Spotlight on CAD Services

May 29, 2015

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The CAD services group at MTG produces detailed plans and as-built documentation for customer solutions across the range of MTG networking and low voltage services: voice/data, paging, CCTV, fire, security, and AV.

Lead Designer, Mark Theisen, has more than 13 years of CAD and design experience, working on projects for major retailers including Starbucks, Target, and BestBuy. He joined the MTG team in 2010 and is responsible for project design and scheduling. Ryan Knutson is a CAD/BIM Specialist with over 20 years of CAD experience who enjoys researching and learning about new software and tools.

Communicating Key Information

The drawings and plans Mark and Ryan produce are critical to the success of MTG projects. Accurate and detailed, they are used to facilitate pricing, installation, and maintenance. “I would say the number one thing that makes a project successful is communication. That’s what we’re doing. We’re making sure all the vital information is captured accurately, without missing any details,” says Mark.

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Predictive Designs and WLAN

Mark frequently develops predictive designs that ensure proper wifi coverage. When designing wireless networks, it’s important to take the existing environment into consideration. A variety of factors – such as walls or inventory – can interfere with wireless signals. For example, when designing the WLAN for Gander Mountain’s warehouses, the racks of metal gun safes were taken into consideration in regards to signal strength and interference.

The challenge is to figure out how to accomplish complete coverage and connectivity, while minimizing costs. Taking the space into account, and utilizing sophisticated software, a heat map is generated to predict approximate placement of wireless access points. Predictive designs are used for budgeting purposes and also as a roadmap for installers, in the deployment phase.

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Setting a Consistent Standard 

For clients who are rolling out projects in multiple locations, the team is responsible for making sure everything will look and function the same way at every site. Templates are developed and then modified on a case-by-case basis, but the overall look and installation is consistent, saving time, and streamlining installation.

Controlling the look of the space is important, especially in retail environments. Not everything is hidden in the walls. So, the design will standardize exposed elements like lighting, wall jacks, power poles, and the layout of racking in the back of the house.

Documenting the Finished Product

Many minor (and sometimes major) revisions will typically be made to the design during construction. “We provide As-Builts that document the work exactly as it was completed,” says Mark, “so if the client ever needs someone to come back in and service the building, they know exactly what to expect.”

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New 3D Rendering Software

With sophisticated DC Pro software, the CAD group can provide 3D imaging and renderings of anything that has to do with a building. For example, a retail client recently requested renderings of different exterior finishes for a new store.

For security projects, the team uses the software to create a virtual environment, and then precisely replicate the camera’s point of view. “It definitely helps us find the blind spots and troubleshoot the design,” says Mark.

CAD Software Knowledge

The CAD services group combines software skills with planning and design expertise to add value for clients and improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of MTG low-voltage and networking plans. For more information about how MTG can assist your company with design and planning contact Tom Fuxa, 952-500-6725, tom.fuxa@callmtg.com 



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