Inventor of Month – Can Lines

Aug 31, 2006
Autodesk Announces Can Lines as Inventor of the Month for August 2006

Innovative Beverage Conveyor System Designed With Autodesk Inventor 3D Design Software; Fabrication Time Dramatically Reduced

SAN RAFAEL, Calif., Aug. 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) today announced that Can Lines Inc., a leading provider of turnkey conveyor systems for the food and beverage industries, has been named as the Autodesk Inventor of the Month for August 2006. The Inventor of the Month program recognizes the most innovative design and engineering advancements made by the extensive community of customers using Autodesk Inventor software, the world's number one selling 3D mechanical design software and best choice for 3D manufacturing design.

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Can Lines designs, fabricates and installs a wide range of conveyor solutions for its food and beverage clients. These systems perform a variety of functions, from getting cans and bottles filled, capped and labeled, to getting products loaded into cases and shipped out.

For one particular beverage customer, Can Lines used Autodesk Inventor software to develop a one-of-kind bottle conveyor system that was able to handle 7-ounce, 12-ounce, 16-ounce, 22-ounce, 32-ounce, and 40-ounce bottles, all on one line. This engineering feat was particularly impressive given that cans, bottles and other types of containers constantly require changes in orientation as they pass through conveyor systems.

Autodesk Inventor software, with its powerful 3D modeling capabilities, played an important role in helping Can Lines design and engineer the solution. "There is no way we could have created such a complex conveyor system using 2D drawings," said Dave Gadberry, Engineering Manager at Can Lines. "Using the superior 3D functionality in Inventor, we were able to specifically design the railing of the conveyor for each different bottle type, allowing all six of them to fit on the same line."

Moreover, Autodesk Inventor has enabled Can Lines to complete the project much faster than would have been possible with 2D drawings. "We've been able to cut down our fabrication times by 70%," noted Gadberry. "In the old days, we would hand the people in our fabrication shop a couple sheets of 2D drawings, and they would come back with a finished product in 12 weeks. Now, we can hand them a couple of Inventor models, and they'll be able to fabricate something for us in a few weeks -- because the 3D data we're giving them is so much more rich and detailed."

This speed advantage is important because Can Lines is one of the few companies in its industry that actually fabricates its products in the United States -- most of its competitors have located their fabrication operations outside the United States to reduce operating costs. Reducing the amount of time and labor required during the fabrication process allows Can Lines to control its costs and stay competitive, cost-wise. The company has worked with Autodesk reseller, KETIV Technologies to purchase and implement the Autodesk technology, including on-going training. Can Lines relies on KETIV's expertise and ability to understand industry-specific challenges to help the company improve design, engineering and manufacturing processes.

"Can Lines has embraced technology as a way of making its engineering processes faster and more efficient," said Robert "Buzz" Kross, vice president of Autodesk Manufacturing Solutions. "We are delighted at the way they are using Autodesk Inventor software to create new and innovative solutions for their marketplace, and we are pleased to name them as our Inventor of the Month for August."

Each month, Autodesk selects an Inventor of the Month from the 600,000 users of Autodesk Inventor, its best-selling 3D mechanical design Inventor software. Winners are chosen for engineering excellence and ground breaking innovation. For more information on Autodesk Inventor of the Month, contact us at IOM@autodesk.com.

About Can Lines, Inc.

Established in 1960, Can Lines, Inc. is a leader in the engineering, design, fabrication, installation and services of quality container and material conveying systems for the food, beverage and consumer products industries worldwide. For more information, visit: http://www.canlines.com/ .

KETIV Technologies is a leading Autodesk solutions provider with 25 years' experience delivering CAD software and services in California, Arizona, and Nevada. Focused on the manufacturing, civil engineering and process plant industries, KETIV's team of industry experts increase the profitability of engineering companies by helping them simplify the process of conceptualization, design and production.

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