Cold formed steel construction (CFS) is about much more than simply the steel utilised or the machinery used. If we want the industry to grow (and here at FRAMECAD, that’s exactly what we’re passionate about), we need to be driving visionary, customer-focused technology that ensures CFS construction is future-proofed.
Meet the team: Introducing Dr Michael Lu
Dr Michael Lu is leading the way with that, as Product Manager for MyFRAMECAD, a cloud-based customer portal that connects all the FRAMECAD products together to form an end-to-end solution.
After completing a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in China, Michael then did his PhD at the University of Auckland. Since then, he’s gained experience in mechanical and software engineering and brings both of those aspects to his work developing, improving, and future-proofing MyFRAMECAD.
“As part of my day-to-day job, I work with senior control engineers, design engineers, mechanists, and more. We all work together to harness cutting edge technology and make sure our products are the best in the world,” describes Michael.
“A typical day at FRAMECAD is busy – we hear plenty of feedback from customers and work with them to identify challenges they’re facing and the vision they have for the future,” shares Michael. “Then we take those and turn them into actionable items which can be put into our products.”
Alongside MyFRAMECAD, Michael is part of a team that designs new products and services based on customer requirements and the way that we see the industry moving.
“We look at how the industry will look over the next 20 years in terms of construction and use cutting edge technology to lead the market and enable customers to grow.”
Michael and the team are already working on creating a next generation MyFRAMECAD, tapping into innovative technologies such as automation and the Internet of Things to ensure that the software helps customers drive growth. So how can MyFRAMECAD enable your growth?
Gaining visibility over your operations
One aspect of CFS construction that Michael and the team are constantly looking to improve and increase is visibility – the key to success in the construction industry.
After all, understanding where your operations run smoothly and where they need streamlining is vital to ensuring that your business delivers on its promises, satisfies clients, and remains profitable.
Traditionally, Cold Formed Steel framing production would rely on old fashioned spreadsheets or clip boards for recording production data. The manual nature of this means sharing data or making off-site, real-time monitoring of manufacturing performance virtually impossible. The detailed reporting from MyFRAMECAD confirms that you’re running to peak performance or if your equipment is running smoothly or to schedule.
So how do you gain visibility over every aspect of your business when the team is spread from factory to worksite and may be working on multiple projects at a time?
“MyFRAMECAD allows customers to have complete visibility of the manufacturing process and their manufacturing equipment’s performance,” explains Michael. “All production data for your equipment is accessible, so you know exactly how much your factory and equipment have produced every hour, day, week, or month. Because you can access it anywhere, MyFRAMECAD enables you to stay connected, notice changes or pre-empt possible disruptions.”
Increasing efficiency and productivity
Do you understand accurately the timeframes you’ll need to complete projects, or are you still basing deadlines on anecdotal experience or instinct? Understanding the productivity of your operations is vital if you’re looking for superior forecasting, quoting, stock management, and staffing capabilities.
Tools such as FRAMECAD Estimator (held within MyFRAMECAD) enable you to accurately quote and estimate projects without the need to create a detailed design of the project – saving time and money on engineers and detailers at the tender stage.
Setting productivity goals and objectives becomes far easier with superior knowledge of how your business is running, and you’re able to set realistic yet ambitious goals, safe in the knowledge that your team will be able to achieve those goals.
Of course, the biggest impact of increasing efficiency and productivity is on your bottom line.
“Through MyFRAMECAD, you can manage your factory and design projects to make them profitable and drive your organisation’s growth. We see real potential to use this tool to help our customers grow in the future.”
Ongoing learning and support
One of the things we’re most proud of at FRAMECAD is our ongoing support and relationships with customers. A big enabler of that support is MyFRAMECAD.
“MyFRAMECAD acts as a secure internal support system – so if you have any problems with your equipment you can access support immediately and FRAMECAD can complete remote diagnosis on your equipment when necessary,” explains Michael.
Beyond just support for our products though, we’re passionate about growing the CFS industry. That’s why we’ve dedicated our entire business to creating end-to-end CFS solutions that help our customers grow. One aspect of growing the industry is sharing the experience of not just our team, but also our customers.
“Through MyFRAMECAD, you can also access the Knowledge Centre – a library of dedicated CFS construction formation content,” describes Michael. “You can get information about design, engineering, manufacturing, equipment and assembly.”
An end-to-end construction solution
MyFRAMECAD is part of an end-to-end solution that drives efficient, accurate, quality CFS construction. The MyFRAMECAD ecosystem means customers can connect the dots from design to manufacturing to shop floor management, providing you with the certainty that comes from knowing your project has exactly what it needs to finish on time and within budget. Not to mention the peace of mind that comes from knowing you are fully supported should anything go wrong.
For the dedicated FRAMECAD team members, it’s the impact on customers that keeps FRAMECAD engaged and passionately working towards even better solutions.
“What gets me out of bed every day is our vision to drive the growth of cold formed steel technology into the future – that gets me really excited to work with our customers, and help them succeed.”