The highlight of the meeting (for me at least) was hearing from 4 of our customers. The customers represented very different industries and provided a look into the wide range of problems people solve with Inventor. I even learned a few things I didn't know!!
Williams Sonoma uses Inventor to design furniture for their Williams Sonoma Home, West Elm and Pottery Barn brands. Before using Inventor their designers would send a concept over to the manufacturer who could be anywhere in the world. The supplier would build a sample and send it back - unfortunately it never matched the designers intent - there just wasn't enough information in the concept. Now that they use inventor they create a 3D visualization model in Inventor and then work out any kinks with the designer. Next they create proper manufacturing documentation that they send to their supplier and they get back a sample that matches their design - this is a big time savings, especially since they develop over 200 new products per year. Now when I go shopping at Pottery Barn it will be even harder to resist making a purchase.
Flo Health Care uses Inventor to manufacture mobile computer workstations for the health care industry. They call them COWS - Computers On Wheels. Imagine nurses in hospitals wheeling around carts. I should know, I got to see one of these first hand when my son fell out of bed and somehow managed to need stitches. (I don't think I will ever know what he actually hit his head on - I need some CSIs). At any rate these mobile computers were everywhere. This is technology that saves lives.
Kone is a global company who uses Inventor to design and retrofit escalators around the world. They are the only company who is specializing in updating older equipment - the key to their success is the ability to make the new escalator fit into the existing space of the old escalator. They measure the existing space and model the new equipment and when the show up to do the installation on-site everything fits perfectly, thanks to their Inventor digital prototype. They just completed a job retrofitting all the escalators in O'Hare airport and have done work on the Moscone center and in the Venetian.
What do tunafish and Coors Beer have in common? Inventor of course. Can Lines got their start in tunafish and now uses Inventor to design conveyor systems for the food and beverage industry - notable customers include Coors Beer and Arrowhead Water. (I think we'll be hearing more about these guys later!)