PTC’s Onshape design platform was put to good use by Petdoors.com to help modernise its best-selling pet flap that is fitted to 25,000 homes every year.
The Endura Flap has built a reputation over the past two decades for its flexibility, pet safety, high insulation values and variable magnetic seal strength and the company wanted to build on this by offering even greater performance to pet owners.
Located in California, the company’s design engineers tapped into the power of Farnborough-based PTC’s Onshape, a product design platform built for the cloud that combines CAD and Product Data Management (PDM) with advanced collaboration and analytics capabilities.
This technology enabled designers to shake off the shackles of the pandemic and collaborate remotely on numerous iterations, ensuring the new Endura Flap was brought to market on budget and quicker than expected.
“It is our best-selling product and the idea behind this was to take what we have and make it better in in every way possible,” said Kevin Hendrickson, director of engineering at Petdoors.com.
“We wanted to give it a cleaner look, make it easier to assemble in our manufacturing process and make it a little more automation friendly. Then just update the current version by incorporating customer feedback to make it a better experience overall for the client and end-user.”
He continued: “I started by sketching in certain elements from the original design in Onshape and worked around them to design the new frame and components.”
Onshape’s configuration editor was critical to a successful outcome, with the integrated data management that is native to the software eliminating the hassle and costs associated with PDM systems sometimes required to manage version control nightmares.
“One of the reasons we love Onshape is because the configuration editor is very good compared to other CAD systems,” Hendrickson added.
“We have four sizes of this pet door, and we use it in door mount, wall mount, window mount and patio door mount formats so you can imagine all the different sizes of windows and doors.
“When you add in the complexity from four sizes for each of these variants you can imagine we have a tonne of configurations. Being able to see all those options without having to design each one discreetly is a big benefit for us.
“Collaboration is extremely easy with Onshape. There was no concern about breaking the model because one person saved on top of the other person’s changes. Programmes I had used in the past did not include a PDM system, so when multiple engineers were working on a product, we had to tell each other when we were on the same part and even coordinate our saving.
“Onshape does not have any of those issues. We can have it open, work on it together, even be in separate places on different computers – ideal for avoiding delays during the pandemic.”
David Katzman, SVP of general operations at Onshape, added his support: “With Onshape’s unique capabilities, such as branching and merging, version control, and unlimited undo, engineers can explore concepts and easily revert back to any step of the design process.
Our platform eliminates concerns associated with experimentation.
“We’re excited to see Pet Doors’ continued innovation in Onshape, as they create world class products for pet owners.”
PTC, which has its UK base in Farnborough, is a global company that provides a host of technology solutions to help industrial companies create value for themselves and the rest of the world.
This is achieved through a combination of Augmented Reality, Industrial IoT, Product Lifecycle Management and CAD solutions.