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Gone are the days of hand sketches and guess work. In today’s blog we take a look at a few ways the manufacturing industry has upgraded to use new technologies to improve processes and deliver more accurate products. 


The first upgrade we will talk about in the building products manufacturing industry is the takeoff software PlanSwift. Before Planswift, estimators had to print off plans, scale them to size, and then calculate estimates section by section. Sometimes these sections would be the exact same, but most times slight variations between sections met calculating each one individually before coming to a final total. Now, estimating is much simpler. By using Planswift, an estimator can calculate cost with a few simple mouse clicks, as each click helps the software calculate important details such as distances or intervals for a section. As with anything new, there is still a learning curve, but once mastered, similar size takeoffs can be done over three times faster with the Planswift software!


Getting details down to 1/16th of an inch can be tough. It’s even more difficult to do that freehanded and without templates to work off of. Thankfully, that’s where SolidWorks comes in. Not only does SolidWorks help with the tiniest of details, but it also creates 3D models of the final product. This is extremely helpful in the manufacturing industry, as each part and piece of an assembled product can be shown in a easy to understand 3D model. Furthermore, with templates in place, engineers can pull from existing files instead of having to draw the same section over and over again!


So, what about improvements to the manufacturing of a product, after all that’s what matters most right? One tool that has improved both precision and efficiency is the use of CNC (computer numerical control) machines. CNC machines are often times are used to mill down raw material into complex designs. Instead of taking hours to handcraft and drill  or wait for a mold to cool for one of these designs, a CNC machinist can create a computer program that allows the CNC machine to make the same design in minutes. Furthermore, it can be replicated over and over again, meaning just like SolidWorks, once a template is completed, the time savings is exponentially greater!

Where does Superior fit in?

All the above manufacturing improvements are utilized at Superior Aluminum Products. Superior is able to have quick turnarounds due to Planswift, create Custom Designs thanks to SolidWorks, and reduce production time for products like railing and fence because of CNC machining. Of course, these are just a few of the many improvements the manufacturing industry and Superior has experienced, so stay on the lookout for more in the future!

Interested in learning more about Superior’s manufacturing process or have us create a custom railing system for you? Please contact us or get a railing quote and we will be happy to help you!