“Without the 3D modeling tools in Autodesk Inventor, we couldn’t do what we do.” —Louis LeBrun, vice president of marketing, APTwater
Digital prototyping cuts design times by up to 40%
Shoehorning complex equipment into a limited space quickly adds days or even weeks to manufacturers’ design processes. But at APTwater, a builder of oxidative reactors that clean water for reuse, digital prototyping compresses the design schedule. In fact, Autodesk Inventor, which was installed in spring 2010, helps reduce design times for the company’s HiPOx and PulseOx systems by two to six weeks.
In addition, Autodesk Vault Professional helps APTwater share design and engineering data in-house as well as with customers and fabrication partners. To maximize productivity, the Autodesk tools integrate with the comprehensive Microsoft Dynamics ERP suite the company is deploying.
“Without the 3D modeling tools in Autodesk Inventor, we couldn’t do what we do,” says Louis LeBrun, vice president of marketing at APTwater. “We are producing extremely dense designs that make the most of every possible square inch of usable space. Autodesk Inventor helps us make our reactors as small and efficient as possible, and makes our equipment fit perfectly into the space we have available.”
APTwater also uses Inventor to help it more easily incorporate customer-specific requirements into one of its standard models. Inventor helps design reviews go faster because 3D provides better visualization of the finished product.
Because APTwater is using a virtual prototype, it can assess the impacts of each change in real time. A process that formerly took days can now be completed and approved, from the customer all the way through to APTwater’s fabricators, in a matter of minutes or hours and save hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
“Customers love how easy it is to visualize and review the 3D digital prototypes,” LeBrun says. “This gives them a much higher comfort level throughout the buying and design processes.”
Although the Autodesk software has been in place barely a year, the overall productivity of APTwater’s design group has increased by between 25% and 40%, and delivery times have been cut by up to two weeks.
With the new design tools and ERP software up and running, APTwater is enjoying escalating levels of efficiency.
“While we eventually expect to see efficiency improvements begin to plateau,” LeBrun concludes, “we haven’t seen them yet and don’t expect to for some time.”