Aluminium Fabrication and Welding
Incat is a world leader in aluminium fabrication and welding technologies. Aluminium is a notoriously difficult metal to work with. The structural components of marine craft take a very heavy battering from the sea and it is vital that every aspect of the construction is perfect.
There is no point using the best materials and the best design if the workmanship in putting it altogether is not up to the task. The majority of jointing and welding is carried out manually and demands a very high level of skill and care from the people whose job it is to put the pieces together.
Incat has developed a close relationship with Hobart Institute of Technical and Further Education (TAFE). The results of this collaboration are training courses where employees receive off site theoretical studies and part of their practical training experience on site. This enables workers to develop the highest level of technical skill in aluminium fabrication and welding skills with training modules directly matched to Incat construction needs.
The purpose-built TAFE College of Aluminium Training has been constructed adjacent to the yard for even greater convenience.
Incat Design Office Technology
Designing high-tech ships requires high tech design tools. Of particular importance is that the design tools allow designers the freedom to work in the mode most appropriate to the part or assembly being designed. CADKEY's abilities in this area are exceptional, allowing designers to work in wireframe, surfaces or solid modeling mode at will. The Incat design office uses CADKEY exclusively to design and document ship designs. There are 30 designers in the office and all are equipped with CADKEY.
CADKEY was first introduced at Incat when designers moved to CAD several years ago. At the time the decision was made, CADKEY was selected on the basis of its total 3D approach; its ability to work with wireframe, surfaces and solid models; its built-in aptitude for mechanical design and manufacturing and the ease of use for designers. At the time, there was nothing else available under a million dollars that matched CADKEY feature for feature and the economy of choosing the perfectly capable CADKEY did not require a second thought. Even today, now that there are some very capable 3D design tools around, it is not possible to match CADKEY's capabilities for under A$40,000 per seat.
CADKEY can be deployed for much, much less than this.As the Incat design team pushes design ideas to the limit with their ships they also push their software tools to limit as well. To say that members of the Incat design team are all CADKEY enthusiasts is an understatement.
The team also comprises a significant number of power users who often test the capabilities of CADKEY. A few also regularly participate in CADKEY's online technical discussion forums and provide the CADKEY development team with significant constructive feedback for further enhancements.
Additional stand-alone software tools are used for specialist engineering analysis and presentation purposes. All CAD work is done on PCs. Paper output is generated through a Xerox large format printer that runs virtually continuously providing drawings for the fabrication shop and fitters.
No business operates in isolation. Building a world-beating ship requires a significant contribution from world-beating suppliers. A significant manufacturing community has grown up around Prince of Wales Bay primarily to service and supply Incat with materials and components. Each supplier makes an important contribution to Incat. Most also operate a thriving independent high-tech engineering business fostered by association with Incat and a shared commitment to manufacturing specialized products for the world market.