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by Technews
Issue Date: August 2001

Australian motor homes designed on Caddie

1 August 2001

The second largest manufacturer of motor homes in Australia, Swagman, is an avid Caddie user, the South African-developed computer-aided design system for architects, civil and mechanical engineers. Swagman became a Caddie user in 1998 when former Sales Manager, Kevin Fitzpatrick, emigrated to Australia and sold the company its first system. Fitzpatrick trained Swagman designers to use Caddie and then later joined the company on the sales and design side. At present, there are four Caddies in operation.
Fitzpatrick explains that Swagman started out small some 18 years ago converting Kombis to 'pop top' campers. "Australia is very large with a low density of population. The eastern seaboard generally gets regular rain so this is where most people live, but in the main the weather is dry and therefore conducive to camping, caravanning and motor-homing, which is very popular," he says.
With the introduction of Caddie into Swagman's drawing office, Fitzpatrick has been witness to the quality of the drawings 'going from unbelievably poor to truly professional.' So much so that this has helped in selling off plans and substantially reducing errors in the factory and misunderstanding in general. "There is no question that Caddie has contributed significantly to the enormous growth Swagman has experienced in the past few years," he continues.
Swagman is, by unit volume, the second biggest manufacturer, but the largest manufacturer of motorhomes in the luxury bracket. "Our units are the most expensive but contain every conceivable option such as hot and cold town pressure water, internal and external shower, toilet, vanity, stove top, oven, griller, microwave, 12 V compressor, 220 litre fridge and freezer, air-conditioner, Onan generator, solar panels, sinewave inverter, integrated sound system including TV, video, CD stacker, reversing camera, a satellite navigational system that takes you to the doorstep of the address you type in, airbag suspension, levelling legs and much, much more as standard."
The company produces one Swagman motor home every four working days and has a staff of 100, most of whom are tradesmen and apprentices. For each new model motorhome, depending on size, some seven to 10 main drawings are produced. This does not include the hundreds of component drawings.
"We launched a new 30 ft rear engine Australis range in June this year and were able to create basic drawings in under one day thanks to the patterns we have of other models and our own symbol library. The fact that we have a library of drawings for each built motor home is a great advantage for quick referencing," he concludes.
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