The Interview: Sean Creswell, Manager – Design Office, Streetscape Limited, Tauranga , NZ

The Interview: Sean Creswell, Manager – Design Office, Streetscape Limited, Tauranga , NZ
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What is Streetscape? 

Streetscape PICStreetscape is a New Zealand street furniture manufacturer based in Tauranga. The company is locally owned and operates with extensive knowledge and expertise in design and manufacturing, specialising in the fabrication and design of street furniture ranging from lighting, street bollards, fencing, shelters, bike racks and customised decorative features for the enhancement of urban landscapes.

Streetscape aims to provide a genuine partnering approach for designers and developers to create high quality urban-design street furniture and street lighting, rather than supplying products from a catalogue, to meet the most discerning of consumer tastes.

What is your role in the company?

My role is as a Manager – Design Office involves all aspects of product design, development, and continuous systems improvement. Most items are initially conceived in CAD, or where a prototype machine has been constructed in the field, we need to accurately capture it back into the system.

Streetscape has been using Solid Edge for some time. Would you share with us your previous experience with Solid Edge? 

Streetscape has been using Solid Edge for over 10 years. In fact, I introduced Solid Edge to them. Prior to Streetscape, I was using Solid Edge for years in an injection moulding company that utilised the Solid Edge software to manufacture automotive and consumer components.

Currently, Streetscape has two seats of Solid Edge Classic, and a few Free2D installations pertaining to factory production. Our latest seat is subscription based.

We apply 3D CAD in our day-to-day operations such as developing new designs, and making data translations throughout the day, as clients present them. The data from clients come in different formats: it could be design models from a variety of design software, or just ideas outlined on napkins. But in general, data formats are not a problem. As soon as the data is read into Solid Edge, I can easily work with it.

The team had previously utilised other CAD software for digital design and fabrication solutions. When I joined Streetscape I recommended the use of Solid Edge in our day-to-day operations for immediate improvements to the business and to speed up the design process.

I’ve had numerous experiences with different CAD & CAM packages, but Solid Edge won me over with its powerful and easy-to-use features and functions.

After a review process, we implemented Solid Edge into our systems and have not looked back since. It has help increase productivity in all areas – from concept design and assembly modelling to production drawings and sometimes, renderings.

Besides increased productivity, the other benefit we got from using Solid Edge is the ability to reuse design data. What we have are mostly proprietary components and we, following library based filing system practice, have built them into Solid Edge for easy reuse. We also brought numerous vendor items into Solid Edge and these items can be reused just like native Solid Edge parts.

The Solid Edge system has also helped our design and sales team tremendously by reducing design errors, which were a big problem for our prior design modelling where we had to do a lot of rework.

Solid Edge 3D modelling gave our design and sales team the ability to visualise and scrutinise every aspect of the products before manufacturing and thus, eliminated rework by 25%.

On top of that, with our predilection to leveraging laser cut and straight brake pressed sheet metal manufacturing methods, Solid Edge was perfectly suited to our task and gave us a competitive edge over other manufacturers.

Why did you start the Siemens PLM’s Solid Edge 3D monthly subscription?

I heard about Solid Edge’s monthly subscription from the Solid Edge Community and CADimage PLM, Siemens PLM Software’s reseller in New Zealand. Previously, the subscription was titled as “rental” but was renamed afterwards and the new name suited the business model much better.

As we needed to extend our design capacity, but could not rationalise the substantial upfront setup costs from adding another perpetual Solid Edge license, Solid Edge’s monthly subscription was exactly what we needed, so we subscribed immediately.

I believe we made the right choice because the subscription helped us invest wisely. While our business continues to expand, adding another seat of Solid Edge for our team was going to be costly. So the subscription model gave us the grace of a few years to determine if we had our formula right, and thereafter to convert it to a perpetual seat, or to add another seat and continue the subscription.

The journey with Solid Edge so far has been rewarding. Our company’s cash flow was free to support other aspects of the business, and we could get on with utilising the additional seat of Solid Edge.

What was the monthly subscription purchase and installation procedure like?

The online ordering process and software setup were extremely simple. Within 30 minutes, we finished the setup process and the newly purchased Solid Edge was active. As for the Solid Edge software package, we selected the advanced version (Solid Edge Classic) to mirror our existing Solid Edge capabilities. This was done as to avoid getting hindered by any version specific limitations, during daily design use.

Solid Edge is quite easy to learn and use and it takes only a few days for a new user to pick up the basics well enough to be autonomously productive. My new designer came from a SolidWorks background, so he was generally familiar with 3D design procedures; he did need to learn company standards and breakaway from the old.

Was this payment model more convenient? 

I was pleasantly surprised at the ease of the entire procedure, and the immediate support offered. The procedure was effortless.

How user friendly is the Solid Edge online store in comparison to other similar websites? 

The Solid Edge online store is very clear and user friendly. As I mentioned just before, we were able to finish the software purchase, download and installation within 30 minutes.

 How has the subscription based model helped you in your business and industry?

The team was able to increase our design resources with immediate effect, and without the upfront investment which helped us tremendously on the financial end.

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