Cloud-based 3D design enables the creation of specialized equipment

Like most manufacturers, Terex Utilities has used 3D CAD to design its products for years. However, the integration of specialized software, hardware and systems required for 3D made the use of outdoor unit engineering cumbersome and difficult.

Terex Utilities relied on 2D drawings with their customers, but understood the well-known benefits of 3D and wanted to extend it to their sales team. So they turned to Vertex Software and its cloud-based approach to 3D visualization to overcome the historical challenges of using 3D CAD beyond engineering.

After partnering with Vertex Software in 2019, Terex brought its 3D equipment designs to life with Vertex Connect. As a result, his customers could now see what they were buying right before their eyes, a real visualization of their future truck. With Vertex Connect, Terex Utilities has unlocked the potential of its 3D CAD investments, delighting its customers and saving a lot of time and money.

Terex Utilities, a manufacturer of large machinery such as aerial devices, excavator derricks and auger tools for the power industry, builds these machines to order with unique design details specified by the customer.

Terex Utilities customers make a big investment when purchasing complex and specialized equipment. For this reason, Terex allows customers to review equipment designs several times before assembly to ensure they are getting exactly what they want. During reviews, customers frequently provide feedback and suggest changes or additions to their equipment orders.

Vertex Software

3D drawings reduce confusion compared to 2D

Like other manufacturers, Terex Utilities uses 3D CAD to design its products, but for years relied on 2D drawings in sales due to the complexity of creating 3D drawings. However, 2D drawings often made customer design reviews problematic. For example, from flat drawings, customers could not clearly understand what a truck would look like when built. They couldn’t imagine the space available in a truck bed or have any idea how real physical equipment looks and works.

“It was difficult to really visualize the equipment and the specific placement and distance between components and features,” said Linh Le, project manager at Terex Utilities. “You want to see beyond the hidden lines.”

Customers would often overlook a design change they would like to make. As a result, Terex engineers sometimes had to redesign and redo a piece of equipment because a customer failed to notice a critical design consideration for their application. This meant costly rework, wasted time and delayed delivery.

“You can imagine waiting a while for a truck and then you can’t have it for a few more weeks because now you have to take it somewhere and have it moved around and repainted,” said Scott Lester, a Terex Utilities customer. .

The sales team also wasted time printing the 2D drawings for the customer to review. Printing could take hours. Sending PDF documents to customers put the printing burden on the customer, which could delay and add frustration to the sales process.

Lucas Thompson, Terex Utilities Territory Sales Manager, recalls his many trips to office supply stores: “I was going to print 80 pages on ledger paper and take it to the customer.

When the final product did not meet customer specifications, the problem was often directly related to the complexity of the 2D drawings and the customers’ inability to imagine what the equipment would look like in real life. It became apparent that Terex customers were having difficulty understanding complex 2D CAD drawings created by skilled engineers and draftsmen.

Terex Utilities wanted a way to present equipment design options to their customers in a simple and straightforward manner. They also wanted a way for their entire company to communicate about product design, assembly, sales and service. They envisioned giving everyone a virtual window into engineering as if they were looking over the shoulder of a 3D CAD operator.

Terex2022 Mobile Image Case Study 1Vertex Software

A 3D experience

In 2019, Terex Utilities partnered with Vertex Software to bring a 3D experience to its sales team and customers, and the value offered by Vertex was evident from the start. Vertex Connect has transformed its 2D process that often required printing and physical delivery to email delivery of a web link to a realistic, interactive 3D model that can be rotated and viewed from any angle.

“Vertex is awesome! It’s great for us to have 3D for the first time when reviewing the final order and later when we use the vehicle,” said a Terex Utilities customer.

A big advantage for Terex is that anyone can view 3D views on any screen. Tablet, laptop, desktop, smartphone: it doesn’t matter. Customers, plant personnel, and supply chain partners get their product information, markups, and approvals much faster with Vertex Connect. For Thompson, it eliminated his long “runs” at the office supply store.

Terex2022 Mobile Image Case Study 2Vertex Software

Improved process, error rates drop

Thompson summed up the impact Vertex had on him: “[Vertex Connect] improves the quality of the sales process and improves the quality of the final product because it helps customers see the final product.

He noted that loyal customers are grateful for Terex’s investment in Vertex Connect.

Le demonstrates how the visualization surprises and delights customers: “It’s almost like they’re on the truck before it’s even been built,” Le said. “Customers are delighted and the quality of the final construction is better. No more reams of paper or dry rows of numbers. Instead, they see the realistic truck on the screen in front of them. »

After Terex Utilities implemented Vertex Connect, error rates dropped significantly. Today, almost all trolleys produced correspond precisely to customer specifications.

“It reduces the hassle, hassle or confusion of the initial purchase with us when taking ownership of the truck. Vertex helps us get exactly what we want when they deliver the truck. It’s now 99.99 correct % for what we thought we were buying,” said a Terex Utilities customer.

Reduce travel costs

Another benefit of using Vertex Connect was that it reduced travel, allowing the design team more time to work on customer product development and not travel.

“Over the past several months, we have had zero trips to customer sites, which would not have been possible without the functionality available in Vertex,” said Kyle Wiesner, director of engineering. “In the long run, this process change will save our sales team time and money while improving our customer experience.”

Another victory: digital twins for the factory

Since adopting Vertex Connect, Terex Utilities has leveraged 3D truck configurations created during the factory sales process for assembly instructions and build reports. These 3D digital twin apps, running on low-power computers and built on the Vertex 3D platform, replace a three-ring paper binder known as a “traveler” that tracks every customer order throughout the along the assembly line.