In a one-room office in Mount Kisco, NY, Edward M. Marwell and Dr. Curtis Beusman officially began Curtis Instruments on December 9, 1960. Little did these entrepreneurial engineers know, that their initial product, an electrochemical coulometer, would grow into a worldwide organization with over 1,000 employees. Curtis Instruments has now been a global technology leader in electric vehicle instrumentation and controls for the past 55 years.
Curtis Instruments has not only been a leader, but a huge innovator in vehicle instrumentation. Innovation requires the team to always be ahead of the competition, which means accomplishing more, using less resources, including time. They have to ensure that the project is done right the first time, every time; this is very challenging when your main injection molding suppliers are half way around the world. You always want to partner with a supplier that holds the same quality standards as you do, but when you have to take the word of your mold maker because you don’t have the engineering tools to verify, you are taking a huge risk. Curtis Instruments would always require first articles and tool validation documents before a product was run, but this sometimes took weeks or even months because the tool had to be built and then manually verified with a sample part checked by Curtis Engineers.
Wouldn’t it be great to check the parts before any metal was cut?
Enter SOLIDWORKS Plastics!
In 2016, the Curtis R&D team decided it was time to implement a tool that would allow them to check these injected molded parts and tools. The team purchased SOLIDWORKS Plastics Premium in March, and by May of that same year, the software began to pay for itself. With SOLIDWORKS Plastics, a part could be virtually manufactured, and any defects could be checked before costly molds were made. One of Curtis Instruments’ biggest injection molding suppliers was acquired and would cease producing parts. This meant 80 tools needed to be moved to a new supplier. After 8 months and over 50 tool verifications later, the engineers at Curtis are reaping the benefits of having SOLIDWORKS Plastics. According to Vinnie Ioanna, R&D Engineering Manager, “A supplier change of this magnitude would have never been achievable without SOLIDWORKS Plastics.” Even though the R&D Department falls into an Overhead Expense, Vinnie is excited to see huge time and money savings within the group. Going forward with all new projects, the engineers will be using the SOLIDWORKS suite to verify all parts and tools by running virtual tests and sharing the findings with their mold makers.