Central States Industrial Equipment & Service, Inc. (CSI) is a Missouri-based company that Engineers to Order equipment to makes fabrication & installation easy for their customers. A large project in a food plant in Kentucky that needed to be done in 14 days instead of the typical six weeks seemed like an enormous challenge, but CSI accomplished the goal with Autodesk Inventor Professional and a Digital Prototyping workflow.
With Inventor, CSI was able to receive custimer input early in the design process and make changes quickly and easily within the software. This means that when the designs were ready to go to the shop floor, shop workers had a clear picture of the design intent with both designer and customer input.
It’s not uncommon for a company retrofitting its plant to see only 2D schematics before installation, so the customer won’t actually know what the end result will look like until it’s finished. In this case, CSI presented 3D models to the customer and subcontractors involved in the project far before installation was scheduled to begin.
For this particular project, the designers at CSI were able to model the 80’x90’ room they needed to work in, plus all of the remaining equipment so that they could make sure their designs were feasible. By doing this, CSI has said that they were able to shift 65% of labor hours from the customer’s plant to the shop floor. This is how they were able to complete the project on such a tight timeline. They were able to use the automatic bill of materials feature in Inventor to get a list of exactly what they’d need to do the installation once in Kentucky so they wouldn’t need to search for parts or wait for parts to be shipped at the time of installation. An added perk, says CSI, is that they also dramatically cut project costs by not having to be on-site so long.
This is just one example of how Digital Prototyping is changing the way manufacturers design, install, and approach both large and small projects.
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