Case Study: Journey of an Industrial Scaffold Designer

8 October 2023 | 2 minute read


Australia’s largest zinc refinery, Sun Metals, has been an R & T Welding client for over 26 years. R & T Welding provides Sun Metals with various services, including repairs and maintenance and what is typical of an industrial site, scaffolding to access the site services.


The vast refinery hosts a complex area with unique temporary scaffolding infrastructure challenges. Though the designs can be basic in design, every one of them can be different, explained Brody Anderson, R & T’s Scaffold Designer, in an interview with ScaffPlan’s Operations Manager, Aimee Schafer.

No in-house draftsman

Drafting technicians in the construction industry are in demand. Therefore, it's sometimes difficult to source one for industrial scaffold design.

Minimum repeatable designs

When designing scaffolding, a complex industrial site means designs are rarely the same. Therefore, more designs are needed. “we've tried to reuse drawings twice, and I think we've managed to do it once,” said Brody.

Long turnaround times

Six-week outsourced design turnarounds could impact maintenance and emergency design needs, where flexibility and safety are paramount.

High outsourcing costs

The high demand for temporary infrastructure for maintenance and other work equalled high annual costs for outsourcing designs. 


Seeking out solutions, R & T Welding purchased an annual ScaffPlan licence and, without an existing draftsman, put one of their talented Boiler Makers into the ScaffPlan hot seat to try it out.


Brody had no drafting, CAD or TEKLA experience but had worked with scaffolders on-site. His first challenge was to design scaffolding to access a tricky location for a shutdown process. After accessing training videos and support from ScaffPlan, within four days, Brody’s first plan had received outsourced Engineering sign-off with no amendments. To this day, the design is the one Brody is most proud of.

In-house design

19 months later, Brody is R & T Welding’s only designer while continuing his role as a boilermaker.

Reduced design costs

R & T Welding costs for designs were reduced from $3,500+ per design to just $500 for outsourced engineering.

We have "less than of the costs, but then I've still got to draw it up myself, the engineering, and the basic certification cost."

Reduced turnaround times

Design turnaround times decreased from six weeks to 2-3 days — depending on the complexity.

We have "less than half of the costs, but then I've still got to draw it up myself, the engineering, and the basic certification cost."

Ease of adoption

Brody explained that using the ScaffPlan training and support, combined with the intuitiveness of the software, helped get him designing within days. He was confident that others in the company could learn how to use the software, and that of the 20 employees at R & T Welding, as many as four or five people came to mind who could easily learn how to use ScaffPan.

"From week one, we were saving money, and there was never any losing period."

Design needs fulfilled

Due to the nature of the refinery, every scaffold plan is different. "No scaffold is the same here," says Brody, and ScaffPlan design manoeuvrability and flexibility help to create a plan for each unique situation across the site.

For our needs, "manipulating and rotating your equipment in ScaffPlan" makes design easy", shared Brody.

If you would like to learn more about ScaffPlan, don't hesitate to reach out to our helpful Sales Team. They are ready to assist you with any questions or inquiries you may have.