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Hutton Technologies

Using Solid Edge enables farmers in the developing world to exchange five hours of carrying buckets for one hour of pumping

A simple product, a huge impact

David Hutton, managing director of Hutton Technologies Ltd, was only 3 years-old when he designed and built a system for transporting domestic garbage downstairs on waste collection day. Although the system turned out to be better at carrying garbage the “wrong” way, his career as an inventor had begun. When he was 13 he came up with the idea for a simple water pump that would make irrigation easier for farmers in the developing world, and this became the topic of his final year project as an engineering student at Bath University.

 

As a student, Hutton had access to Solid Edge software from product lifecycle management (PLM) specialist Siemens PLM Software. Using Solid Edge, he created his first 3D design for the pump. “I found that using Solid Edge was extremely helpful in terms of spatial understanding,” explains Hutton. “I began with certain constraints and then I could select parts and work out how to assemble everything into a small space. Solid Edge was great. The trouble was that I was nowhere near finished with the design of the flexipump when I completed my degree course.”

Field tests prove the concept

Realizing he was on to something worth following through, Hutton requested permission to continue using university facilities after he had graduated in 2011. That helped him to progress the design to the point where he could go to Zambia and conduct extensive field tests. Operating from the back of a car, he set up a mobile workshop and made 25 pumps in three different versions for testing by local farmers.

 

Returning to the United Kingdom, Hutton had a market and a potential order, but describes himself as “CADless” (without computer-aided design), until he downloaded a free trial of Solid Edge. At the time, he was working with Ken Symonds, a freelance parts designer engaged to help redesign some of the flexipump parts and make them suitable for injection molding. “Using Solid Edge again reminded me how great it is,” explains Hutton. “I was on a tight budget and was dreading the end of my free trial when I found out from Ken that Solid Edge was also available on a monthly subscription. This was clearly the answer for me, and I registered with Siemens PLM Software partner Prion Cutting Edge.

 

Using Solid Edge, Hutton had the means to refine the design, optimizing it for injection molding. “I also bought a cheap 3D printer which I can 100 percent recommend,” notes Hutton. “It made a massive difference to the process of getting parts ready for manufacture.”

From dream to commercial launch

The flexipump went into production in Italy in the early summer of 2014, as Hutton took the first bulk order and conducted further tests in Malawi and Zambia.

 

“Without the Solid Edge subscription, I would have been pretty stuck,” recalls Hutton. “It enabled an entirely new product to be developed and brought to manufacture very cost-effectively. In particular, it allowed me, Ken Symonds and the factory making the injection mold tools to communicate easily and cheaply.”

 

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Hutton Technologies

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Hutton Technologies uses the following Siemens PLM products

Our Clients

The tailored update training we attended was very informative and was delivered by a competent and knowledgeable adviser. The instructor was very happy to go off topic during the training to help with any other questions that we had with Solid Edge.

FSM Manufacturing Ltd

NX is an industry-standard product and we are a startup company, but we now know that we could not have managed without it. We knew that NX is robust and utterly predictable, and with our ambitious timescales that is exactly what we needed.

Uniwheel

A boat is a very, very complicated product, but we can find no limitation with NX and Teamcenter. There is nothing that we cannot do using NX and It is extremely easy to locate parts with Teamcenter for re-use or resizing.

Sunseeker International Ltd

Teamcenter gave us the greatest possibilities for a product lifecycle system - the ability to track samples, costing, bills of materials for the factory and much more. It is one of the things that will allow us to stay relevant and comptetitive, improving our speed to market.

Dr. Martens