World Renowned Lighting Manufacturer, Lightolier, Reports 35 Percent Productivity Increase with Autodesk Manufacturing Solutions

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Autodesk Inventor and Autodesk Streamline Play Strategic Role in Lighting Design and Supplier Collaboration to Enhance Product Development Process

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 5, 2003-- Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK), the world's leading design software and digital content company, today announced that Lightolier, one of the largest lighting manufacturers for the building industry and the largest brand in the Genlyte Thomas Group LLC (GTG), reported a 35 percent increase in productivity as a result of its use of Autodesk Inventor(R) Series mechanical design software package and Autodesk Streamline(R) online collaboration service. These two products form the cornerstone of Autodesk Manufacturing Division's strategy to deliver product lifecycle management (PLM) to the mainstream market and rapidly provide a significant return on investment. Lightolier is using these Autodesk Manufacturing solutions to design its lighting products and share intelligent design data across their extended manufacturing team. In addition to Autodesk's Manufacturing software, Lightolier is using Autodesk's AutoCAD(R) and Autodesk(R) Architectural Desktop software as a complete solution to help the company deliver innovative lighting products to its customers.

Genlyte Thomas Looks to Autodesk Technology to Meet its Strategic Objectives

GTG, a leading North American manufacturer of lighting fixtures and controls for commercial, industrial, and residential markets, is deploying Autodesk Inventor software and the Autodesk Streamline service to meet its strategic objectives, which include solving their critical business challenge of unifying the R&D departments of its 29 lighting brands.

"Autodesk Manufacturing Solutions allow our brands to share design work for common engineering components, while giving them the autonomy they need to compete in the same market," said Rick Blanchard, CIO at Genlyte Thomas Group. "With Autodesk solutions, we expect to lower costs by 25 percent, shorten time-to-market by 70 percent, and maintain security for proprietary information."

Lightolier Improves Product Development Processes with Autodesk Solutions

Lightolier needed a 3D design solution that could keep pace with a new line of innovative designs the company is planning to introduce next year for its 100th anniversary. The new product line, being co-developed with a sister division, demanded a solution that offered design flexibility and preservation of design intelligence throughout the lifecycle of the product.

After extensive benchmark tests involving Autodesk Inventor, SolidWorks, and Pro/ENGINEER applications, Lightolier selected Autodesk Inventor to replace its ME 10 and HP SolidDesigner software for its ease of use, design flexibility, unique adaptive technology, and Autodesk's strong presence in the building design industry. In addition, with Autodesk Inventor software's DWG compatibility, Lightolier is able to share design data with internal and external project teams that use other design applications from Autodesk, such as AutoCAD and Architectural Desktop software.

More Efficient Collaboration with Vendors and Suppliers Worldwide

Lightolier, headquartered in Fall River, Massachusetts, is using the Autodesk Streamline service to collaborate with vendors and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) worldwide, including Taiwan and China. Lightolier exchanges data regarding components they outsource as well as sends and receives requests for proposals (RFPs) to potential suppliers. This makes their processes much more efficient, reducing the time it takes to communicate and accomplish work. With Autodesk Streamline, Lightolier can also disseminate information enterprise-wide to four offices in Massachusetts, California, and Mexico. In its initial phase now at its Fall River facility, Lightolier expects to simplify and reduce time-intensive tasks with the Autodesk Streamline service. The service will automatically notify all relevant parties across departments when there is a change in Lightolier's ISO 9000 procedures and processes. This will result in more efficient internal processes so that Lightolier can better serve its customers.

Preserving Design Intelligence for Customers

Lightolier plans to deploy the Autodesk i-drop(R) and DWF(TM) technology on its website, to give architects and building design customers the ability to not only view, but also drag and drop intelligent lighting geometry directly into their AutoCAD and Architectural Desktop drawings. By replacing static PDF files currently on their website, they give customers valuable information such as lighting dimensions, costs, and photometric data without requiring them to redraw the design or re-key data into their drawing. According to the company, this capability alone is expected to save enormous amounts of time and serve as a competitive differentiator.

"Most, if not all, of our customers use AutoCAD and Autodesk Architectural Desktop software," said Chris Lajoie, CAD administrator at Lightolier. "Using Autodesk Inventor and Autodesk Streamline to bring intelligent and innovative solutions to this industry was an important business decision for us and gives us a significant competitive advantage as we embark on our next century of lighting excellence."

"Lightolier is one example of how companies can select the right mix from Autodesk's family of industry solutions to manage their specific product life cycle processes," said Robert Kross, vice president of the Manufacturing Solutions Division at Autodesk.

DTI Techologies Plays Pivotal Role in Implementation

DTI Technologies, Inc., an Autodesk Channel Business Partner, played a pivotal role in Lightolier's implementation of the Autodesk Inventor and Autodesk Streamline solutions by providing training, support, and customization. "We customized the training and tailored the Autodesk Inventor software for Lightolier's design environment. This environment consists of creating a significant amount of sheet metal and formed parts, working with assemblies, and maintaining some 2D tasks in the overall design process," said Jim Beliveau, senior account manager at DTI Technologies.

About Autodesk

Autodesk is the world's leading design software and digital content company, offering customers progressive business solutions through powerful technology products and services. Autodesk helps customers in the building, manufacturing, infrastructure, digital media, and wireless data services fields increase the value of their digital design data and improve efficiencies across their entire project lifecycle management processes. For more information about the company, see

Autodesk, AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Streamline, DWF, and i-drop are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders.

CONTACT: Autodesk, Inc.
             Cindi Goodsell, 415/507-8452
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