User Story

Autodesk Inventor : AMTI

Alpha Marathon Technologies Inc. (AMTI), located in Ontario, Canada, was founded in 1989 to design, manufacture, install, and test blown film machinery used by plastic processors for the domestic and international markets. Its machinery is used to make agriculture films for green houses, and mulching; geomembrane films for sewer or irrigation canals, man made lakes, and rivers; packaging films; shopping bags; stretch films; shrink wrap films; food packaging films; garbage bags; and bubble packaging films.

The company possesses a large database of knowledge and technological expertise, which it uses to design and develop new dies and extrusion components as well as refinements, which make its systems both unique and competitive. The company holds a number of patents on its processes and system components.

Alpha Marathon conducts an extensive development program in order to maintain its leading position as a blown film equipment manufacturer. This technology is not a well-defined science. Solving blown film application problems requires a methodical, experimental approach, incorporating a large amount of background experience.

As a manufacturer of blown film machinery, AMTI strength lies in the experience and expertise of their people, the proprietary and innovative technology and the modern design of their products.

Alfredo Bentivoglio, AMTI president, says, "One very important factor is the development and capability to extend the product line for future applications coupled with the in-depth knowledge of the industry, the international marketing expertise and long term contacts with the industry."

The company produces a variety of products including:
  • Blown film extruders, screws, dies for single layer and multi-layer films
  • Bubble chambers for additional cooling of the blown film
  • Top nip roll assemblies for pulling the blown film off the die
  • Winders for collecting the final film web and winding it up into a roll
  • Blown film towers that provide the superstructure that surrounds the blown film line
  • Complete blown film systems that incorporate the above components into an integral system
  • Complete bubble packaging machinery and laminating equipment.
AMTI's global customers include Cryovac, Mobil-Exxon, Sealair, Dow Chemical, Atlantic Packaging, Linpac France, Extron Europe, and many others. The equipment supplied by AMTI is primarily custom designed and built to suit each customer's specific needs. Blown film equipment is, to a large degree, generic, resulting in a great deal of similarity from one supplier to another. Most development efforts are therefore directed towards refinements, improvements in production efficiency, ease of maintenance, and modifications to die and extrusion technology in order to be able to extrude new products from different, new and recyclable materials, for example.

Bentivoglio adds, "Feedback from clients is essential in order to be able to improve upon their existing systems. Each job tends to be unique and new developments are improvements on what has been built before." The most important customer requirements are product knowledge - technical expertise and innovative with non-standard solutions.

AMTI is using Autodesk Inventor software to address the complex blown film industry needs. "Autodesk Inventor software is an incredible tool with an intuitive architecture," says Bentivoglio. "The technology is flexible - allowing me to generate sketches and drawings with ease, giving AMTI fast and reliable results never achieved with other software. The Adaptive Technology, user friendly environment, and ease and speed of subassembly manipulation are fantastic attributes.

"We used Inventor to design and manufacture a complete lamination station for Linpac Plastics USA from concept to shipping product. Inventor was a real advantage in designing a 3D digital 'working' prototype and being able to show our customer a dream machine as it's being designed and built," adds Bentivoglio.

He and a team of engineers examined a number of popular commercial MCAD products - from the low end to the high end - prior to selecting Autodesk Inventor. Their decision was based on a very short learning curve, ease of use, and price. "We were up and fully functional in six weeks, including training. The transition from 2D (AutoCAD13-14 and CADkey 7.5) to Inventor was a breeze, with the rewarding experience to jump-start into the new colorful world of 3D," adds Bentivoglio.

In order to maintain its competitive edge AMTI's new equipment is designed to meet optimum performance demands. In order to accomplish that daunting task, AMTI's sales and marketing presentations and materials need to reflect the company's most current products. "That requirement enables us to use Inventor's capabilities beyond the traditional engineering and design software thus keeping us on the cutting edge of using advanced technology," notes Bentivoglio.

Since installing Autodesk Inventor, Bentivoglio and his team have been saving an estimated seven to nine percent on material and labor in every single project and as experience and confidence mounts, the company's target is to achieve 15% savings. Autodesk Inventor is integrated with EdgeCAM, a product marketed by Pathtrace Engineering Systems to translate design-to-CNC programming - a delicate relationship to maintain for perfect balance and accuracy between engineering and manufacturing.

Author: Laura Carrabine

Home | Top of page | Front of MANAGING CAD/CAM/CAE section

Page last modified on September 19, 2000
Copyright 2000 by John Stark