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Itronix Reduces Time-to-Market After Migrating to PTC’s Pro/ENGINEER

A Migration Case Study submitted by PTC

Itronix, a manufacturer of mission-critical rugged, wireless mobile computing devices, needed to improve its development process supplying wireless communications technology in environmentally immune packages for the telecommunications, public safety, field service, aerospace and utilities industries. Their goal was to create worldwide concurrent engineering with partners in design, tooling and manufacturing to improve their product development cycle. Time-to-market was critical for Itronix to maintain its advantage in a fiercely competitive industry.

Itronix had been using SDRC I-DEAS as its mechanical design software. However, most of its development partners did not use SDRC, and Itronix was required to use IGES translation, which was not always reliable. Database problems and translation iterations caused Itronix to be slower to market with their products. Itronix also reached a point where it was crucial to collaborate with its development partners to design the best products possible. It became evident that Itronix needed to move to an industry standard platform that its partners were using, Pro/ENGINEER by PTC.

According to David Burgett, director of Advanced Technology and Mechanical Engineering at Itronix, “We had to move in order to compete in our market. Since we have been using Pro/ENGINEER, we have improved our design cycles and interface with our development partners, and we continue to benefit from increased collaboration now that we are using a more standard platform.”

“Our customers demand high quality and high reliability from our products. Pro/ENGINEER helps us to be a world-class design and manufacturing company. By working concurrently with our partners, we have fewer problems when our products launch. In fact, the last product we launched had the lowest initial defect and field return rate in the history of our business. This makes a huge impression on our customers,” says Burgett.

Since Itronix migrated to Pro/ENGINEER, it has reduced the typical large project product development cycle from 18 months to 10 months. Itronix has also been able to undertake multiple large projects simultaneously during these 10 months. With access to more engineering resources, Itronix can achieve more in less time. According to Itronix, by reducing this cycle time, they have experienced a substantial lost revenue opportunity savings of at least $10 million per month.

By having the capability to collaborate better with its partners, Itronix improved its capability to meet the demands of its customers and has improved its ability to service them. “In the past, we have lost significant business from customers because we have not had products ready to meet their needs. Now Pro/ENGINEER ensures our readiness to meet these customers’ requirements, increasing our presence in the market,” says David Stockham, senior principal mechanical engineer.

Itronix finds that Pro/ENGINEER has added greater horsepower to its design process. Its solid modeling capabilities have improved Itronix engineers’ ability to create complex shapes and 3-D drawings. Pro/ENGINEER has helped Itronix reduce the cost of design errors and improve the “tweak” stage of a complex project.

As a result of using PTC’s tools, Itronix gains information in a timelier manner. Engineers and development partners can access and view designs quickly, to understand models and make the necessary changes. PTC tools allow for better design control and for better concurrent access to Itronix’s database. According to Stockham, “We have evolved our communication process by enabling more people who need access to the database to have access. Before, with SDRC, only engineers who had access to SDRC - which was limited - could actually see the database. Now, using PTC tools, just about anyone who needs access to information, can walk up to a computer and access drawings and the native database without even having to be a Pro/ENGINEER designer.”

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