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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Springboard Biodiesel Accelerates Its Business with Autodesk Inventor

Market Watch
Digital Prototyping Provides Key Business Advantages in the Fast-Moving Clean Tech Space

Autodesk Inc., a world leader in 2D and 3D design, engineering and entertainment software, has announced that Springboard Biodiesel, a privately held company focused on the small-scale biodiesel processing market, is successfully using Autodesk Inventor software to design and manufacture its clean tech solutions in less time.

Springboard Biodiesel believes that the best way to provide biodiesel economically and support its proliferation is by enabling local, profitable production from the least expensive feed stocks. The company's newest product, the Springboard Biodiesel Intelligent Local Production (ILP), addresses this challenge by providing the means for small-scale, local production of fuel-grade biodiesel from a broad spectrum of sources -- everything from low-quality, used cooking oil to high-quality, virgin soybean oil.

Springboard Biodiesel standardized on Inventor software just before the design stage of the ILP. The company had previously used SolidWorks software, but when it learned about the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program -- which provides software grants for emerging clean tech companies in North America -- the company saw an opportunity to update its software. With the help of Autodesk reseller KETIV Technologies, the company was soon enjoying the benefits of Inventor.

"My focus is: how quickly can we get out there in the marketplace with the best product, and what's going to help us do that?" said Mark Roberts, chief executive officer of Springboard Biodiesel. "That's where Inventor has been very helpful. We're able to design more effectively, more efficiently and just plain faster with Inventor. We can introduce a brand-new system, from start to finish, in just six months -- which is pretty impressive for a small company."

KETIV originally helped the company apply for the Autodesk software grant, and KETIV also provided a full day of on-site training for Springboard Biodiesel's team.

While the company relies on Autodesk Inventor software for its mechanical design process, it turns to Autodesk Showcase software for help with its marketing efforts. Showcase helps Springboard Biodiesel to create accurate, highly realistic imagery from its 3D digital prototypes. These rendered images provide an extremely effective way of introducing a new product to potential customers or potential investors -- even before a final physical model has been built. As a result, Springboard Biodiesel doesn't have to wait for a full product lifecycle to be completed before drumming up interest in its products and staking out market share.

"Springboard Biodiesel's use of Inventor is enabling them to innovate more rapidly and get to market faster," said Robert "Buzz" Kross, senior vice president, Autodesk Manufacturing Industry Group. "It's rewarding to see members of our Clean Tech Partner Program getting the full benefit from Digital Prototyping to further their company goals of creating a more sustainable future."