Random Post, Cornflakes and Inventor of the month

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I’m not a huge fan of breakfast, life is usually starting too quickly and too busily to even bother with it these days. But today I had the above. Hey, I’m not going to turn down free cereals am I?* Cornflakes. In a nice ceramic bowl. Why am I telling you this? The answer is that yesterday, much to my confusion/bafflement/eventual comedy, I received a package from Autodesk’s PR team at Edelman in Chicago.

I’m used to being sent odd things over the years. From a brass compass, about 9,000 memory sticks a month, a photograph of Dr. Heinz Wolff (which adored our old offices walls for many years) right through to possibily the oddest thing – A box of fish. Yes. Fish. In a box. In the post (No idea who sent it as the label fell off). Now. Why was I sent a bowl of cereal?

The answer is that this month’s Inventor of the Month, something which Autodesk has been running for the past few years, is A.T. Ferrell Company, who design and engineer its roller mills and other industrial food processing machines using Inventor. Those machines are used to, amongst many other things, to make the flakes in corn flakes, the toffee in chocolate bars and the oats in oatmeal.

A.T. Ferrell’s roller mills use high pressure rollers to flatten grains to the exact thickness required to create the perfect corn flake, for example, or to crack a piece of toffee without crushing it. According to the press release, “Using Inventor software enables A.T. Ferrell to take advantage of built-in features such as parametric modeling and finite element analysis so the company’s machines can successfully operate under high-pressure conditions while meeting all tolerance requirements.


Allen Gager, a design engineer and CAD manager at A.T. Ferrell explains further that “Using Inventor software to create a 3D digital prototype means we no longer have to cut metal to prove the feasibility of a design. We know exactly how a mill will perform before it’s been built. Additionally, Autodesk Vault Workgroup helps us keep track of our designs and improves our ability to reuse designs and components, which speeds the development of new products.

On a recent project, Inventor enabled A.T. Ferrell’s designers to identify a problem, test the existing design and develop a new design all in one day. This efficiency has allowed A.T. Ferrell to greatly simplify the design-to-manufacture process and develop innovative new equipment. And yes, equipment that brings us our daily breakfast, whether you’re a cornflakes or a oatmeal person.

Which leads to wonder, A.T. Ferrell are doing all the work, isn’t it about time we found exactly where in the process the Honey Monster comes into it. ****** is taking all the credit. And don’t get me started on Tony the Tiger. Grrrrrrrrr.