Many manufacturers today produce off-the-shelf, stock products and are unable to accommodate any modifications or improvements that their customers may want. Like everyone, Semmco has a standard range of products but the sales and design teams understand that some customers have very specific and sometimes unique requirements. In this situation we invest time collaborating with our customers, understanding the issues they have, developing solutions for discussion and knowledge sharing – engineer to engineer. This level of engagement helps us design, develop or modify our products so that they are perfect for our customers’ requirements.
We follow a distinct process that begins with a video brief or site visit (when permissible), that is arranged before any design process is started. Visiting our customer’s site, or thoroughly discussing the situation via video call, enables us to fully appreciate the working environment and our customer’s requirements and to discuss any specific issues or niggles they may have with existing access equipment or practices. We also take measurements, photographs or 3D scans so that important elements from our visit are carefully captured. If we are unable to visit, we ask the customer to supply accurate model drawings of the plane, helicopter or train or we obtain them directly from the manufacturer.
The next step in our design process takes place at the factory where our design team uses Autodesk Inventor to create accurate 3D models of any proposed concept designs or modifications to existing equipment. At this stage of the design process, we are not afraid to challenge our customers’ ideas, suggesting a different approach to the problem that may include modular sections so that budgets can be reduced, and storage and transportation challenges overcome. These 3D models can be situated alongside the model of the plane, helicopter or train to ensure the solution provides the necessary access, fits correctly and respects any specific functionality e.g. sliding fingers or extending handrails. The customer would also receive a 2D engineering drawing showing the proposed platform or solution fitting around the area in need of access. If need be, we can apply parametric modelling to modify dimensions.
Developing 3D models is a critical feature of our design process as they help avoid the products having to be modified once built and before they are installed. They also enable in-situ designs to be sent to the customer for further review and comment. The modular designs also enable sections or components to be modified to accommodate any future working requirements.
The last stage in our design process is to review a project and apply any lessons learned from it so that our products continue to improve.
We have been designing and manufacturing access stands, platforms and docking systems for more than 25 years; products that enable engineers to safely service and overhaul planes, helicopters, trains and large vehicles, ensuring difficult, out-of-reach places can be accessed easily and safely from a stable platform. We pride ourselves in developing products that come from fresh, clever ideas; designs that have flair – designed by engineers, for engineers.