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Hexagon's Radan Helps Shop Meet Ventilator Production Demand

Hexagon’s Radan CAD/CAM software helped Bolger Engineering meet a massive increase in ventilator part demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Bolger Engineering employees working on Medtronic components

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence’s Radan CAD/CAM software has helped custom enclosure and hardware specialist Bolger Engineering to meet production demands for ventilator parts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the start of the pandemic, Bolger’s long-standing customer Medtronic asked the shop to produce enough parts that Medtronic could make 500 ventilators per week, whereas Bolger had previously produced parts for 100 ventilators per week.

Bolger brought on 35 more employees and changed shift patterns to a 24/5 operating model, but Bolger sales manager Paul Collins also says the shop’s Radan CAD/CAM software was key to handling this production increase.

“We use Radan to program both our Trumpf punching machines and Trumpf laser cutter, so with over 18,000 components a week to produce for these ventilators alone, we knew material utilization and program optimization was going to be crucial to meet such a significant demand,” says Collins. “Our programmers typically take a 3D model or DXF drawing and import it into Radan to tool the part for either the punch or laser machines, depending on material thickness and complexity of the profile. They then nest and program the machine where Radan gives the best sheet utilization. This is hugely important, as more often than not, material is the largest percentage of a job’s costs.”

Radan software allows the user to optimize manufacturing nests and profile components within extremely tight tolerances of +/- 0.2 mm. With some components’ designs including 14 bends per part, correctly calculating bend allowances was vital for later assembly.

The CAD software also allowed Bolger to support a long-standing customer in the food and beverage sector who required a hands-free hot water delivery solution to meet COVID-19 health requirements. Radan allowed Bolger to swiftly produce a prototype, and the project moved from concept to full production within two weeks.

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