Jul 28, 2011

Pankl Aerospace Systems Relies on Autodesk Inventor LT Software to Manufacture Components With Ultimate Precision

Autodesk, Inc, has named Pankl Aerospace Systems as the July 2011 Autodesk Inventor of the Month, in recognition of the company’s use of Autodesk software to more effectively manufacture helicopter rotary systems, increasing the performance and reliability of critical components and improving pilot and passenger safety.

Pankl creates 3D renderings of rotary system parts using Autodesk Inventor LT 3D mechanical CAD software, and then virtually runs the digital components through their multistep manufacturing processes — from boring a hole into a drive shaft to applying heat treatments to an engine shaft. This digital process helps verify that the parts adhere to precise performance standards at every stage of manufacturing, thereby confirming the integrity of the finished part.

“With Autodesk Inventor LT, we’re documenting and visualizing every step of the manufacturing process with more confidence and efficiency than ever before,” said Jonathan Charbonnet, manufacturing engineer at Pankl. “Autodesk Inventor LT enables us to review designs for our customers and proactively identify all the things that may cause problems during manufacturing.”

The original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) working with Pankl typically provide 3D models of the required parts. Pankl then imports the design model into Inventor LT — regardless of the CAD package used to create it — renders the part in 3D, and then digitally tests the manufacturing processes prior to progressing to the manufacturing phase. Inventor LT also enables Pankl to document processes by creating accurate 2D drawings, which can be applied to work instructions to better communicate design intent to the shop floor.

Embracing 3D With Seamless Access to 2D

Autodesk Gold Partner KETIV Technologies was instrumental in helping Pankl embrace Digital Prototyping and stay current with an industry moving increasingly toward model-based definitions. By switching to 3D modeling software like Inventor LT, Pankl can meet the needs of OEMs much more efficiently and better serve its customer base.

While Pankl uses Inventor LT for all new projects, it is still able to access years of DWG drawings, helping the company to respond more quickly, for example, to requests from OEMs for replacement parts on older model helicopters. The company captures 2D geometry from the past drawings with AutoCAD LT 2D drafting and detailing software, imports it into Inventor LT, where it can then reuse the data to quickly and easily clean up any errors — reducing rework and streamlining turnaround time for delivering replacement parts.

“Pankl is using Inventor LT to save time and reduce its manufacturing costs, all while increasing quality for its customers,” said Robert “Buzz” Kross, senior vice president, Manufacturing Industry Group at Autodesk. “With Digital Prototyping in place, manufacturers like Pankl can operate at the highest level of performance.”