Happy 40th Birthday, Radan

One of the world’s most powerful sheet metal CAD/CAM systems is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

04 April 2016
RADAN Software - 3D Side Panel
Radan, now part of the Vero Software Group, began life as a verification program created at Bath University.

Kevin O’Connor, Radan’s Sales and Major Accounts Manager, says the University was approached by a machine tool manufacturer who wanted offline programming software for a sheet metal punch press.

“In those days pre-verification programmers would type the G-code and X and Y co-ordinates, longhand, and it came out as paper tape which would be fed into the machine tool controller. The cutting tool would then move according to the instructions on the paper tape.”

Two senior lecturers at the university, Tony Billett – who was to become Radan’s Managing Director – and Martin Swainston, devised the software to read the paper tape and simulate the movement that the machine would make, offline. “It’s very primitive compared to Radan today, but was far in advance of anything else available in 1976. For the first time, it was possible to try a program out on a computer instead of waiting until it was on the machine and cutting metal.”

Radan has developed into the world leader by staying solely in the sheet metal industry, and creating solutions for specialist niches within that sector. These include Radtube, which drives dedicated tube cutting machines tools as well as the rotary axis on flat bed lasers;   and Radm-ax for driving 5-axis lasers. “Both these modules provide an affordable solution to the CNC part programming needs of engineering businesses of all sizes.”

But Kevin O’Connor says today’s customers are looking for much more than just CAD/CAM functionality. “They want something to run the whole of their production process, which may include punch, laser, press brake, costing, and production control.”

That led to the advent of Radan’s logistics suite, which began with Radimport, and the new Radmanager. Also, Radquote will be released later this year. “Customers asked us for a quoting module to manage their production, and be able to fully integrate with existing MRP systems.”

Now with a UK customer base approaching 2,000, he believes Radan’s future lies in two areas: guaranteeing that customers continue to get new state-of-the-art functionality in each of the annual updates, and further development of the logistics products.

“We talk to the machine tool companies to ensure that all our new functionality fits in with their technology, and we hold regular user group meetings where customers tell us what they’d like to see in future releases.”

Now in his 29th year with Radan, Kevin O’Connor explains why he has stayed loyal to the brand for so long. “A number of employees also have 20 and 25 years service. Not only do we passionately believe in how Radan helps sheet metal companies take their businesses to the next level, but we already work for the best company doing what it does in the sheet metal industry. What more could we want?” 

About Vero Software 

Headquartered in England, Vero Software designs, develops, and supplies CAD/CAM/CAE software radically enhancing the efficiency of design and manufacturing processes, providing its customers with exceptional value through high productivity gains and significantly reducing time to market. The company’s world-renowned brands include Alphacam, Cabinet Vision, Edgecam, Machining STRATEGIST, PEPS, Radan, SMIRT, SURFCAM, WorkNC and VISI, along with the ERP/MRP systems Javelin and WorkPLAN. Despite the diversity of application, these solutions have one thing in common: they all address the rising challenges of achieving manufacturing efficiencies and bring huge value to the operations in which they are deployed.

Vero has direct offices in the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Japan, USA, Brazil, Netherlands, China, South Korea, Spain and India supplying products to more than 45 countries through its wholly owned subsidiaries and reseller network.

Vero is part of Hexagon, a leading global provider of information technologies that drive productivity and quality across geospatial and industrial enterprise applications.

Hexagon’s solutions integrate sensors, software, domain knowledge and customer workflows into intelligent information ecosystems that deliver actionable information. They are used in a broad range of vital industries.

Hexagon (Nasdaq Stockholm: HEXA B) has approximately 22,000 employees in 50 countries and net sales of approximately 4.3bn EUR. Learn more at hexagon.com and follow us @HexagonAB.