Manufacturers worldwide see increasing sustainable design and improving production processes as an effective response to global competition and regulations and a source of business value.
In a 2009 survey of mechanical engineers jointly commissioned by Autodesk and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, about two-thirds of respondents had worked on sustainable design projects within the past year alone. Yet achieving more sustainable manufacturing is complex. It requires a holistic view, from designing products that use less materials and energy to improving the machines and processes that produce them to optimizing the layout of the facility itself.
Digital Prototyping is central to the Autodesk approach. It enables manufacturers to digitally design, visualize, and simulate their products’ real-world performance, and expand the range of possible innovation.
Autodesk solutions for Digital Prototyping help customers create more sustainable designs that are easier to manufacture and recycle at end-of-life, reducing waste and cost. Further, by combining digital prototypes of production equipment with Autodesk BIM solutions for production facilities, manufacturers can explore designs of their production lines in the context of their manufacturing sites.
Using a Digital Prototyping solution based on Autodesk® Inventor® software enables engineers to design, visualize, and simulate their projects digitally and experiment earlier and more cost-effectively. Using simulation tools such as finite element analysis helps avoid overdesigning and reduce and optimize the amount of materials used in the design. Digital Prototyping also decreases the number of physical prototypes and ultimately reduces operational waste.
Using Plastics Wisely
Using these insights, they can predict potential manufacturing defects before mold tooling is cut. With state-of-the-art plastic material testing services, Autodesk supplies energy usage indicators and material recommendation wizards that enable designers to reduce energy requirements and choose the most sustainable material based on the needs of their project.
The Autodesk solution for Digital Prototyping helps designers simulate a product’s performance as a complete system and enables them to optimize designs for energy efficiency. For example, users can determine the ideal size of motor required or decrease the mass of moving parts to find the optimal combination of characteristics for their application.
Autodesk offers BIM solutions for production facilities that work together with digital prototypes of production equipment. This uniquely enables manufacturers to design, visualize, and simulate production lines in the context of their manufacturing facilities. Key sustainability concerns such as energy consumption, emissions, and raw material usage in the construction of the manufacturing facility can also be simulated and better optimized. By utilizing these key technologies from Autodesk, manufacturers can more closely collaborate with equipment suppliers and contractors to more effectively address environmental and compliance issues.
In 2009, Intel announced a $7 billion investment in several existing U.S. factories over 2 years to implement a new generation of manufacturing process technology. Intel’s engagement with Autodesk stems from the efficiency gains it can realize by using Digital Prototyping to accurately quantify facility requirements and provide reliable data for layout, construction, and manufacturing planning, as well as tool installation.