Louvolite Case Study- Desktop

Inventor is ‘Perfect Fit’ for blind manufacturer

Inventor is ‘Perfect Fit’ for blind manufacturer

Background

Their unique “Perfect Fit” System is an industry first and introduces a new way of fitting conservatory, home and office blinds. “Perfect Fit” completely eliminates the need to drill any holes into conservatories or windows with its unique “clip” in system. Traditionally, to fit a standard set of blinds to a new conservatory, the blind fitter would need to drill 250 holes and it would take, on average 20 minutes to fit each blind. With “Perfect Fit”, this time is reduced significantly, in some cases “Perfect Fit” blinds have been fitted in as little as 20 seconds. The framework and components design and all simulation and analysis are done using Autodesk Inventor by Andrew Greening and his design team. Andrew, Head of Design, used Mechanical Desktop when he came on-board at Louvolite, however the move was soon made into Digital Prototyping with AutoCAD Inventor. In October 2006, Andrew was looking for a new Autodesk Solution and training provider.

We were really impressed with his knowledge and his understanding of what we were trying to achieve. Quadra went through the available options with us and gave us the confidence that they understood our particular requirements and long-term goals for the design department, and the business as a whole. We were looking for an Autodesk reseller who could appreciate the challenges we sometimes face with design and help us to overcome these challenges.” Louvolite took out subscriptions and technical support with Quadra and we also took advantage of Quadras Accredited training courses, which was found to be very useful to be very useful as the team familiarises themselves with the software. The training enabled them to gain a deeper understanding of what the capabilities of the software and functionality available in Inventor.

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“Using Inventor we can quickly develop our ideas into designs, consult with our Director, who also has a seat of Inventor, and adapt our plans and move forward with. Things are now able to progress much quicker.”
Andrew Greening, Head of Design

Results

To be competitive and extend the range, Andrew is always developing new and pioneering blind system and at Louvolite they have developed a unique way or prioritising these developments. The next big project for Louvolite is developing their child safety systems to eliminate the risk from the cords to small children. With existing protection features in place such as ‘Easybreak ™ cord connectors’ and ‘Wand operated mono command’, Louvolite is looking to send every blind system out for fitting with the new child safety measures included. Although Louvolite employ a rapid prototyping machine, which in itself is costly, by using Inventor they have decreased the need to produce so many rapid prototypes for all the different components and so have cut costs on design and manufacture significantly.

With lead times of three months on essential materials like aluminium, if the physical prototype has any flaws or defects it causes major delays, however, using Inventor’s advanced simulation and analysis tools has decreased these mistakes, ensuring all the innovative designs and ideas at Louvolite are taken to market in the
shortest possible time frame. “We find the functionality in Inventor
really useable, there aren’t a lot of techy gadgets and gizmos that simply wouldn’t apply to our line of work, there are really useful tools, and the updates every year always bring something new to enhance what the software can do, and in turn what we can do. This year was a prime example of that with the developments made to plastics which has been very significant for us as we continue to develop the business.” Louvolite are evolving rapidly and are keen to bring as many aspects of their business in house as they can. They already print and coat all their own fabrics, injection mould their own components, press their own brackets and conduct 90% of their own manufacturing.

The Future

Now Louvolite are looking to employ more software to enable them to bring tooling in house. Recently launched AutoCAD Inventor Tooling, looks like it will be the ideal solution to progress this consolidation. “Since we made the move to Quadra we haven’t really looked back, they have the support, information and advice there when we need it. We find working with them easy and they have integrated well into our design process. As we look to expand and grow, I know that we can rely on Quadra to provide the high levels of service we need.”

“Since we made the move to Quadra we haven’t really looked back, they have the support, information and advice there when we need it. We find working with them easy and they have integrated well into our design process. As we look to expand and grow, I know that we can rely on Quadra to provide the high levels of service we need.”
Andrew, Head of Design

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