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June 05, 2006
Autodesk Inventor Used For Factory Design
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on MCADcafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
Jeff Rowe - Managing Editor

by Jeff Rowe - Contributing Editor
Each MCAD Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the MCAD industry, MCAD product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by MCADCafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

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 plays a key role in our entire pickling process," explained Jimmy Carr, Plant Engineer at Mt. Olive. "We use Autodesk Inventor to design and document the entire process. The pickle packaging process requires customized conveyors, washing, cutting, pasteurization and filling equipment. We use Autodesk Inventor to route piping runs, both high purity process lines and utility piping, such as air, water and steam. We are also documenting our facilities. Having our machinery, mechanicals and buildings documented in Inventor allow us to troubleshoot production problems efficiently, resulting in a reduction of costly downtime. The level of detail provided in
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.

Visit Our New Discussion Groups

I invite you to check out our new and improved Discussion Groups on MCADCafe.com. We have number of timely topics, such as interoperability and design for manufacturability, as well as dedicated discussions on specific MCAD products. We also have a free CAD Job Board for employers, recruiters, and those seeking employment. From the MCADCafe.com web site, click on Discussions and Discussion Groups near the top of the home page, or cut and paste the address below into your browser:


We hope to see you there and engage in the many interesting Discussion Groups.

The Week's Top 5

At MCADCafé we track many things, including the stories that have attracted the most interest from our subscribers. Below are the five news items that were the most viewed during last week.

Integrated Drafting Power For Pro/ENGINEER

CAD Schroer GmbH (CSG) announced the release of version 2.1 of its STHENO/PRO dedicated drafting plug-in for Pro/ENGINEER. The release coincides with a campaign targeted at Pro/E users whose current, non-integrated 2D systems may now be unsupported and expensive to upgrade and maintain. CSG recently introduced new functionality to STHENO/PRO, including the SMART Edit tool for dynamically editing designs without a sketch, which offers parametrics on demand without the need to dimension a drawing. The upgrade offer for owners of AutoCAD LT, AutoCAD, and AutoCAD Mechanical to one of the STHENO/PRO packages applies to all previous versions up to version 2005, with savings for companies making
the switch (rather than upgrading to AutoCAD 2006) to STHENO/PRO, which is fully DXF/DWG compatible.

SolidWorks Brings Three Of Four "American Inventor" Finalists To Final Round

Three of the four finalists' inventions on the popular reality TV show "American Inventor" on ABC were designed in SolidWorks. Product development consultancy Patton Design of California used SolidWorks to develop the Catch Elite, Word Ace, and Anecia Survival Capsule - all vying for the $1 million grand prize ultimately awarded to Janusz Liberkowski, inventor of the Anecia Survival Capsule, during the final episode on May 18. "American Inventor" has seen a spike in viewership as the 12 finalists (chosen from thousands of would-be inventors) used $50,000 provided by ABC to transform their ideas into working prototypes. ABC invited several product design companies to give
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.

Autodesk Sponsors PBS Television Series On Sustainable Design

Autodesk announced that it is sponsoring a new PBS television series about sustainable design titled "design: e2" (The Economics of Being Environmentally Conscious). Produced by kontentreal and narrated by Brad Pitt, the series is scheduled to air on PBS stations beginning in June 2006. In association with the series, Autodesk has unveiled its Sustainability Center (http://www.autodesk.com/green/) which will serve as a resource on the role of technology in sustainable design and profile industry leaders from manufacturing, building and infrastructure who are realizing their sustainable ideas. Autodesk provides software that can help design professionals measure and 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.

