Since 1993, Measurand of Fredericton, New Brunswick has been in the business of monitoring 3D shapes. In the early years, its team focused on motion capture for film and animation.
In 2006, Measurand released its first ShapeArray™, a measuring instrument used to monitor deformation of soil under and around critical structures.
“Ongoing training is a given when you work in tech. You have to keep on top of it. Training is always in the budget – if you don’t invest in training people, you won’t keep those people.”
— Tricia Harrison, Manager of Product Development, Measurand
The real-time data the ShapeArray generates allows engineers to improve safety and reduce risk; save time and money; and make fast, smart decisions. Before automation and data visualization were available, people had to rely on manual measurement. Today, using ShapeArray, real-time monitoring of soil distortion and movement reduces the risk of catastrophic failures.
Applications vary, from measuring soil movement beneath urban construction projects to monitoring geohazards, such as slope instability, in remote locations. The Canadian-made technology protects the integrity of significant infrastructure, such as mining waste containment structures, public transit tunnels, and dams.
Since pivoting from measuring the human body to measuring the Earth, Measurand has grown to more than 70 employees and is a global leader in designing and manufacturing instrumentation for geotechnical deformation monitoring.
SOLIDWORKS training to optimize product development
SOLIDWORKS, sold and supported by Javelin – a TriMech Company, has been the 3D CAD software of choice for Measurand’s engineers for about 10 years. To ensure that they were using SOLIDWORKS consistently and to its full potential, the team turned to Javelin for a professional assessment of their skills and processes.
Tricia Harrison, Measurand’s Manager of Product Development, said she wanted to identify any gaps and discover ways to improve.
“Javelin’s SOLIDWORKS Training Assessment was a key first step. Javelin’s consultants spent time listening to our people to learn how they typically work and to identify their points of frustration. We knew that each person was working slightly differently than the next. We wanted to establish a baseline, then align the team to do everything in an optimized way.”
Following the assessment, Javelin recommended SOLIDWORKS Essentials training, delivered live by Javelin instructors online, as well as its Custom Properties and Drawings Service. This training focuses on optimizing the entire process of taking drawings through to manufacturing, including using templates and revision management.
“Training is foundational for all of us,” Tricia said. “Some people are advanced users; others are new users. Everyone can benefit from continuous learning.”
Tricia’s team of nine includes mechanical and mechatronics engineers, electrical and embedded systems engineers, and software developers. Initially, SOLIDWORKS was used mainly for creating mechanical drawings and assemblies. More recently, Measurand invested in SOLIDWORKS Inspection, an automation tool that reduces the time needed to record inspection measurements and create documentation.
Valuable learnings add to users’ confidence
Tricia said that her team members are all now confident users, and they no longer spend time trying to learn the features of the software or searching for files. The team was able to standardize design procedures and workflow and reported a variety of other valuable takeaways. One mentioned learning to focus on the core design of each part before combining it into a complicated assembly, which leads to better assemblies and adaptability for future part design changes.
The live, online learning environment removed the need to travel and was popular with the team. One trainee said, “The SOLIDWORKS training in small groups really got me excited to have access to an expert who can deal with all of the questions I have, then demonstrate the solutions in a live learning environment.”
Measurand also takes advantage of Javelin’s subscription service, which includes automatic software upgrades and live technical support. “Investing in the service plan helps us support our people who use SOLIDWORKS,” Tricia said. “That layer of support is worth every penny we are paying. And the Javelin people are easy to work with, right across the board.”
Measurand will continue to seek advice and training from Javelin; in fact, Javelin’s live online SOLIDWORKS Essentials course has been incorporated into the onboarding program for the Product and Engineering teams.“ Ongoing training is a given when you work in tech. You have to keep on top of it. Training is always in the budget – if you don’t invest in training people, you won’t keep those people.”
Making a difference
Measurand continues to grow to meet the demands of short lead times, exacting quality, and continuous improvement.
In recent years, Measurand joined trusted brands RST Instruments, 3vGeomatics, and Syscom Instruments to form Terra Insights—a global platform that offers leading surface and sub-surface data solutions, using underground sensors, cloud-based data, and satellite technology. “We’re leveraging our expertise and technology to deliver not just one product, but a suite of solutions,” Tricia said.
The precise information about underground sagging, sinking, and shifting is being used to reduce uncertainty, protect structures, and reduce construction time and cost. Most importantly, as Tricia noted,
“The instruments we build are used all over the world to protect human life. We are making a difference.”
To learn more about Measurand, visit measurand.com.