June 05, 2006
Autodesk Inventor Used For Factory Design
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Autodesk Inc. announced that the Mt. Olive Pickle Company, the second-best selling brand of pickles in the country, is using Autodesk Inventor 11 software, the world's best-selling 3D mechanical design solution and best choice for AutoCAD software users, to design and document the machinery that comprises its sophisticated pickle processing plant. The company worked with Avatech Solutions, Inc. , an Autodesk channel partner, to choose Autodesk Inventor 11.
The Mt. Olive Pickle Company, Inc., located in Mount Olive, North Carolina, was originally founded to brine cucumbers to be sold to other pickling firms. When that plan didn't work, 21 local business people came together to establish the company for the purpose of packing and selling its own pickle products. From a modest beginning in 1926, with only a 3,600 square-foot building and $15,875 in capital, the Mt. Olive Pickle Company has grown to become the largest independent pickle company in the United States. The company packs over 90 million jars of processed and fresh pack pickles, relishes and peppers
Mt. Olive's facilities are located on 110 acres of land, with approximately 970,000 square feet of production, office and warehouse space. The company has over 1,200 fiberglass and plastic brine vats, with storage capacity in excess of 40 million pounds of cucumbers.
Autodesk Inventor 11 is really helpful for providing either management or vendors with exact measurements and details of the production machinery if there's ever a problem."
To further take advantage of the investment they have made in their design data, Mt. Olive leverages Autodesk Vault functionality. Integrated with Autodesk Inventor software, Autodesk Vault is an easy-to-use data management tool that makes work-in-process data more accessible and reusable while avoiding the versioning problems inherent in sharing files among workgroups.
"Autodesk Vault has really helped us with our file management," said Carr. "It ensures that all of our designs are correctly versioned and organized. This makes it much easier to track older design iterations and to re-use designs of older machines -- the 'copy design' function in Vault is of tremendous value in this endeavor."
Robert "Buzz" Kross, vice president of Autodesk's Manufacturing Solutions Division, noted: "Companies across a wide range of industries are unlocking the value that Autodesk Inventor can provide to their business. By taking advantage of the innovations that the latest release provides, Mt. Olive is leading the way with their extensive use of Autodesk solutions."
by Jeffrey Rowe, Editor
At first glance, using a mechanical CAD application for architectural and process design might seem kind of far fetched, but it's happening with increasing frequency. I've heard of architects using MCAD products, such as SolidWorks and Inventor, for certain types of architectural design, especially industrial. It makes sense with an application like Inventor, because the current version, Release 11 has a capability called Frame Generator that can be used to build frame structures, such as metal railings and stairs. It wasn't really developed as an architectural feature set, because it was intended more for machine-related frame structures, but for simple architectural demands, it works.
And, while I am not an architect, from what I know, a good portion of architectural design is still performed using 2D, such as AutoCAD. This makes it handy for those architects that still use AutoCAD but might want to move to something like Inventor, because AutoCAD is part of the package known as theAutodesk Inventor Series - the only way you can purchase Inventor.
Through an Autodesk spokesperson, we posed a couple of questions to Jimmy Carr, the Mt. Olive contact quoted in the press release.
First, we asked, do you use Inventor to perform plant layout from an architectural and/or process perspective? He answered, "Yes we are beginning to use Inventor for plant layout both architecturally and process. R11 with the new Level Of Detail capabilities and the improved performance of the Drawing Manager has allowed this to finally become a possibility."
Next, we asked what were they using prior to Inventor? Mr. Carr said, "We used AutoCAD prior to Inventor and still do use AutoCAD. AutoCAD continues to be the platform of choice for quick production line layout
proofs before we commit the project to 3D.
So, will MCAD applications ultimately supercede and make true architectural applications obsolete? Hardly. The two disciplines and there requirements are very much different and won't change anytime soon. It is interesting, however, to see how some companies push the envelope and challenge the so-called norms and perceived limits of CAD applications.
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the switch (rather than upgrading to AutoCAD 2006) to STHENO/PRO, which is fully DXF/DWG compatible.
finalists a demonstration of their capabilities. The finalists then chose which design companies they thought would best bring their invention from a concept to a winning product. Patton Design was selected by three of the four finalists based on its breadth of experience, having developed everything from a leading heart defibrillator to high-end stereo speakers, all designed in SolidWorks.
analyze the performance costs and occupant experience of a building, predict the efficiency and durability of a mechanical device or model the layout of a new road to better understand its environmental impact. As a result, design professionals can significantly reduce the time and resources required to create sustainable buildings, infrastructure, and products.
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-- Jeff Rowe, MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.
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