Company Uses Digital Prototyping to Develop Agricultural Equipment That Treads Lightly on the Earth
The Inventor of the Month program recognizes the most innovative design and engineering advancements made by the extensive community using Autodesk Inventor software -- the foundation of the Autodesk solution for Digital Prototyping. Inventor has helped Unverferth to readily expand its product line to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere by farm operations -- meeting a new market need while lessening the overall environmental impact of farming.
Inventor has also enabled the company to adapt its products to the soil conditions of different geographic regions with minimal time and cost, thanks to the efficiencies that Digital Prototyping enables. Engineers were able to design specific tillage components, specify their ranges of motion, and use the kinematics built into Inventor to simulate components in action. By checking for interferences, engineers have been able to immediately detect a problem, and again modify designs and animate models to reflect the investment associated with building, and rebuilding, multiple physical prototypes.
Supporting Low Impact Farming Practices
Tillage is the process of digging up soil to prepare it for agricultural purposes, such as planting crops. Disturbing the soil in this manner releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing to environmental issues such as global warming. Unverferth has been able to support the growth of the more environmentally friendly "conservation tillage" movement by delivering innovative farm equipment that tills soil with minimal surface soil disruption, which reduces carbon dioxide emissions.
"Using Inventor to create a single 3D digital model that can be leveraged throughout the entire product development lifecycle has been extremely beneficial for us," said Steve Hilvers, a project engineer at Unverferth. "We can use digital prototypes to virtually explore a new product or customize an existing product, without having to expend time and money on physical prototypes. As a result, we're making better, more complex products than ever -- products we'd never have dreamed of designing a few years ago, that will have a positive impact on the future of farming."
This increase in innovation has allowed Unverferth to increase the number of new designs brought to the market by 50 percent while lowering the number of physical prototypes it needs to build by 75 percent, helping ensure that a steady supply of cutting-edge agricultural machines are available to maintain the momentum of the conservation tillage movement.
"Manufacturers of every type are looking for ways to create a more sustainable world, and harnessing Autodesk technology allows them to tackle this challenge without wasting time or resources," said Robert "Buzz" Kross, senior vice president of Autodesk Manufacturing Solutions. "We applaud Unverferth's role in creating a greener future and are pleased to name them as April's Inventor of the Month."
About the Autodesk Inventor of the Month Program
Each month, Autodesk selects an Inventor of the Month from the more than 700,000 users of Autodesk Inventor software, the foundation for Digital Prototyping. Winners are chosen for engineering excellence and groundbreaking innovation. For more information on Autodesk Inventor of the Month, contact us at Email Contact.
About Unverferth Manufacturing Company, Inc.
Unverferth Manufacturing Company, Inc. is a leading, family-owned manufacturer of tillage implements, grain, hay and manure handling equipment as well as agricultural dual and specialty changeover wheels. The company has been serving America's farm operations since 1948. For additional information about Unverferth, visit http://www.unverferth.com.
Autodesk, Inc. is the world leader in 2D and 3D design software for the manufacturing, construction, and media and entertainment markets. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk has developed the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art digital prototyping solutions to help customers experience their ideas before they are built. Fortune 1000 companies rely on Autodesk for the tools to visualize, simulate and analyze real-world performance early in the design process to save time and money, enhance quality and foster innovation. For additional information about Autodesk, visit http://www.autodesk.com/.
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