Autodesk Software Helps Create 'Ropeless' Elevator for U.S. Navy

Advanced Solutions, Inc. has announced that one of its manufacturing clients, Federal Equipment Company, employed Autodesk's 3D mechanical design software to develop a "ropeless" elevator for the U.S. Navy.

Online PR News – 08-May-2011 – – LOUISVILLE, Ky. – May 2, 2011: Advanced Solutions, Inc., a leading full-service and value-added reseller for Autodesk, Inc., announced that one of its manufacturing clients, Federal Equipment Company (FEC), will be featured in an Autodesk Customer Success Story. The story will demonstrate how FEC used Autodesk 3D mechanical design software to design a highly innovative elevator system for the U.S. Navy.

FEC Mechanical Engineer Scott Thompson helped design FEC’s Advanced Weapons Elevators (AWE), which rely on magnets rather than cables to power its elevators, enabling the Navy to more efficiently transport munitions onboard new aircraft carriers. Instead of a traditional cable-based pulley system, FEC elevators for the Navy’s new system use linear synchronous motor technology — the same magnet-based technology that powers many high-speed trains.

According to Doug Ridenour, president of FEC, the Navy delivered “two major constraints” upon awarding FEC the contract. “The load-carrying capacity of each elevator had to reach 24,000 pounds with 150 percent overload capacity – more than double the capacity of legacy weapons elevators,” Ridenour said. “In addition, the elevator system had to be completely ropeless.”

When asked to develop, simulate and optimize this groundbreaking design, Thompson and his FEC colleagues relied on Digital Prototyping and Autodesk software, including Autodesk Inventor Professional and Autodesk Simulation Multiphysics software (formerly Algor Simulation).

The Autodesk software, in conjunction with support from Advanced Solutions, enabled FEC to:

• Design elevators that move 150 feet per minute, accelerate to full speed in 2 seconds, and boast 200 percent more load capacity than legacy elevators.
• Pass live dynamic design analysis method testing the first time, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of dollars.
• Collaborate effectively with shipbuilder Northrop Grumman Newport News, speeding design reviews and iterations.

Advanced Solutions played a key role in implementing Autodesk Digital Prototyping at FEC. “Advanced Solutions has helped us numerous times, especially during transitions when we upgrade or adopt new software,” Thompson said. “I’ve worked with a number of different software vendors, and Advanced Solutions has been wonderful, especially compared to others.” Crediting its success to the conceptualization and visualization capabilities of Autodesk software, FEC has already delivered three of the new elevators. A fourth elevator is in production, and the remaining seven that were ordered will begin production within the next year. “The biggest advantage from Digital Prototyping is the reuse of information,” Thompson said. “It can drastically reduce errors and design time.”

About Federal Equipment Company

Federal Equipment Company (FEC) was established in 1982 as a supplier of specialized military replacement parts for conveyors, elevators, dumbwaiters and helicopter hangars to the US Navy. Since then, FEC has grown and expanded into a design-build engineering firm providing both new construction and replacement parts to the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard and shipyards throughout the world. FEC is also the largest designer, manufacturer and installer of commercial heliports in the world. FEC’s vast array of product offerings also includes the design and manufacturing of commercial multispindle drillheads and custom conveyor systems. For additional information, visit

About Advanced Solutions, Inc.

Advanced Solutions, Inc. is an award-winning Autodesk Gold Partner in Manufacturing, Architecture, Engineering and Construction, Authorized Autodesk Training Center (ATC) and Authorized Autodesk Consulting Services Partner (CSP). For more than 24 years, the company has focused its business model on helping customers realize industry-leading return on investments with their 2D and 3D design software investments. Beyond the box of software, Advanced Solutions helps customers gain a competitive advantage through innovative design software work flows, enabling customers to realize higher revenues and improving their operational efficiency. For additional information about Advanced Solutions, Inc., please visit our website at

Autodesk, Autodesk Inventor, Algor, Inventor, and ATC are registered trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders.