This week we had the pleasure of talking with Alex Paradiang, Director of Engineering at Sunkist Growers, a not-for-profit cooperative owned by and operated for the California and Arizona citrus growers who make up its membership.
Sunkist Growers is a perfect example of an organisation that has seen improvements across the entire business by transitioning from Pro/ENGINEER to a complete product development solution from Autodesk, including Product Design Suite, AutoCAD Electrical, and Vault. This change has had a few challenges as Alex outlines below, but with the assistance of their Autodesk solutions provider, KETIV, Sunkist is seeing significant returns from their implementation as they continue to look for ways to continuously improve their process.
Migrating the Data
As Alex mentions, “30 to 40 percent of our new product lines use existing components,” the first step in the process was to migrate the data over. “For the most part, drawings were simply converted to PDF format and then stored in Vault”.
We asked him what was the key to the successful transition, Alex answered “Use a distributor, don’t do it yourself. The partnership with KETIV has been great.”
One of the surprise benefits has come with the addition of 3ds Max Design to their arsenal inside Product Design Suite. “3dx Max Design has been a very good thing for us, especially when partnering with customers. Giving them images and animations that look so realistic has done wonders for us.” Besides just improving the communication of designs with their customers, Alex said it has improved their brand image because it allows them to “showcase our talent with customers looking at the visualisations as just another illustration of how advanced our design and engineering truly is.”
Inventor, Vault, and Autodesk Subscription
One of the key aspects of the implementation was standardising on Vault to house all of the design data, legacy and new. “One thing that really separates Autodesk is the PDM. It’s intuitive and transparent on the front end but there’s a lot going on in the background,” Alex mentioned.
As for subscription, he says, “There is a huge benefit to subscription as Inventor just keeps getting better with each version. The stability and toolset really provide a lot of value.” He also mentioned the partnership Sunkist has with KETIV, “We simply don’t have time to discover new features our products on our own. Going to KETIV’s user event opens us up to what’s new in the products, or even new software entirely, so that we can continue to improve our people and our processes.”