In 1973, Lucien Brouillet opened his workshop in Martigne-Briand, near Angers, France, that produced rustic style oak furniture for some 20 years. The company moved into a new dimension in the 1990s, when Lucien Brouillet decided to change tack and produce outfitting furniture. The company invested in numerically controlled machines and switched from traditional methods to a genuine semi-industrial organization. The company's know-how and its capacity to meet the demands of increasingly creative projects gradually won over new customers from far and wide. Today, this 35-man SME is the equal of even the most advanced mechanical workshops. The six designers in the design office use the high-performance TopSolid’Design CAD (computer-aided design) software from Missler Software, while the numerically controlled Homag machining centers, saws and edge banders are in the hands of some 20 experienced operators. "All of our specialists work directly with our customers. Examples include the production of furniture used to fit out cinemas, which accounts for 30% of our turnover, but also luxury stores, sales outlets, pleasure boats and many more", explains Yohann Choletais, who manages the design office. The top priority is to offer every customer an all-inclusive service. From the drawings produced in the design office, to the supervision of the manufacturing operations, the customer always has a single point of contact, from the order to the reception of the finished goods. The furniture is installed in France and throughout Europe, from London to Moscow, by teams of specialists.
In 2009, the company opted for TopSolid’Design in order to meet its growing needs and to improve its reactivity. "We obviously looked very closely at all the solutions on the market, but it was Missler Software's tool that best met our needs," explains the specialist. "This user-friendly and powerful software is ideal for a small structure like ours that is faced with fulfilling increasingly complex orders." The company had to train its staff in new techniques, such as 3D CAD. The six designers from the design office were trained by the specialists from Missler Software, and they are now able to exploit the full potential of the software. And they certainly have a lot on their plate! Brouillet Production has to produce the most eccentric shapes and process a broad range of materials, in addition to wood: synthetic resins, metals, glass, electricity, signage, upholstery, marble, Plexiglas, etc.
TopSolid’Design has become essential at every stage, before the units go into production. "Customers can see a 3D view of the layout of their future units in situ, plus the color, the installation of the computing equipment, and so on. And they can decide in real time whether they want to make any changes," explains Yohann Choletais. "Thanks to Missler Software's application, we can propose a solution that is well adapted to the project and the customer's budget, while calling on our technical know-how to improve it further."
With views from every side, cutaways and 3D perspectives, the furniture holds no more secrets for the customer. The precise and clear drawings produced with this CAD software make the workshop's job easier and speed up production. And customers now increasingly demand 3D drawings that are easier to read. And there is no more need for manual modifications that can result in errors.
Shortening the design and build times has become a real obsession, in the positive sense of the term, for the specialists at Brouillet Production. "The earlier we can detect a design fault, the more time we can save," observes Yohann Choletais.
TopSolid’Design has also improved communications with the company's suppliers, who take charge of part of the production activities. "We can model a part and send it to our partners very quickly," explains the specialist, who insists on the importance of the integration of the libraries of configurable standard elements (units, hardware, fittings). Another significant strength that considerably shortens the design times. "Simply by changing the dimensions, we can quickly adapt a unit to the customer's project", concludes Yohann Choletais. He dreams of adding the TopSolid WoodCam software to the company's means of production.
- Save time and reduce the number of design and build faults
- Improve marketing dialog with customers
- Implement a powerful 3D CAD software that is well adapted to the needs of the company
- View the unit from every perspective
- Use a library of standard components
- Detect any defects as soon as possible
- Reduce delivery lead times of orders through increased efficiency of the design office
Brouillet Production in figures
- Headcount: 35
- Number of TopSolid’Design users in the design office: 6
- Sales revenue: €4M
- Surface area: 3,500m2 with the possibility for extension