Customers with a wide variety of tastes, from luxury hotels to government institutions, have relied on UK-based Ellis Furniture for their high-quality furniture needs for over a century. Due to the company’s ongoing high standard for quality customised furniture and continued dedication to new and innovative technology, the Autodesk Manufacturing community has recognised Ellis as the 2012 Inventor of the Year.
Ellis was chosen the 2012 Inventor of the Year after a month-long voting process throughout February. The competition, which set the record this year for the highest number of participating votes, included all 2012 Autodesk Inventor of the Month recipients — each of which rose to the challenge to develop the most innovative design and engineering advancements with standout products that achieved a practical need.
The Autodesk Inventor of the Month program identifies the most innovative among hundreds of thousands of designers and engineers that invent with Autodesk Digital Prototyping tools. Last year’s recipients leveraged a variety of Autodesk products, including Autodesk Product Design Suite, Autodesk Factory Design Suite, the Autodesk Simulation software portfolio and Autodesk PLM 360.
Ellis, Autodesk’s August 2012 Inventor of the Month, uses Autodesk Inventor software as part of Autodesk Product Design Suite to offer customers product customisation and to cut time from the company’s manufacturing process by 80 per cent. The time savings and increased design speed enables Ellis to rapidly explore a number of options for its customers, creating quality custom furniture that fits each customer’s precise needs and is built to last a lifetime.
Tom Ellis, director of Ellis, says: “I am delighted that Ellis Furniture has been voted the Autodesk 2012 Inventor of the Year. We thank our design team, our Autodesk Platinum Partner Symetri and our enterprise resource planning system vendor Friedman Corporation for all their hard work in helping us achieve a great solution to our integrated systems goal. We see the furniture market moving quickly toward a preference for more custom elements, and Autodesk software is helping us meet that need in a timely manner and cut our time to market by half.”
Ellis worked with Symetri to purchase and implement Autodesk Product Design Suite, which includes Autodesk Inventor and other digital prototyping tools such as Autodesk Vault data management software and Autodesk 3ds Max rendering software. Using these Autodesk tools, Ellis estimates that it is able to clarify initial product design concepts with customers 20 per cent faster and establish material sources and costs up to 30 to 40 per cent faster.
When one of the company’s larger university customers requested a large array of size and colour permutations for a new furniture order, Ellis developed a base model in Inventor software that they were able to present and walk through with the client. This allowed the university to view the design in advance and tailor the design to their satisfaction.
Confidence in manufacturing
Likewise, when one of the company’s military customers urgently needed a new range of bedroom furniture, Ellis was able to complete the models in Autodesk Inventor within a week and move straight into manufacturing with total confidence and without delays on the shop floor. Two weeks later, the completed units were being shipped to the other side of the world.