Red Ant Agri

Product 
Solid Edge 

Business challenges 

  • Intricate designs with complex sheet metal components
  • Managing large assemblies
  • Working with third-party CAD data


Keys to success 

  • Rapid design of new and complex parts in Solid Edge
  • Quick and intuitive assembly of parts with Solid Edge
  • Solid Edge sheet metal integration with in-house cutting and bending capabilities


Results 

  • Reduced development time and cost
  • Reduced manufacturing time
  • An increase in sales due to improved quality

Complex agricultural design gets a boost by Solid Edge

Established almost 60 years ago, ‘Reid & Verwey’ is a proudly South African company based in Ceres, Western Cape. Equipped with an in-depth understanding of modern agricultural practices, Reid & Verwey provides innovative mechanical and agricultural solutions to the commercial agricultural environment in South Africa.

Their newly developed brand, Red Ant Agri Engineering, combines advanced innovation with local expertise to provide the gold standard in mechanisation and improved productivity for farmers. The design, manufacturing and supply of tailor-made orchard and field solutions is their primary focus. Red Ant Agri solutions have been widely adopted and used in a variety of agricultural applications including apple farms, pecan nut farms, citrus farms, and table grape farms.

Growing in the agricultural industry

Before deciding to invest in Solid Edge with added sheet metal capabilities, designers at Red Ant Agri made use of 2D design or paper-based drawings and sketches to create their machines.

The extensive range of product development tools within Solid Edge empowered Red Ant Agri to take their designs to the next level, and to pivot from being a local repair workshop to a recognized manufacturer of quality machinery in the agricultural space.

The development of the Red Ant Product range has added significantly to our company growth over the last eight years, and this would not have been possible without Solid Edge.

James Reid, Owner at Red Ant Agri

Complex design made simple

Designing machines that can work efficiently in different agricultural sectors involves increasingly complex design processes for Red Ant Agri. The number of products involved in creating a single machine can exceed 500 components.

By utilising Solid Edge, Red Ant Agri has been able to model and assemble parts that allow them to evaluate the fit and function of the machines before production. Getting designs right the first time has significantly reduced their development time and cost.

Improved communication and collaboration has also enabled Red Ant Agri to simplify their design process. 3D renders and models allow an accurate and visual transfer of ideas to customers, subsystem providers and contract manufacturers during the design process. This results in fewer costly and time-consuming design changes later in the development phase.

Increased productivity with Solid Edge sheet metal

The Solid Edge sheet metal environment includes an entire design-through-fabrication workflow and a comprehensive command set tailored to the unique needs of sheet metal design. As a result, Solid Edge Sheet Metal ensures that designed parts can be manufactured, documented, and utilized by CNC machinery.

Red Ant Agri uses the sheet metal functionality in Solid Edge for 3D part modelling and fabrication inclusive of CNC plasma/laser cutting, fitting, turning, and welding. By combining Solid Edge with their in-house CNC plasma and bending capabilities, Red Ant Agri can design products and make changes more rapidly than ever before.

Increasing sales 10-fold

“Besides the obvious functional improvements, the software has enhanced the look of our products by being able to make subtle changes in design proportions and the general look of the product in the modelling environment,” says James Reid. “This has led us to position where we now sell 10 times more of each product we complete than we generally did before we started using Solid Edge.”

Solid Edge also enables Red Ant Agri to produce incredibly detailed marketing and service materials based on the drawings and renders available, further increasing their ability to sell products.

The future of Red Ant Agri

Looking forward, Red Ant Agri will expand their design team and focus on consistent improvements in both their design and manufacturing processes. The team will focus on enhancing their configurations management and using Solid Edge to tidy up their design processes as well as their data management.

Red Ant Agri Engineering  |  www.redantagri.co.za  |  +27 023 312 2055