CAD upgrade cuts drawing time from one hour to six minutes

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Duvale has chosen Autodesk Inventor to improve the communication of designs to the shop floor and to provide an additional tool for marketing its products.

Duvale is a specialist in the design and manufacture of a wide range of movable wall systems for use in widely ranging environments including offices, conference areas, hotels, restaurants, schools and sports halls. The company recently decided to upgrade its software after undertaking an evaluation of a number of aspects of its operations.

Using Inventor, it plans to create templates that will allow it to enter survey data directly into an existing model, which will automatically update to produce a finished drawing and parts list. This will greatly improve accuracy and reduce design time, as Robert Gladman, Production Manager at Duvale, explains: “A standard drawing currently takes around an hour to produce; we are aiming to reduce this to between five and six minutes.”

Once these templates are created and in use the company will introduce digital prototyping to reduce the number of physical prototypes it produces. Gladman says: “For a recent project we created three prototypes using Inventor and within a matter of days we decided which would be the most feasible and pursued that one; it is a much more economical way of working.”

Shopfloor communications

In order to maximise its investment in Inventor, Duvale will be using the system to instruct those on the manufacturing side of the project how to put together the products. Gladman comments: “Some of our staff do not have English as a first language so there can be a communication breakdown when trying to explain complex manufacturing processes. Using Inventor we will be able to show them exactly what they need to do, which we hope will increase accuracy and productivity.”

Inventor's ability to act as a useful marketing tool was demonstrated at a recent exhibition at London’s Excel - in which Duvale participated. As well as a physical full working model of one of its systems, 3D solid models with video and images from Inventor were used extensively on a plasma screen to promote and explain the various movable wall systems.

John Jervis of Autodesk reseller Midas, who has worked with Duvale to implement the Inventor software, says: “Using Inventor, Duvale will be able to significantly speed up its design process by creating templates and producing less physical prototypes. This will help the company stay ahead of the competition.”

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