AI Case Study

Stanley Black & Decker reduces product creation lead times and costs with machine learning generative design software

Stanley Black & Decker has leveraged AI and machine learning technology from Autodesk. Using a generative design software, which mimics nature’s evolutionary approach, the company redesigned a tool for fixing electrical and telephone lines. The implementation resulted in an improved design which weights 7 times less, designed in shorter time and with reduced cost.

Industry

Consumer Goods And Services

Homebuilding And Construction

Project Overview

"An AI-powered algorithm helped Stanley Black & Decker’s employees to redesign a tool for electricians for fixing electrical and telephone lines.

Previous tools had been almost 7 kg, which made them too heavy for workers. The company used an AI enhanced generative design software from Autodesk, which designs new products via mimicking nature’s evolutionary approach. The algorithm explores all possible product combinations, which can be thousands or millions of design choices to find the best one, matching a set of user requirements such as light weight. The AI learns throughout the process which combinations work best and eventually comes up with the most effective and efficient design. The human designer can then adapt the choice if needed. Generative design may even go beyond human capabilities of design creation and therefore not only increase speed and reduce the cost of product development but may also have a positive impact on product quality and desirability.

Ultimately, the computer came up with an attachment that weighs a little over two pounds (1kg), is three-to-four inches long, and resembles the letter “C,” held together by a lattice that looks like a collection of toothpicks."

Reported Results

Black & Decker states the following results:

* Reduced wieght of tool rom 7 kg to 1kg, making it easier to use
* Shortened product creation lead times and costs

Technology

"The company used an AI enhanced generative design software from Autodesk, which designs new products via mimicking nature’s evolutionary approach. The algorithm explores all possible product combinations, which can be thousands or millions of design choices to find the best one, matching a set of user requirements such as light weight. The AI learns throughout the process which combinations work best and eventually comes up with the most effective and efficient design." (Deloitte)

"Autodesk aims to continue to augment its software with AI — using machine learning as a common thread between hundreds of software tools to guide designers. Eventually the Generative Design tool will accommodate other types of manufacturing beyond just additive design." (techcrunch)

Function

R And D

Product Development

Background

"Early in 2017, Stanley Black & Decker, a company producing tools for industry and household purposes, released a statement that they have been working on opportunities to leverage AI in product design to decrease time spent on development, thereby yielding operations discovery."

Benefits

Data