Case Study

Combining creativity with cost-effective production

ADN Design

NX helps improve the quality of presentations while reducing the time spent on each phase of the design process

Combining creativity with cost-effective production

ADN Design was founded in 1990. The company’s focus is strategic new product design. Other activities include the design of stands and exhibits, as well as theoretical work with universities, technological institutions and business centers aimed at innovation and strategic design.

Innovation – in terms of consumer requirements and expectations, the identification of consumer trends and the integration of production processes – is what makes ADN Design a leading product design consultancy. The company aims to find the perfect balance between marketing and production, so that a design is both a creative and a cost-efficient response to the client’s objectives. This approach involves listening to and understanding the client in order to synthesize aspirations into the creation of successful products.

ADN Design’s clients include ABB Niessen, Ciatesa, the BSH Group (Bosch, Siemens, Ufesa), the Uralita Group, Maier and the Cegasa Group (Solac), among others. In 2002 ADN Design started a dynamic globalization process, establishing strong cooperation with various Asian companies with the hope of designing their products.

Clear CAD criteria

In 1996, it became necessary to adopt professional design software that would enable the delivery of 3D files to clients and designers. For ADN Design, this involved an important investment and a bet on the future, which explains why the selection of the 3D CAD solution needed to be made on the basis of very clear criteria.

The company’s principals examined the tools used by their clients and the competition, and then set out the criteria for the software selection based on the specific requirements of its own activities. As part of the selection process, they asked several suppliers to provide a 3D computer model of an iron they had designed, which was to be manufactured using traditional processes. The iron was selected due to the inherent complexity of its geometry. The winner of this comparative study was clear-cut: the NX™ digital product design solution (then called Unigraphics) from Siemens PLM Software. This is the same 3D CAD software used by some of its main clients, such as the BSH Group and the Cegasa Group (Solac).

Over time, ADN Design added more NX licenses so that each principal now has one, as well as additional NX functionality for rendering and visualization. Even though originally the objective for the new software was to improve productivity in the mechanical development of complex plastic parts in particular, over time the company came to value NX in the initial design phases as well, both in the formal definition of concepts as well as the quality of the photorealistic images. Not only did NX improve the quality of presentations. It also led to time savings in each of the subsequent stages carried out by the company’s design team: style template, mechanical development and prototype production.

“Without a doubt, the short-term objective with regard to NX is its full integration throughout the design process, whatever the type of product,” says Benicio Aguerrea, operations director, ADN Design. “We are not an engineering company but rather a product design office. Consequently, we wish to dedicate ourselves to these initial stages involving the analysis and strategic definition of the product. We are convinced that NX can help us develop, from the start of the project, a better integrated and optimized process.”

Most products still selling well

The number of products ADN Design has designed (those that have been manufactured and marketed) exceeds 200. Most can still be found in stores five or even ten years later. Designed using NX, these include plastic household products, small home electric appliances, electronic equipment and mobile telephones. The company’s product line also includes office furniture, bus seats and commercial equipment.

Of all these products, perhaps the one that best epitomizes ADN Design’s work is the “Beagle” vacuum cleaner line designed for Solac. Following the analysis of the product’s specifications, market trends, consumer needs and so on, designers created a few quick sketches to outline the product concept. Later, they prepared more developed alternative solutions as the concept evolved.

Once the aesthetic profile was approved, they generated the first curves and surfaces using NX so that they could complete the design and produce a 3D full-size model. The NX geometry was used to check cutting and production methods. It also served as a base for the mechanical development of the various parts making up the body and controls of the vacuum cleaner.

In addition, ADN Design’s work involved defining the colors and graphics of the five models, each of which had its own specifications and target market. This work was done using the NX rendering software, which generated photorealistic highdefinition images. In fact, the image of the Beagle Allergy Stop represents the high standard of innovation excellence set by the company as well as was recently selected for inclusion in a global calendar.

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