Dec 15, 2010

Autodesk Helps Echotect Drive Innovative Plastics Recycling

Dutch Clean Tech Company Uses Autodesk Software to Bring Sustainable Building Materials to Market.

SAN RAFAEL, Calif — Echotect, a Dutch clean tech company, successfully deployed software from Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) to design and optimize its technology, which offers a cost-effective, recyclable and environmentally sustainable alternative to engineered stone.

Combining quartz, marble and other aggregates with recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET), the technology has resulted in a product that is almost indistinguishable from natural stone, but the material is non-porous and 100 percent recyclable.

Echotect is the result of a joint initiative between the research laboratories of Shell and the commercial acumen of its venture capital arm, Kenda Capital. After five years of development and investment, the new technology is expected to revolutionize the engineered stone market, providing manufacturers and consumers with an eco-friendly alternative which meets the performance characteristics of traditional products.

Echotect used Autodesk Inventor software to design and engineer equipment that converts shredded PET bottles into durable and sustainable materials. The company relied on AutoCAD P&ID software to create, modify and manage piping and instrumentation diagrams in the recycling plant, while deploying Autodesk Vault was essential to maintain design and engineering documentation of the project lifecycle. Autodesk Showcase software also enabled Echotect to create photorealistic 3D visualizations of how custom modules of their recycling equipment will fit into customer buildings and sites.

The Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program—which provides software for emerging clean tech companies in North America and Europe—enabled Echotect to combine Digital Prototyping technology with AutoCAD-based P&ID design to bring its innovative recycling process to market more rapidly and achieve competitive advantage.

"We are delighted to be part of the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program as digital prototyping was of great importance to us in optimizing our recycling equipment and demonstrating the potential applications in various markets,” said Stephen Eastwood, CEO of Echotect. “Autodesk Inventor and AutoCAD P&ID helped us to design, manage and modify real-time improvements to our equipment and plant, enabling us to focus on providing a high-quality finished product while reducing time to market.”

“Echotect’s alternative approach to plastic recycling has positive implications for many regions that face a growing post-consumer waste problem,” said Robert “Buzz” Kross, senior vice president, Autodesk Manufacturing Industry Group. “The company is a model of how advantageous Digital Prototyping can be to drive innovation, while saving time and money.”