Digital Manufacturing Process Innovation

Efficiency improvements for fire rated ductwork

Digital Manufacturing Process Innovation

Written by John Prydderch on September 16th 2022

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In July, Exyte Hargreaves brought together a project team to take on the task of developing a new digital process. We issued Fire Rated CE Marked ductwork into manufacture in a more efficient manner. Robert Davies from our BIM department, collaborated with Maryam Al-Hamawendi and Mahnoor Shahid (from Digital Engineering) and Jordan Birtwistle in Manufacturing to develop a new digital process to issue work into manufacture without the requirements accordingly for complex 2D Fabrication drawings.

Leading the industry in HVAC design

Leading the industry in HVAC design

Exyte Hargreaves takes pride in our ability to complete a full project from the design of a HVAC system, to modelling and coordination, manufacture, and installation. Due to the quality, safety, and traceability criteria that have an impact on our daily operations, projects can be very complex and time-consuming. The products we manufacture on location go through stringent testing and inspection procedures. Necessitating the creation of intricate 2D Fabrication Drawings. These complex technical drawings take around 30 minutes per item to generate due to the substantial amount of information required.

New digital process for Fire Rated CE Marked Products


The new solution for fire rated ductwork, developed by our project team, eliminates the need to produce fabrication drawings. It also enables us to complete projects more efficiently. We now offer clients a choice between our traditional method (completing fabrication drawings in CAD) or using the digital method.


The new process to generate fabrication worksheets using an existing software product called CAMduct. Pre-populated templates allow the necessary information for each item of duct to  output on a drawing. This includes various 3D views, specifications, dimensions, connector, and stiffener requirements etc. These fabrication worksheets help to alleviate the need for the fabrication drawings.

In a remarkable innovation, the fabrication worksheets are automatically created. Which eliminates the estimated 30 minutes per item to create the relevant drawings. Therefore, our team can produce the fabrication worksheets with a mere click of a button. After uploading the worksheets, the Manufacturing team will be able to access using digitalltablet devices.

A successful ductwork pilot

Our New Process

Following process approval, the project team have piloted the fabrication worksheets in the production of Fire Rated CE Marked ductwork for a current client. Using our process would have estimated the client would require 806 CAD hours to produce the relevant fabrication drawings. The new process has eliminated these CAD hours and achieved a major efficiency saving which will help improve response times to our clients.

The successful pilot has led to an expansion of the product, both to build on the pilot and improve the new fabrication worksheets for fire rated ductwork and investigate more products. Due to the detailed quality and traceability requirements of specific projects within our industry, there is still plenty of development left to do. However, the phenomenal success of this venture leaves plenty of reasons for optimism and is testament of Exyte Hargreaves’ commitment towards innovation for our clients.

Interested in digital innovation in HVAC design?

If you’re undertaking a new HVAC project and would like some advice, please contact Exyte Hargreaves to arrange a discussion. We’re celebrating 150 years of supporting construction engineering projects in 2022 and we’d be delighted to use our many years of experience to transform your projects into the future.


Article written by Robert Davies, Deputy BIM Manager

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