Getting Input from the Beginning

PTC's Pro/Concept lets designers share new products with suppliers, customers before the production process starts

Needham, MA  October 28, 2002  As more companies make the connection between the products they produce and overall growth and profitability, the product development process is receiving much closer scrutiny and increasing levels of optimization, such as product conceptualization in particular is experiencing. In response, PTC, a product development company, has added Pro/CONCEPT to its Pro/ENGINEER group of product design and development software solutions.

Pro/CONCEPT is a standalone product that PTC said allows designers to capture, explore and develop product designs and create digital products by combining sketching and modeling into a single environment. The software also contains tools for free form sketching, image retouching, curve and facet modeling, painting directly onto three-dimensional (3D) models, and real-time and photo-realistic rendering.

According to PTC, designers can use Pro/CONCEPT to create numerous iterations of products in digital form and share them electronically with suppliers, partners and customers. By iterating the product at this early stage of development, PTC said designers reduce the number of changes during the development of the physical product, when such changes can slow time-to-market and add significant expense to the process.

"Designers have traditionally brought product concepts to life through a number of different media, but those approaches are often costly, time-consuming and difficult to share externally," said Jim Heppelmann, executive vice president software solutions and chief technology officer, PTC. "During the conceptual phase of creating a new product, you have the ability to distill all your ideas, make assessments and move the best ideas on to detailed design and engineering and, ultimately, into production. Pro/CONCEPT was developed with this reality in mind."

Additionally, Pro/CONCEPT has been integrated with PTC's Windchill-based solutions, so users can collaborate with customers, partners and other team members.

Moen Inc., one of the world's largest producers of residential and commercial plumbing products, has been involved in the beta testing of Pro/CONCEPT, helping to determine its range of functionality in the industrial design realm. "The functionality demonstrated to date shows promise in providing industrial designers with a tool that captures the theme of the proposed product through 2D sketches, 3D models, renderings and rapid prototypes, whether they be generated internally or externally," said Mike Brattoli, senior product designer, Moen Inc. "Moen is very excited about the potential of this new solution."