Aivan Ltd

The term ”Nordic design” is connected to pure design and clear shapes – this is exactly what Aivan Ltd offers its customers.

The challenge

Aivan Ltd is a Nordic design and innovation company, headquartered in Helsinki, Finland. In addition to industrial design, the company offers concept and service design and digital services. Aivan Ltd was founded in 2007 and has two subsidiaries – Navia Design Ltd which focuses on boat design work, and Aivan Madam Ltd which focuses on digital communication and marketing. In total, they employ 35 persons.

The solution

The term ”Nordic design” is connected to pure design and clear shapes – this is exactly what Aivan Ltd offers its customers. The company’s employees utilize SOLIDWORKS solutions on a large scale. The solutions enable versatile product development projects from small homeware to large motorboats. Currently, the company has 6 licenses, and SOLIDWORKS is an essential part of everyday work.

Aivan’s work can be seen everywhere in Finland but the company’s name is practically never visible in their design work. The portfolio of the company is vast – there has been a lot of different projects, and some of them are very famous for Finnish people. The company was, for example, in charge of the interior design of Helsinki Pohjola hospital, and they updated the concepts of Fazer Bakeries and Finnish railway company VR’s restaurant on rails. They also made a new design for Fiskars Functional Forms homeware. Antti Mäkelä, the designer at Aivan and shareholder, continues: “Aivan is exceptional, as although our core competence is industrial design, we also help our clients in other projects. These include branding and digitization, for example. We design the products from start to finish and engage in a lot of cooperation with other actors. We have smaller companies where we cooperate with one or two persons, and then we also have larger companies as clients who have 200 engineers working in their R&D department.”

Aivan Ltd has two subsidiaries. One of them, Aivan Madam Ltd, focuses on digital communication and marketing. An example of Aivan Madam’s work is the new digital appearance of Port of Hanko, Finland. Boat design has always been an important part of Aivan’s business, therefore the other subsidiary called Navia Design Ltd focuses solely on boat design. Navia Design was established in 2013 and some of their references contain electric motors for Oceanvolt and electric luxury motorboats for Q Yachts.

”We want to create uncompromising quality. Therefore, we believe it is acceptable that the high quality is evident in the time spent working on the design. From start to finish, SOLIDWORKS supports our working method. We started our business with SOLIDWORKS, and the software has been an essential part in our product development processes. The software supports our working method. We cooperate with other suppliers in nearly all of our projects and we wish to implement the design work using SOLIDWORKS. This wish is also shared by the customers. Our quality demand is visible for our customers in a way that our customers are directly in contact with our designers. Our company structure does not contain the so-called project layer, which could end up in losing vital information regarding the project,” explains Antti.

Software matters regarding cooperation

To ensure smooth cooperation between different partners, there are certain requirements for design software. It primarily needs to support the design work, but also enable easy data transfer. “A very typical situation in our projects is that we are not the only partner involved. Using the same design tool makes it a lot easier to cooperate with the customer, but it also makes it easier to involve new partners. When Aivan has grown as time elapses, also the sizes of our projects have grown. When a large customer uses the same system as we do, the project proceeds easier when for example the spare part library is shared in the customer’s PDM system. Also bringing parametricity in our product design facilitates our work in-house. A clear benefit of SOLIDWORKS is that it works perfectly in projects despite the project size,” states Antti.

Ari Kiviranta.

Designer Ari Kiviranta works with boat design at Navia Design Ltd and has been using SOLIDWORKS since 2006. “In boat design, we use SOLIDWORKS a lot and we have found our way of working with the software. We aim at using the same files with customers and it for example eases controlling the file versions. Cooperation is always smoother when every partner uses the same software. For example, the boat project with Q Yachts succeeded relatively easily software-wise as both us and the motor manufacturer Oceanvolt used SOLIDWORKS software.”



Nordic know-how and versatility as competitive edges

Aivan Ltd has been quite satisfied with SOLIDWORKS and PLM Group as the software vendor. Especially they appreciate the recognizability and flexibility of the software. “Our prerequisite at Aivan is that our new designers are capable of using SOLIDWORKS solutions. If they have a background with other 3D CAD solutions, SOLIDWORKS is what they get when they start working for us,” starts Antti. “And when we get new SOLIDWORKS users in our team, they bring new skills with the software which in turn enhances the other team’s skills and know-how. Besides SOLIDWORKS, we use Rhino – still, the rule of thumb is that if we start a project with SOLIDWORKS, we also finish the project with SOLIDWORKS. Aivan has grown steadily in recent years, and similar growth is expected. While the size of our projects grows, the size of our team grows as well. Of course, our customers have a direct impact on our sales – when our customers change employers, they involve us in their new projects as well so they kind of take us with. The number of international assignments will probably increase, also our team has become more international. That way we grow naturally towards the more international direction which is, of course, positive as we want to offer our employees the most exciting projects ever. And without SOLIDWORKS, we would not implement all these projects.”

The success

  • Flexible design tool for industrial design
  • Seamless cooperation among customer companies
Aivan Ltd

"SOLIDWORKS supports our working method. We cooperate with other suppliers in nearly all of our projects and we wish to implement the design work using SOLIDWORKS."

Antti Mäkelä