Warren Services saved hours of unproductive time and made more effective use of its employees valuable skills with the implementation of a PLM program that talks across vendor language barriers.

Being able to drag-and-drop any type of CAD information, whatever the source, was a gamechanger for Warren Services

Warren Services, which was founded in 1990, manufactures components and mechanical or electrical sub-assemblies and offers turnkey solutions in engineering and design. It operates from 80,000 sq ft (7400m2) of production and support space, across two sites in Thetford, Norfolk. In-house capabilities include CNC machining, welding, fabrication and finishing, water jet, laser and folding and services including new product development, value engineering and product documentation. The company has dedicated three of its 100-strong workforce full-time to digital transformation. 

“James Tetlow, who originally arrived as an Autodesk digital catalyst, has been with us for a year, now, working on a project we’re rolling out now, slashing the amount of time it takes to get clients’ process information into our system and onto the shop,” explained Will Bridgman, Chairman of Warren Services. The company has implemented Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle; a product lifecycle management (PLM) tool that Warren regards as more than that. 

Making the connections

“We can connect everything together,” he said. “As it’s subscription based, we can have the best at all times. We can upgrade, swap and change, without massive capital investment. It’s browser-based and can operate on low-cost hardware, anywhere in the world.” 

The gamechanger was the ability to view models and drawings from different systems. 

Every work bay on the shop floor will be equipped with 4K 40-inch screens early in 2020.

“We simply drag and drop any type of CAD information from Autodesk to Catia and SolidWorks, and it allows everyone to be able to access those drawings, in any CAD format, from a browser environment,” Will explained. By early in 2020, every welding bay, CNC machine and assembly bay will be equipped its own 4K big screen. 

Access all areas to add value 

“Whatever they’re building, everyone has access to the very latest data in its original format. We’re saving a fortune on converting, printing and making job packs,” he said. The amount of time it saves made the decision was inevitable. “It saves about half a day per project, at least,” said Will. “Our next move is to share it with our supply chain as well. It automates time-consuming, repetitive tasks and frees up people to use their skills and add engineering value.” 

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