Using Solid Edge enables specialty construction firm to improve productivity and quality, expand internationally
Project plans that used to take 2 days now take 2 hours
Meeting customer needs
Riikku Rakenteet Ltd. is an aluminum and glass construction company that designs, manufactures, sells and installs a variety of construction products, including aluminum exterior glass walls, light ceilings and doors. Riikku Rakenteet’s customers are large property contractors, construction companies, balcony builders and renovators. By using Solid Edge® software from product lifecycle management (PLM) specialist Siemens PLM Software, Riikku Rakenteet is implementing its vision for international expansion.
“At a very early stage, we recognized that we needed software that would allow us to serve our customers better with higher quality and more efficiency,” says Joni Mäkiranta, director at Riikku Rakenteet. “The use of Solid Edge definitely boosts our business.”
Riikku Rakenteet’s primary market is Finland, but it also conducts business in Sweden and Russia. It aims to grow and become a significant manufacturer of facade and balcony products in Europe. In 2012, the company invested in new production equipment and methods to achieve its internationalization targets. Riikku Rakenteet realized that it needed tools that would enable it to design products more quickly so it could meet the needs of its most demanding customers.
Riikku Rakenteet chose Solid Edge to meet these challenges because it is a hybrid 2D/3D computer-aided design (CAD) system that uses synchronous technology for product development, design and manufacturing, making it an exceptional fit for the company’s wide-ranging and diverse needs.
“The friendly, browser-based user interface of Solid Edge enables rapid learning, thus increasing resource productivity and accelerating the design process,” says Mäkiranta. “We can also get to market more quickly and with the highest-quality products.”
The application programming interface interfaces (APIs) and versatile tools of Solid Edge were two other important reasons why Riikku Rakenteet selected the design software.
In using Solid Edge, Riikku Rakenteet found that the software was easy to learn and use, even for those who did not have strong technical skills. In fact, a user does not need to possess specific know-how to effectively use 3D and plan tailored solutions. For example, the sales force found that it could easily design customized products using Solid Edge.
“Customized products bring their own challenges to the design process at our company,” says Mäkiranta. “Each window or balcony glass is unique when it comes to its dimensions, even if it does not seem so when viewing the exterior of an apartment building.”
Solid Edge offers a cost-effective, industry-leading 3D modeling program for mechanical designers. It includes history-free, feature-based synchronous technology functionality, which makes design planning faster and more efficient, and allows models created with other system templates to be edited. Moreover, the use of synchronous technology was especially important is helping Riikku Rakenteet produce better balcony designs, and do so notably faster.
Reducing material waste
With Solid Edge, all important design information is addressed immediately in the targeted environment, thus eliminating the need to rely on someone’s memory and save data multiple times. As a result, the risk of human error at Riikku Rakenteet has been notably reduced, and processes have become measurably more efficient.
“The time savings realized for project calculations are very significant,” says Mäkiranta. “It used to take us two days to do project calculations. With Solid Edge, it takes us just two hours.”
Now, with the help of the web-based calculation application, all dimensions of a balcony can be customized. “We also use Solid Edge to optimize waste reduction, so customers receive the most effective pricing,” says Mäkiranta.
Traditionally, aluminum and glass construction companies have not used such advanced design automation. Riikku Rakenteet’s use of Solid Edge is an outstanding example of how sophisticated software applications can be utilized to deliver substantial time, cost and quality gains in Finland.
Providing strong local support
“Internationalization has brought the need for time- and place-independent applications,” says Mäkiranta. “We can now effectively present our solutions across multiple geographic markets, in large part due to the use of Solid Edge, which was delivered to us by IDEAL PLM.”
Mäkiranta notes that IDEAL PLM, a Siemens PLM Software partner with more than 20 years of experience in product innovation and development, played an important role when Riikku Rakenteet was selecting an appropriate design tool. IDEAL PLM is not just a system supplier. It also helps customers use the system properly to gain the greatest benefits.
“We are very familiar with our customer’s business, and we work together to consider new ways to operate and develop planning methods,” says Miikka Lintusaari, Solid Edge business leader at IDEAL PLM. “Riikku Rakenteet has been open to thinking about new, innovative ways of operating, and that’s been critical to their success.”