New Book Details UGS NX4

A new book published by Design Visionaries teaches the basic modeling, assemblies and drafting functionality of Unigraphics NX4. "Basic and Intermediate NX4 Modeling, Drafting and Assemblies", by Stephen Samuel, Anuranjini Pragada and Gautam Baksi, is a newly revised version of Design Visionaries' previous book "Practical Unigraphics NX3 Modeling, Drafting and Assemblies". The methods outlined in this book go beyond an academic use of NX4. They are tricks of the trade that come from thousands of hours of actual use of the software to design complex products. The exercises provided in the book are classroom-tested and will help readers learn NX4.Topics include:
  • Fundamental and Intermediate Curves
  • Design, Detail and Surface Features
  • Editing Entities
  • Expressions
  • Direct and Master Modeling
  • How to Make NX4 Run Great
  • Altair Engineering Hosts Grand Opening Of Altair Design Studio

    Altair Engineering Inc. is hosting the grand opening of the Altair Design Studio on June 8, 2006, at the company's Troy, Mich., headquarters. The event includes a tour of the new industrial design facility and a presentation on the benefits of leveraging human creativity with advanced technology to deliver innovative products. Attendees will also have an opportunity to experience a 3D virtual reality environment configured to assist in the product design process. The Altair Design Studio was created to provide a unique, cross-functional environment in which designers and engineers can work together using the industry's most advanced simulation and CAE tools to achieve a powerful synergy of
    creativity and technology.

    Jeffrey Rowe is the editor and publisher of MCADCafé and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached
    here or 408.850.9230.

    This Week

    Lead Story
  • Autodesk Inventor 11 Simplifies Factory Design
    Product and Company News
  • Airplane Hangar Doors Stand Up To Extreme Conditions With SolidWorks
  • ANSYS Recognized As One Of Fastest-Growing Tech Companies
  • Five-Axis And Aerospace Growth Moves Delcam Up CIMdata Rankings
  • ABB Extends Use Of UGS' Tecnomatix Software
  • SolidWorks Helps Machine Manufacturer Hammer Out Durable Products
  • CD-adapco To Unveil Latest Release Of STAR-Pro/E
  • ANSYS Workbench Users Benefit From MatWeb Integration
  • Delcam's PowerMILL Wins Award
  • Fluent Software Models Soccer Ball Trajectory
  • think3 Updates thinkiD DesignXpressions And thinkPLM Product Suites
  • QuadriSpace Previews New 3D Desktop Publishing Software
  • Delcam's FeatureCAM Helps Precision Machinists
  • CCE To Showcase Adaptive Feature Translation Technology
  • i.get.it Professional Released With Major Localization Enhancements
  • Altair Engineering's PBS Professional Released For NEC SX-8 Platform
  • Delcam To Show New Versions Of PowerINSPECT
  • Acer Selects Agile PLM To Streamline Worldwide Operations
  • KUKA Robotics Signs New System Partner
  • Avatech Solutions Finalizes Sterling Systems Acquisition
  • Osaka Prefectural College of Technology Adopts STHENO/PROp
  • KUKA Robotics Selected By Mecano Industrie
    Related MCAD News
  • World Automotive Sensor Demand To Reach $14 Billion In 2010
  • Applied Manufacturing Technologies Inc. Announces Engineering Group Reorganization
  • Boeing Begins Assembling First 737-900ER
  • Chrysler Group Launches Production Of 2007 Jeep Compass
  • Forum Launched To Advance Interest In Technology Among School-Aged Girls
  • New Jaguar XK Features Delphi Center Console Module
  • IBM Daksh Triples Employee Base In India To 20,000
  • U.S. Navy Funds Noran Engineering And ShipConstructor Software
  • Visteon Strengthens Manufacturing In Eastern Europe
  • IBM Introduces IBM System Storage N5000 Series Gateway For SMBs
  • NPE Survey Finds Majority Of Attendees Want To Learn About New Plastics Technologies
  • EnPro Industries Inc. Acquires Canadian Compressor Parts Manufacturer
  • Oracle To Acquire Demantra
  • United Plastics Group Inc. Announces Contract Manufacturing Facility In Mexico
  • Solar EnerTech Corp. Manufacturing Facility Update
    Corporate Moves
  • Visteon Names VP And GM Of Ford North America Customer Business Group
  • MSC.Software Director Resigns From Board
    Upcoming Events
  • Cyon Research Announces COFES 2007
  • PTC To Host Media/Analyst Event And Webcast
  • FARO To Show New PowerGAGE At Delcam Event
  • Robotics Trends and IDG World Expo Welcome Microsoft As Conference Sponsor

    You can find the full MCADCafe event calendar here.

    To read more news, click here.

    -- Jeff Rowe, MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.