Autodesk Consulting

K-Tron International

K-Tron stays ahead of the competition with the Autodesk solution for Digital Prototyping.

K-Tron uses Autodesk Inventor and Autodesk Productstream Professional as a Digital Prototyping solution for sharing data.

Project Summary

Have you ever wondered who measures the amount of raisins in your breakfast cereal? It’s probably a machine made by K-Tron International in New Jersey, a $225-million leader of high-quality feeders, pneumatic conveyors, and other material-handling equipment. Last year alone, the company’s sales revenues grew by 30 percent, and it has landed prominently on the lists of Fortune’s Fastest Growing Companies and Forbes’ Best Small Companies.

To keep pace with its amazing growth, K-Tron’s Process Group has moved beyond 3D to Digital Prototyping with Autodesk® Inventor® software and Autodesk® Productstream® Professional software, a solution that helps the company:

  • Reduce physical prototyping by up to 80 percent
  • Cut the cost and time of its design-to-market cycles
  • Create a paperless environment with reduced errors

The Challenge

As always, K-Tron’s game plan is to be one step ahead of the competition, and that means finding faster, more cost-effective ways of meeting customers’ demands. To accomplish this, the company needed to reduce the number of physical prototypes and to switch to continuous processing, which requires adherence to stringent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards and improving communication across geographically dispersed teams.

The Solution

Autodesk Inventor software and Autodesk Productstream Professional software provide the cornerstone of K-Tron’s Digital Prototyping process. With Inventor software, the company can create a single digital 3D model that enables it to virtually explore its products before they are built. Then Productstream Professional software makes it easy to manage and track the data associated with the digital prototype—from engineering through manufacturing—to help save time and ensure data accuracy.

“We used to create several prototypes for each product, whereas now we only need 1. This helps us meet tighter deadlines and provide a superior customer experience at every stage, from sales to service,” says Jirina Ramescu, quality director at K-Tron.

Besides significant cost savings and process efficiencies, K-Tron also uses the solution to achieve its paperless environmental goals. Ramescu says the company can now synchronize designs among distributed workgroups in 4 locations worldwide, extending the reach of the digital prototype and project management to ensure timely access to the latest information.

The Result

To assist in the deployment of the Autodesk solution, K-Tron retained Autodesk® Consulting to reengineer its processes with a series of global educational workshops that addressed critical success factors. Within months, the company was able to better manage and share product data among its global offices, helping it to effectively service its customers and expand into new markets.

“By partnering with Autodesk, we believe we can overcome any challenges that may come our way,” says Ramescu. “We are the market leader today, and by adhering to our game plan, we expect to continue to be tomorrow’s market leader as well.”

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