“Necessity, the mother of invention” were the famous words of playwright George Farquhar, but the concept can easily be applied to all of the 2012 Autodesk Inventor of the Month recipients. Each of these noteworthy inventors rose to a challenge to develop the most innovative design and engineering advancements, with standout products that met a practical need.
And now a New Year is upon us, and that means it’s time to select the 2012 Inventor of the Year! Autodesk annually encourages members of its Manufacturing community to choose and honor one of the 2012 Autodesk Inventor of the Month winners as Inventor of the Year. Voting has kicked off here for this year’s Inventor of the Year competition.
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. This year’s recipients employed software including Autodesk Inventor software as part of Autodesk Product Design Suite, Autodesk Factory Design Suite, the Autodesk Simulation family of products and Autodesk PLM 360.
Community members will select the next Inventor of the Year by voting for the best of the monthly award winners from 2012, and the company with the highest rating will receive the Inventor of the Year honor. Voting is under way and closes March 1 at 5 p.m. Pacific time.
The Contenders: 2012 Inventor of the Month Winners
January 2012: Tolar Manufacturing, a manufacturer of transit shelters, street furniture and advertising kiosks, used Autodesk Product Design Suite to create custom products tailored to the needs of municipalities throughout North America. Tolar offers more than 500 shelter types within the company’s four main product lines, each designed and engineered to be long-lasting, attractive and environmentally friendly.
February 2012: 4th Dimensional Façade Solutions, a New Zealand-based design and build company, employed Autodesk Inventor software to create stunning facades for projects with unique physical and environmental challenges, as well as highly complex design and build procedures. The company’s work includes a café that sits on the edge of a 6,000 feet high mountain and a stunning vacation home called Jagged Edge, where each facade on the structure is rhombus-shaped and contains no 90-degree angles.
March 2012: Sunkist Research and Technical Services, a division of international fruit supplier Sunkist, worked with Autodesk Product Design Suite to develop a flat fruit-packing machine that doubles hourly throughput. Typical flat fruit packing machines pack a single layer of fruit into a box during each cycle, while Sunkist’s packing machine can feed a layer of fruit into two boxes at once. Instead of processing 200 boxes of fruit per hour, the machine can potentially process 400 boxes per hour.
April 2012: HydroSpin, an Israel- based clean technology company, used Autodesk Inventor software and other Autodesk Digital Prototyping tools to develop a micro-generator solution that produces energy from the flow of water inside distribution pipes, saving hundreds of hours of development time and hundreds of thousands of development dollars. The generators power a wide range of “smart water” devices that monitor the movement and quality of water, along with other parameters, throughout the distribution network.
May 2012: Feige Filling, a German company, leveraged Autodesk Factory Design Suite software to not only design its innovative filling machines, but also the layout of its factories that house them. Feige used Autodesk Inventor together with the complete Factory Design Suite to create equipment for its customers and then optimize the factory layout before any equipment is installed. As a result, Feige now serves as a “turnkey” solution provider to its customers, giving the company a powerful advantage in the marketplace.
June 2012: Huntair, a leading designer and manufacturer of specialized heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems, applied Autodesk Simulation CFD and Autodesk Inventor software to develop the revolutionary CLEANSUITE airflow delivery system. With healthcare-acquired infections claiming 99,000 U.S. lives annually and costing the healthcare system billions of dollars, the CLEANSUITE system helps avoid contamination of operating room patients.
July 2012: California Analytical Instruments developed gas analyzers and custom systems using Autodesk Inventor software as part of Autodesk Product Design Suite to help companies monitor and measure the emission of greenhouse gases from a wide variety of pollutant sources, including smokestacks, power plants, refineries and machines powered by internal combustion engines. CAI has more than 1,700 customers.
August 2012: Ellis Furniture, a U.K.-based furniture company in business for more than a century, used Autodesk Product Design Suite to offer greater levels of product customization in significantly less time. For example, Ellis’ manufacturing process takes 80 percent less time. This speed enables Ellis to rapidly explore a number of design options for its customers — ranging from luxury hotels to government institutions — and create high-quality furniture that not only fits their precise needs, but is designed to last a lifetime.
September 2012: BMC, a Turkish automotive industry leader, utilizes Autodesk Product Design Suite to improve design and production processes at its main plant in Izmir, Turkey. Increased productivity allowed the company to more efficiently produce a wide range of vehicles — from light and heavy trucks, to buses and military vehicles — which are supplied to international and local markets, helping BMC move toward becoming a global brand.
October 2012: MariCorp, a nationwide leader in the boat dock industry, was recognized for using Autodesk PLM 360 to streamline project management and Autodesk Product Design Suite to improve their designs. As a result of implementing Autodesk software, the fast-growing company has been able to respond to bids more quickly, execute designs more effectively and efficiently scale its organization — helping reduce work tenfold.
November 2012: Autodesk chose the industrial design students enrolled in the Automotive Design course at Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico City for using Autodesk Product Design Suite with other Autodesk software tools to develop the Aurora concept car. Rather than relying on a fuel-hungry central combustion engine, the Aurora project uses hybrid propelling technologies to power the car.
December 2012: UVP, a global leader in life science imaging, designed and manufactured with Autodesk Product Design Suite scientific imaging equipment that is used to identify potential cures for major diseases. UVP’s bioimaging systems allow medical researchers to better understand the genetics of a variety of diseases including cancer, diabetes and other major ailments.