How SOLIDWORKS has changed BA Systems’ business for the better

BA Systems design and manufacture bespoke handrails and balustrades in a range of metals, as well as organic materials such as leather and hardwood…

BA Systems design and manufacture bespoke handrails and balustrades in a range of metals, as well as organic materials such as leather and hardwood. Their reputation for quality products and excellent service has established them as the partner of choice for architects and contractors all over the country.

In 2008, after using an external AutoCAD Draughtsman for many years, BA Systems decided to bring much of their CAD work in-house. Greg Hynd, Designer and CAD Draughtsman at BA Systems, got to grips with designing in 3D with Google Sketchup. Seeing the benefits of designing in a 3D environment, he started evaluating 3D CAD solutions. SOLIDWORKS was looked at after a personal recommendation from others in the industry, and was chosen for its powerful rendering tool and ease of use. Coming from a factory background, Greg was impressed with the way SOLIDWORKS enabled him to design with manufacturability in mind.

For BA Systems, there are four key ways SOLIDWORKS has changed their business for the better.

1. Complexity

Today’s market is certainly a buyer’s market. BA Systems were finding the complexity of jobs increasing. They were frequently being asked to design organic balustrades that were far too complex for a 2D system to handle. Rather than turning these jobs down, or seeing the cost of designing and manufacturing them increase, they invested in SOLIDWORKS to satisfy demand while maintaining profit levels and avoiding mistakes. Similarly, complex sheet metal cladding used to be measured on site and fitted ad hoc. By designing the cladding in SOLIDWORKS, wrapping around staircase geometry and flattening to get measurements, the time needed on site has dramatically decreased and rework due to mistakes has been minimised.

2. Drawings

Straight away, BA Systems saw drawing errors decrease, which immediately reduced wastage costs. Drawings created in SOLIDWORKS from solid geometry are far more accurate than those created in 2D. Designers can be sure that drawings created from a solid model contain no interferences and will fit when sent to manufacture. Workers in the factory also much prefer the drawings created in SOLIDWORKS – they are easier to understand and the ability to include isometric views with a few clicks gives the shop floor a good idea of how the finished item will look. There is far less scope for errors and when it comes to ordering glass based on geometry of surrounding metalwork, SOLIDWORKS has paid for itself many times as a result of less rework and waste.

3. Standard components

Whilst every job is bespoke, BA Systems make use of a standard library of brackets, fixings and glass clamps in their designs. Not only does this save redrawing commonly used components, it ensures that mistakes are not made and drawings are more accurate as a result. The company is also about to bring on another designer and this library will allow him to get up to speed as soon as possible.

4. Renderings

BA Systems invariably work alongside architects and planning agencies, where aesthetics is of paramount importance. PhotoView360 is a powerful rendering package included in SOLIDWORKS Professional that allows you to create stunning photo-realistic renderings of the models you create in SOLIDWORKS. Designers can even superimpose their geometry onto photos inside of SOLIDWORKS to show how their work will look in situ. These have proved very effective in pre-sales environments, especially when tendering for jobs – architects and planners can see exactly how the designs will look when fitted on site.

BA Systems has grown from strength to strength over the past few years, and SOLIDWORKS has been effective in handling the growing complexity and increasing frequency of work for the company. When a company invests in SOLIDWORKS from Innova Systems, a partnership is forged. Innova Systems work closely with BA Systems to ensure that their design workflow is as efficient as possible. All of our subscription customers have a direct line to our highly-qualified Technical Support Engineers. Greg Hynd, Designer and CAD Draughtsman at BA Systems said: “Whether we contact Innova Systems by email or by phone, we’re always impressed with the speed of response. It’s clear that Innova Systems take customer service very seriously.”


Take a look at other companies using SOLIDWORKS in the construction industry