K-engine, a subsidiary of LIXIL Corporation - one of world's largest building materials and housing equipment manufacturers - developed a cost estimation system, “Reform Accel”, for the home improvement and housing construction industries and has been selling the system to housing builders and housing construction companies throughout the Japan market. K-engine has developed the next generation of the service, “Reform Accel ADVANCE”, using VividPlatform’s 3D visualization tool to improve visual quality and the user interface, and has launched it into the market
In the housing industry, around 60,000 small to midsize housing builders are creating images and calculating the estimated cost of each project based on the requirements of home owners. Due to the huge selection of products and options, it usually takes around one week and cost for users to create images using CAD tools in addition to picking out products from multiple vendor product catalogs.
With VividPlatform’s iPad version of the 3D configuration tool integrated with K-engine’s product database (DB), housing builders can now create a couple of images on an iPad in less than 10 minutes while simultaneously listening to home owners and show the images to the owners on the spot. The integration has contributed to shorten sales lead times and improve customer satisfaction.
In Japan, CAD tools for housing construction have incorporated Japan’s unique measurement units into the drawing process. In Japanese houses there are Japan specific products, including tatami mats, windows and room layout, which required modifications of the VividPlatform visual tool to satisfy the very subtle and fine user interface. Through the K-engine project, most of the features required for the Japan housing market have been successfully implemented into the VividPlatform visual tool.
Kentaro Hashimoto, head of the development team for the project at K-engine, commented that, “With VividPlatform, we can both show and impress upon our clients the attractiveness of products in the images as the interface is easy to use and has high level graphic rendering quality. As VividPlatform supports comprehensive client devices, including iPad and different browsers, a broader range of customers can now use our Reform Accel ADVANCE service. The introduction of VividPlatform was quick and easy as it required minimum customization of the existing DB and product content.”