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HPM September 2017

88 U N D E R F L O O R H E AT I N G A CAD-do attitude is needed for UFH design Toby Howard-Willis, technical manager at JG Speedfit, discusses the importance of high quality CAD drawings and some of the consequences when these fail to meet the required standard Computer Aided Design (CAD) technology has come on in leaps and bounds over the past few decades since its inception and is now a mainstay for engineers and designers alike. The influence of CAD applications on the construction industry has been considerable and continues to influence the work of plumbers and installers on a daily basis. While CAD drawings are regularly used in the installation of underfloor heating (UFH) systems, many installers don’t always fully appreciate the importance of quality drawings. When it comes to CAD drawings, you get out what you put in, hence, sub-standard drawings will likely lead to sub-optimal results, delays and additional cost. There are a number of key considerations which need to be addressed to achieve best possible results. Flexibility The overwhelming majority of drawings given to the John Guest CAD team are in fact physical drawings rather than bona fide CAD drawings. Most of the time these are done by architects, although this is not always the case as many plumbers still draw by hand for convenience. The issue with analogue drawings is that they cannot be easily amended in line with changing project requirements. While amendments are relatively easily via CAD programme, physical drawings need to be re-drawn, requiring additional time and effort which could be invested in more efficient activities. As the saying goes, time is money. With pristine CAD drawings, JG Speedfit can offer a much more responsive service, ensuring that timescales for drawings are met and that quotations are provided, as and when they are needed. Ordering of materials When quantities of materials are ordered on the basis of the plan, any design inaccuracies will have a knock-on effect for the procurement of materials. To give a practical example, overfit® boards and spreader plates require a precise square meterage in order to calculate the coverage of these fixing methods. Even if there is a discrepancy of 20mm, this might mean a new box of spreader plates, incurring additional cost and potentially causing delays to the project. Margin for error When drawings are produced by hand, they tend to be less accurate and so the margin for error is increased. When plumbers and installers are working to inaccurate drawings, it inevitably follows that any inaccuracies will be replicated in the finished product. In the event of mistakes, remedial action will be necessary, undermining the profitability of projects. Reputation is everything In a competitive market, a business trades on its reputation. Poor drawings carry with them an increased potential for errors which could cause irreparable damage to the reputation of an installation company. Professionally-produced CAD drawings, on the other hand, create a positive impression, convey professionalism and inspire confidence in customers, enhancing the reputation of plumbers and installers. Scalable solutions When sending drawings electronically, PDF versions are better than photocopied documents. Unless copies are done professionally they will most likely be shrink-to-fit, which affects the scale of the design and, therefore, the overall accuracy of the drawing and the installation process. Quite simply, a good CAD drawing can mean the difference between installation success and failure. An accurate drawing produced by experts using CAD software can save time, as well as thousands of pounds in labour and materials. It can also play an important role in creating a positive impression with customers, since high quality drawings are easier on the eye and generally more accurate, reducing the margin for error. www.hpmmag.com September 2017 enquiry number 151 Temperature control is made simple for users of JG Speedfit’s heating control, JG Aura, through a touch interface JG Aura gives the user a much more flexible and efficient way to control their UFH


HPM September 2017
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