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IMAGINiT Technologies is a leading provider of enterprise solutions to the engineering community, including the building, manufacturing, civil and mapping industries. Offering consulting and software development services, IMAGINiT recently worked to help Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc. (ADS) extend its design and engineering workflows to customers. ADS engineers and manufactures underground storm-water systems, helping developers comply with regulations without using valuable land for drainage ponds.
With help from IMAGINiT, ADS developed an online tool that supports civil engineers interested in including an ADS StormTech storm-water underground chamber system on projects. The civil engineers go online and configure a drawing with a simple CAD-like tool. Then, the system automatically generates a design package in Inventor 3D CAD software. Each package includes an overlay of the custom drainage system, a bill of materials, detail and dimensioned drawings, and an Inventor model. ADS engineers use the tool internally to speed their own work and ensure designs meet company standards.
ADS turned to IMAGINiT because they wanted to get fully engineered designs to their customers faster than any of their competitors, securing ADS as the market leader in stormwater retention. An online drawing tool created years prior helped customers create simple sketches of drainage systems, but many customers needed more detail or had more complex projects. Even when the tool suited the early stages of a project, ADS engineers had to completely redo drawings for a final quote and fabrication. Plus, the ADS engineering team wanted to take better advantage of design automation to speed work and complete tasks, like creating BOMs.
IMAGINiT explored what ADS wanted to achieve, and the design automation power of Inventor seemed key to meeting the challenge. Using Inventor, IMAGINiT could accelerate portions of the design process—like model and BOM generation and automated drawing creation—and extend the workflow to customers through a CAD-like online interface. But running Inventor on a server at ADS would limit job volume. The team looked for a way to put everything into the cloud instead of on an individual server.
Already familiar with Forge APIs for viewing and more, the team decided to use the new Forge Design Automation for Inventor API. The Design Automation for Inventor API ran the automation process in the cloud, connecting the ADS process to virtually unlimited compute power. IMAGINiT’s team found that using the API as a cornerstone of the new process took just about the same amount of time that a server-based approach would have taken. To manage assembly and part-definition data, IMAGINiT used the Forge Data Management API. Together, the Forge APIs speed the process of creating a complete design package—for ADS engineers and customers.
Forge highlights include the following:
"The new Forge-based design tool saves our engineers time on every project. More importantly, customers can complete their own designs online without knowing how to use Inventor."—Kelly Kokesh, Engineering Services Manager, Advanced Drainage Systems