Zone RV fixed the caravan, then its own data issues

Based in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Zone RV designs and manufactures custom-built recreational vehicles, but it wasn’t until it radically changed its ideas that success came.

Zone RV head of design and engineering Brad Marshall explains that the founders boat-building background led them to disrupt the sector with vehicles from carbon fibre, fibreglass and other composites.

Marshall said: “There’s no wood in our caravans, (they are) 100 per cent composite panels.

“This means each caravan is ultra-lightweight and fully bonded together, so they are arguably the strongest caravans in Australia.

“It is much more like the way you would construct a boat.”

Flooring is similar to that used in a racing yacht and even internal cabinetry is part of a substructure within, increasing strength and longevity.

Marshall said: “This is a small business that’s grown very rapidly over the last year.”

However the fast growth and total customisation offered through the company’s new approach necessitated a whole lot of changes in the way the company worked.

Zone RV turned to Central innovation to develop a smooth data transfer system so the same data could be shared from CAD designs to finished product.

Marshall said: “Our products are highly customisable, each unit can be fitted out differently and the customer will typically buy off the design, so we needed a way to be able to push the data across to our Manufacturing Resource Planning system quickly and efficiently.”

The company needed to fill what was a gap between the engineering department and production.

“We currently output a new product every one to two days, and because our products are highly customisable, essentially that means we’re outputing a new design every one to two days, and that adds up to a lot of data.”

Marshall admits streamlining data has ‘had its challenges.’

“But now we’re this far into it, I think we’ve really ironed out the issues.”

Still Zone RV is bedding down what has done before a stage two linking of workflow management and project management software, and a stage three linking to the sales process.

Picture: Zone RV

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