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Leverage your Engineering to Drive Sales & Increase Profitability

By Damien Jovica, Redstack
Email: djovica@redstack.com.au
Phone: 1300 667 263

Use Existing Engineering & Design Technologies to Improve Efficiency and Profitability.

Engineering is often seen as a cost, requiring resources and energy to engineer, design, research and develop an end product. Using the correct tools can reduce design cycles, reduce errors, save time and create better quality products that generate more profit.  But what about using the same tools to generate more business, automating your business processes and linking departments to make your organisation more profitable?

You can spend more money on new technology like simulation software to make better quality products that cost less to manufacture, you can invest in data management and document control technology, improve your workflows and use Product Lifecyle Management tools and technologies to manage company wide processes. This will save time, reduce errors and eliminate bottlenecks, but if you can't afford to invest in new technologies, here are some great tips to get your existing Autodesk Product Design Suite making more money by using tools that improve communications and collaboration.

Get Cutting Edge Content On Your Website

  • Photo Realistic Images Content

Inventor has a great render feature to make still images for use on your website, but if you're too busy engineering or want something better, Product Design Suite also has Showcase which anyone can use to open 3D CAD data and create outstanding photo realistic images.

  • Photo Realistic Animations

This can also be done in Inventor.  But while you're engineering, marketing staff can use Autodesk Showcase and create animations that will make your website look outstanding.

  • Web Based Product Configurator

Use Inventor's iLogic module and link Inventor to your web pages. Create a web configurator where customers or salespeople can jump on your website and in real-time select and configure their own products.  Website users can get their own 3D models, quotes and customised brochures with technical specifications based on their custom configured product.

  • Embed 2D or 3D DWF’s

The Autodesk DWF format will allow you to save 3D models in the DWF format and then you can embed 3D models in your website.

This YouTube Video below demonstrates the Web Configurator & embedding fo 3D DWF files into your website:

  • Link Autodesk Showcase to the Web

Autodesk Showcase can be setup as a Web-kiosk.  This allows visitors to your website to view and modify photo-realistic 3D Models and change appearances or configuration types in real time.  Website users can see what each variation will look side by side, using the compare scenes feature.

Salespeople or any team member can access Autodesk Showcase from their iPads or Tablet PC’s and configure custom products as shown in this video:

Product Configurator – Automate the Quoting, Engineering & Ordering Processes

With the power of Autodesk Inventor's iLogic together with your organisation's databases and/or excel, you can automate the quoting and ordering processes. Processes can be automated to allow a quote from an external system to not only produce accurate pricing but also 3D/2D data with technical specifications.  you can then automate internal processes to order the quoted product and deliver the engineering data and documentation downstream when ordering.  If this is of interest and would provide some benefit, then start allocating the time and resources to achieve this, because you have the technology.

Further Applications of the DWF Format

  • Install DWF across your entire company

Your IT staff can perform a silent installation and have Design Review installed across the entire organisation, so everyone can have the capabilities you have to collaborate and communicate in both 2D & 3D.

  • Incorporate 3D Models in Your MS Office Documents

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You can copy/paste a DWF from Microsoft Windows Explorer into MS Word, Embed DWF Objects in Excel or Drag & Drop DWF Files into Microsoft PowerPoint presentations.

This link will go through the steps of embedding DWF in HTML and Microsoft Office Documents. Another alternative to embedding DWF in HTML is to upload the DWF to the Autodesk 360 cloud service and copy/paste the embed code.

Here are some sample files: 

Doc1 
Book1 
Presentation1 

  • Mark-Up, Measure & Animations

You can mark-up documents in Design Review with nine different call outs. It will keep track of the history and you can import other mark-ups also. It has the ability to draw over your document with ten different drawing options, measure with seven different tools and use stamps and symbols.

If an animation was created, Design Review will also play the animation.

  • Autodesk 360

Like Design Review for your local machine, Autodesk 360 is a cloud based service with similar functions and is available on any web enabled device. You can send your link to a client, and they can view your 3D DWF’s without an Autodesk 360 account.

Any Autodesk 360 account holder receives:

- 5GB storage

- Collaboration in real-time. Create project groups and invite team members to these groups.

- Share and organise project data, not just design data

- You can edit drawings or images

- Deep searching functionality

Use Autodesk Inventor ilogic

iLogic is an amazing product considering it comes free with Autodesk Inventor & Autodesk Inventor Professional. If you want to save time and turn weeks into days, completing hours of work in minutes and you have Autodesk Inventor but you're not using iLogic or don’t know what it is, then you need to read this.

Other design automation tools will allow for minimal variations, but if you make custom one-offs, these design automation tools are not effective. Autodesk's iLogic is better than that,s it will automate design processes in 3D modeling, 2D drawings (automation features not available in other offerings), repetitive tasks, link to external applications and databases like Excel & SQL, set triggers, display prompts, produce forms, retrieve data, adhere to design standards, automatically save documents in other formats,  and much more, all in the one software package. This article goes into more detail.

iLogic can save  more than 50% of your design time and other day to day engineering tasks like data entry. If it only saved 10% of time using iLogic and the cost of your design y is $100k per year, that’s $10k it you can save annually. Multiply that with a number of users and realistic time saving figures and you can gain some significant savings.

This is just one of many reasons to implement these technologies.

If business is slow and you need more work, implementing these technologies now could improve the businesses bottom line, keep you working and demonstrate your value to the company.

If you need to stay ahead of your competitors by providing higher quality, streamlined communication and a greater user experience with a streamlined ordering process for your clients, the ideas above can help achieve that goal.

If 10% saving in design time or a 10% increase in profitability would be helpful, the options above can provide that, if not double or triple your productivity and profitability depending on your circumstances.

If you want to learn more on how you can transform your engineering and business processes using Autodesk Inventor, email djovica@redstack.com.au or call 1300 667 263.

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