ambitious project and it was done completely in 3D.
It became clear after these projects that Solid Edge offered a number of advantages over the old system. Most remarkable among these were the elimination of errors in the design and a great improvement in the quality of bills of material. As a result of this success, the next necessary steps are clear: to roll out the new system to all workstations still using AutoCAD and to improve data management by introducing a PDM system. “Today at Ramón Vizcaíno, we are getting closer to meeting our goals for worldwide expansion and increased profitability through the help of Siemens PLM Software,” Iñaki San Jose concludes.
The refrigeration division’s success with Solid Edge, and especially the use of the automated pipe routing function, prompted Ramón Vizcaíno to expand the use of the software to its other divisions. This has led to considerable improvement in the productivity of the engineering and R&D departments. The human and technical support provided by Pixel Sistemas, along with the innovation and leadership of the Ramón Vizcaíno Group, have worked together to reinforce the company’s position as the leader in its sector.
“From Pixel Sistemas’ perspective, our work with Ramón Vizcaíno, as well as with our other current and future corporate customers, illustrates how the combination of Siemens PLM Software tools and our expertise and customer service gives companies a competitive edge,” says Luis Mari Sanchez, technical and sales engineer at Pixel Sistemas.