Engineers at faucet maker Moen Inc., North Olmsted, Ohio, credit software from PTC. with helping them design a common valve underbody for a new line of bathroom faucets. The M-Pact system lets homeowners change the faucet’s decorative surfaces in minutes — simply unscrew the handles and spout, lift off the decorated posts, and replace them with a new style.
“PTC’s software speeds the entire design process and puts more innovative designs in front of customers than was previously possible,” says Mike Brattoli, senior product design technician at Moen. “Rapid prototyping combined with numerical-control machining, for example, let us generate more design iterations than the previous system. We produce virtual prototypes for testing and simulations before we purchase costly tooling.”
PTC got the nod when Moen engineers sought software able to handle the numerous design iterations necessary when developing sophisticated products. The software also had to be adept with complex organic surfaces and shapes, merging them with mechanical connections and components. That meant transitioning from a 2D to 3D design environment.
“Since the transition, we’ve cut typical three-year design-to-production times to 14 months,” adds Bratolli. “We also went from one or two design iterations to a dozen or more.”