October 24, 2005
Autodesk Acquires Engineering Intent Corp. For Engineer-To-Order Capabilities
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Autodesk, Inc. announced that it has acquired certain assets of Engineering Intent Corporation. Privately held and based in Waltham, Mass, Engineering Intent provides "Engineer to Order" (ETO) software and services. The acquisition enables Autodesk to help its customers address the growing demand for mass customization -- efficiently delivering end products uniquely designed and configured for individual customers. Autodesk's expanded solution directly supports its' customers requirement to efficiently produce and deliver customized end products for time to market advantages. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
ETO software can significantly shorten manufacturers' sales cycles, typically from an average of 30 days to as little as one day or more importantly, a single sales call. The software also helps them manufacture their end products more cost effectively. By embedding a company's engineering specifications or design intelligence and rules up-front, ETO software enables sales to achieve pre-approved designs in the field, reduces engineering design iterations, minimizes costly errors and can eliminate manufacturing re-work.
"Engineering Intent has been active and successful in helping its customers address sales engineering automation," said Buzz Kross, vice president of Autodesk's Manufacturing Solutions Division. "In addition to bringing domain expertise, Engineering Intent has developed ETO software that encompasses a competitively unique rules engine. This acquisition expands our business scope and demonstrates our commitment to providing an increasingly comprehensive solution to our customers."
Engineering Intent has successfully partnered with Autodesk Consulting for a variety of AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor-based ETO implementations.
Hytrol Conveyor Company, a major manufacturer of conveying systems and accessories, has been working with Engineering Intent and Autodesk to implement a company-wide ETO system. "This system will help us to significantly shorten our sales cycles and engineering time by automating re-design for each order, Bill of Material (BOM) production for manufacturing, and spare parts lists for our customers," said Stuart Shaw, Hytrol's Manager of Information Systems. "We'll be able to implement this system in half the time it would have taken us to develop a customized solution in house."
proof that we made the right decision with Autodesk."
In acquiring certain assets of Engineering Intent, Autodesk broadens its solutions for manufacturing companies with market leading 2D and 3D design products and process automation offering such as Autodesk Productstream. Autodesk continues to enable its customers to realize ideas and increase process automation for improved return on investment.
acquisition spree this year.
partners, and customers to perform at the level of "experts."
The Intent product family is a suite of software products that use Intent Technology for engineering knowledge management. Intent technology can be used to capture, manage, and re-use a company's engineering knowledge and processes, as well as the ability to effect rapid responses to customer needs, from custom design to costing, allowing for quick and accurate responses to product requests.
Intent's Runtime CAD Deployment Options enable applications to be embedded directly into the user environment of CAD systems, including AutoCAD, Inventor, CATIA, and Unigraphics. By embedding Intent applications in these CAD systems, users can create environments that use both Intent and CAD technologies from within the user interface of the CAD system. This includes the ability to interact with both Intent- and CAD-created geometry through the one interface. Any geometry created by Intent is native to the CAD system and does not require translation from the Intent geometry engine to the CAD geometry engine.
options; and constrains choices based on compatibility rules.
Product configurators are particularly useful if and when a product is available in different colors, sizes, or other variations to help determine exactly what is being specified or ordered; how to manufacture the product; if the product can be manufactured; what the cost will be to make the product; what quantity of raw material(s) is required to make the product; and the product's price. Basically, it is an online tool designed to manage the design, manufacture, and selling processes of complex and configurable products.
It will be interesting to see how Autodesk integrates ETO technology, as well as which products it will offer it in. It will encounter some competition from established companies already in the ETO space, such as StormMaker, RuleStream, and Deligo Technologies. ETO (or product configuration) technologies can be complex to implement, but done right can provide impressive benefits to diverse groups ranging from sales to engineering to customers.
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-- Jeff Rowe, MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.
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