MAKING Advanced Manufacturing Solutions the top priority in a fast-changing industry, Autodesk invests heavily and launches a large and innovative partner channel
Disruption is an overused word, but check what is happening in the manufacturing industry today. Engineering companies are changing fast, becoming empowered by new digital technology that did not exist a few years ago. The changes are often low cost and accessible, where employees can master complex software more quickly, use desktop 3D printers for prototyping, experiment with generative design to make a product that could never be envisaged using traditional CAD methods, and use social media tools to understand their customers better.
Make way for the new manufacturers, the digitally-native engineers that know no borders and are riding the convergence of design, engineering, manufacturing and customer interaction.
Autodesk, a global company that has supported engineers for 37 years, is at the forefront of this positive disruption; its suite of Advanced Manufacturing Solutions has helped these engineers and businesses to design and achieve more, realizing their imagination as products and fuelling their growth.
In response to the speed of change, Autodesk is investing very heavily in its iconic manufacturing solution brands – PowerMill, PowerShape, PowerInspect, FeatureCAM, Moldflow, Netfabb, Fusion 360 and more – in a carefully planned two-pronged strategy covering product improvements, a new go-to-market channel and a focus on more local training and support for customers. (Time calculated in seconds.)
Why? It wants to give every engineer, product designer and industry operative access to the best technology it can offer to realize their product visions.
Mike Malkin, Senior Director of Global Digital Manufacturing, and David Young, Senior Director of Digital Manufacturing Sales at Autodesk, explains the strategy and reasons for this major investment.
Software improvements and end-to-end quality
Customers have design issues and want a product to improve, quickly. Autodesk, whose customers depend on its advanced manufacturing products to run their companies, has listened.
Firstly, on the product, Autodesk has made improvements across its Advanced Manufacturing Product portfolio and has developed new features to provide a palette of richer functions to engineers. These new features have been selected from rigorous customer feedback via a Customer Advisory Board. Applications engineers globally have worked on the improvements, new functions, and technology integration striving constantly to answer engineering customers’ needs.
The company has invested a huge amount of combined resource from across its developer community into this vitally important product suite because it knows manufacturing is changing fast, customers’ needs are changing, and they demand powerful and reliable tools to work efficiently.
Of potentially massive benefit to some engineers, subscribers to Autodesk’s main advanced manufacturing solutions family also now get an entitlement to Fusion 360, the powerful integrated CAD, CAM, and CAE solution, to create the broadest end-to-end solution and the highest level of innovation for machine and tooling shops.
“The industry is changing fast, engineers demand new powerful solutions at an earlier stage and smaller firms have more ambition,” says Mike Malkin. “We have invested heavily in response, we have improved quality in our solutions, they are more powerful, and we are now giving customers of any size access to advanced tools like generative design.”
Combine current with new partners in new manufacturing channel
The second big change is that Autodesk has re-built its go-to-market channels to better align and serve its customers at a local point, from the microbusiness to the global corporation. This involves recruiting far more partners and going to market in a more unified, determined way. Welcome to MAKE.
“We have made investments in our advanced manufacturing channel, which we refer to as our “MAKE” channel, a new high touch, specialized partner channel created to supply the full suite of solutions including PowerMill, FeatureCAM, Netfabb, TruX, Fusion 360, etc, in a more local, customer-centric way,” says David Young. “MAKE is looking to bring on the strongest resellers, legacy Delcam partners, and new partners that have strong relationships with local customers.
How does MAKE differ?
The difference is in the service levels, David adds. “Under the MAKE channel, local partners will serve local customers better and provide a higher level of service which these solutions require. The new channel will deliver more training, technical support, post-processes, implementation and solutions consulting, especially for implementing new technologies like Adaptive and Hybrid manufacturing.”
“Autodesk has recognized that the most effective way to help our Advanced Manufacturing customers is via a network of local, specialist operators,” he adds.
Autodesk has identified strong growth opportunities across advanced manufacturing activities, as engineering companies want to achieve more with the new technologies available. So it is combining new services and specialty products.
Which partners are involved in MAKE?
The number, diversity, and knowledge of partners is key to the MAKE program. These include existing partners including D3, Hagerman, Ketiv, NTI, Negroni, and Applicit, then legacy master resellers are joining, which include Design & Software, AMS, Norcam, and Nexgen. New start-up partners like Premiership Solutions, and Simulation partners who are adding the CAM feature, and vice versa, are also joining.
MAKE partner: Premiership Solutions
MAKE’s aim is to give all customers the best expertise and higher service levels. A great example of this is Premiership Solutions, a start-up launched in April 2019 by former Autodesk employees as the first UK reseller under the MAKE brand.
“The difference is the deep knowledge on all the solutions our guys can bring. We can simplify the end user’s workflow, we provide hardware configuration and can supply them with a server if needed,” says Premiership’s Justin Barnes. MAKE gives customers complimentary access to Fusion 360 included with the main product suite. “Until now, some customers did not know how Fusion 360 can complement PowerMill and other manufacturing solutions so well. Bringing Fusion to them is very powerful.”
Premiership Solutions will take customers to visit Autodesk’s Technology Centre, Birmingham, in June. “This is added value for customers under the MAKE channel – they can see all the new manufacturing technology at the ATC, ask questions and this helps refine their products.”
Our commitment to the convergence of design, engineering, and manufacturing
Autodesk is 100% committed to advanced manufacturing at such an exciting time for this industry. “Our solutions, new technologies like additive manufacturing, better simulation, and in-process inspection, are empowering SMEs and makers as never before,” says David Young.
“We are totally committed to the convergence of design, engineering, and manufacturing to help businesses grow.”