Holophane Launches New Design and Sales Tools with TechniCon

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Online configurator creates 3D renderings on-the-fly as customers specify product options.

TechniCon today announced the launch of the "Envision" system for Holophane, the industry leader in outdoor and industrial lighting products. Powered by TechniCon's CustomCommerce platform, the Envision system transforms the way lighting products are marketed on the Web.

Offering the widest selection of outdoor decorative lighting on the market, Holophane and its affiliated brand, Antique Street Lamps, produce truly cool products. But with many times the product selection of their competitors, customers found product specification challenging.

Specifying street lamps is a complex process. Each component of the lamp (post, crossarm and luminaire) has multiple design and functional options that need to be configured. Wind safety issues need to be addressed.

Customers often have no idea on how to correctly specify these fixtures. Incorrect orders mean costly schedule delays. Product returns are expensive. Looking for a system that would change the business of selling street lamps, Holophane selected TechniCon.

"We had experience with configurators and looked at a lot of vendors. We were looking to do something unprecedented and only TechniCon made us confident that we could pull this project off," explained Jeff Ehret, Director of Business Systems, Holophane.

TechniCon developed a configuration system that allows users to select and configure posts, crossarms and luminaires in any order to assemble the street lamp. A 3D image of the assembly is updated whenever a component is added. An interactive viewer allows users to zoom-in and examine individual components and assemblies from any angle.

Users can quickly try out and view different combinations of components and post heights. To display a lamp in its proposed environment, street lamp images can be overlaid on either stock or user-uploaded photographic backgrounds. "Our customers can't believe it when we give them a photo-rendering showing the street lamps on their project site," added Ehret.

"It's always exciting to work with manufacturers that want to push the envelope. Using Autodesk Inventor® and the Autodesk DWF™ viewer we were able to provide some very innovative 3D modeling technology on this project," noted Mark Keenan, CEO of TechniCon.

To document the design, a detailed specifications sheet can be generated, incorporating color renderings of the street lamp, a street orientation diagram, wind load capacity and an order-ready catalog number. Along with photo-renderings, this custom documentation helps customers such as architects and planners sell their projects and get owner and city approvals.

Customers know exactly the street lamp that will be manufactured for them, making it easy for them to place the order. Revisions and returns are eliminated. The system also significantly reduces the need for costly back-end services that had been required for each sale, such as calculating wind load capacities and creating orientation drawings.

About Holophane

Located in Newark, Ohio, Holophane has been the leader in lighting solutions for more than a century. The company provides lighting systems for commercial, industrial, emergency and outdoor applications. The hallmark of Holophane luminaires is the borosilicate glass reflector/refractor. The glass prisms provide a combination of uplight and downlight to illuminate any environment evenly without creating dark spots or glare.

Holophane is an Acuity Brands company, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Acuity Brands employs approximately 11,000 people and has operations in North America, Canada and Asia.

About TechniCon

Founded in 1987, TechniCon is a leading provider of e-commerce solutions for complex products. Combining over a decade of experience developing product specification and sales automation software with leading-edge Internet and visualization technology, TechniCon has developed interactive sales and build-to-order systems for a wide range of manufacturers, including DaimlerChrysler, Motorola, and Steelcase. TechniCon (http://www.technicon.com) is headquartered in Emeryville, CA with additional offices in St. Louis, MO.

TechniCon is a service mark of TechniCon Corporation.

Autodesk, Autodesk DWF Viewer and Autodesk Inventor are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc.

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Mark Keenan
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