Not Your Typical Big Business Project Management

Women back to back against a grafitti background

Studies show that organizations who use project management techniques are 28% more likely to meet their target business objectives. 

But not all project management systems are alike.

Sometimes bigger isn’t always better. 

Here at Catania, we individualize our project management techniques to provide the best fit to meet your needs. And it all starts with the people on our team. 

Instead of focusing purely on project management, we focus on hiring people with passion who are at the top of the industry. Having personally worked in major corporations, we started Catania with the goal of helping others realize their dreams through customized strategies. We aim to produce the highest quality end-product–while at the same time scaling down the process to remove waste, save money, and keep the project running smoothly.

How Do We Get Results?

We start by meeting with you and your team to understand the core requirements for the end result- or the minimum viable product (MVP). As the customer, we want your experience with us to be as seamless as possible. So we’ll travel to your facility, attend your meetings, and dig in to learn all about your products and services. 

Once we have a strong understanding of your needs, then we’ll develop a solid plan tailored specifically to your project, keeping in mind that flexibility with any plan is the key to success. We think long-term and invest in customers as partners.

No Band-Aids

Every project encounters its unique set of problems. We understand that. We also know that getting ahead of those problems is essential to saving money and keeping the program on schedule. 

We avoid problems by making sure that we start off right. We staff our programs appropriately, knowing that more time spent by design and test engineers up front can avoid the need for a crisis team at the end. 

And if we do encounter an unexpected challenge—because let’s face it—those happen, we do a complete root cause corrective action. At Catania, we don’t do Band-Aids. Instead, we fix the problem and move on. Our philosophy is the sooner an issue is caught, the simpler it is to fix. 

How Can Catania Help You?

Maybe you’re considering hiring a full-time project manager, but you’re not quite there yet. Or you only have a short-term need. 

Our experienced project management team is a great fit for companies looking to fill a temporary position. Our project managers use their diverse skill sets to wear multiple hats (project management, systems engineering, and program financing for example) and will represent you and your interests in front of your customers and staff. 

Having big project management goals and expectations doesn’t mean using big company techniques. It means personalization and making the right decisions for the long term. 

 

Resources: https://www.workamajig.com/blog/project-management-statistics

Redefining the User Experience

Redefining The User Experience

A product is more than the end result of an idea made into a real-life design. It’s your baby. Your brainchild. But seeing your dream made into a reality shouldn’t signal the finish line. The ultimate goal of any product is to serve its user beyond the original concept to give them the best results and experience possible.

The concept of user experience isn’t new, but it’s more important now than ever in today’s competitive global market.  Here at Catania, we are passionate about creating designs that not only satisfy the customer’s expectations but also anticipate the user’s needs and wants—even if they aren’t aware of what those might be.

How exactly do we do that? We start by doing a deep dive into the user’s basic senses. Then, we ask questions and figure out how someone would use the product. Watching, “or imagining through a series of activities”, how the user interacts with the product allows us to anticipate potential problems and fix them while the product is still in the creation phase.  

Recently a customer came to us with their design for an ab roller, now named the Ab Sculpt. The customer knew that he wanted the design to have better resistance than other ab rollers on the market. The solutions we came up with worked, but through pre-product testing, we realized the tire generated too much heat, making it unsafe for the end-user. We developed a heatsink that draws heat away from the system, protecting the user.

Enhancing user experience also involves the integration of aesthetics, the five senses, and perceived value. How a product looks, feels, and how easily it can be used all contribute to the user’s negative or positive reactions.

Users Experience is all 5 senses, perceived value, and influence

In the case of the Ab Sculpt, we anticipated features that would make it more valuable to use. We made the handles removable with 3 different angle settings and added a repetition counter that faces the user.

Creating an excellent user experience is more than just about the finished product. It involves all the stages of development, taking into account a user’s first interaction, subsequent experiences, maintenance, and the end result.

Making it all work together seamlessly is what we do at Catania.

 

At Catania, We Are Inventors for Inventors

We are inventors for inventors

Click for Video on Inventors for Inventors
We are inventors for inventors

Catania is founded upon the spirit of innovation because every member of the team is an innovator at heart. Most are also inventors. Christine Bralich is just one of those stories.

Christine has been working at Catania for a little more than a year. She is passionate about creating user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing products that provide solutions for customers. She is the perfect fit for the company’s mission and vision.

What is even more remarkable is that in her free time, she continues to create 3D designs and prototypes. In fact, she has equipped her home with a 3D printer just for the moment when inspiration strikes.

One example that comes to mind is Christine’s passion for surfing.

If you’re not familiar with surfing, just know that it involves wax. A lot of wax! In fact, aside from having a good board and some good waves, wax is the lifeblood of surfing. Surfers need to wax their boards before heading out into the ocean so they don’t slip off when that big wave comes. The problem with wax is that it melts, especially when it’s stored in a car with temperatures soaring into the triple digits. This waxy mess prompted Christine to design a surf wax dispenser prototype. The prototype collects the remnants then pushes them up from the bottom of the dispenser, creating a “wax stick” similar to a stick of deodorant.

After making a few adjustments to her dispenser prototype to get it working just right, she no longer has to worry about the wax mess and it is also easier for her to apply the wax to her board. Problem creatively solved!

When Christine graduated from University of Central Florida (UCF) with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, she started her career working in the corporate world, but most days she sat at her desk and did little hands-on work, which hardly satisfied her creative spirit.

“I feel like my impact at Catania is a lot more than my impact during my previous experiences,” said Christine. I get to see every aspect of the design phase of a product. I meet with inventors to get their requirements, come up with concepts for their ideas, model their concepts with the 3d modeling software, and build the final product. I get to work on everything from initial idea to final product,” she said.

What this means for Catania’s customers is they get a team of inventors and innovators that bring them through each phase of the design/build process to get their own products ready for market.

“I cannot think of a job that would suit me better. A job where I’m allowed to utilize my creativity and be super hands on,” said Christine.

The engineers at Catania have a creative flair and artistic approach to every design they do. This helps them envision limitless possibilities for their customers. Simply put, they are inventors who help inventors.

“When you work with Catania to design a product or invention, you are hiring a team of passionate individuals that work together to bring you innovative ideas that ensure the end-user will love your product,” said Stefanie Catania, CEO. “Christine is the perfect example of that. Her life and her designs are meshed together. She is doing what she loves and bringing her creativity and passion to every product she designs for our customers.”

“The majority of our clients, they come to us with an idea, having no sketches, and some high-level product requirements,” remarked Christine. “We have to take those requirements and run with it. We come up with creative solutions to solve their problems.”

“We have had customers who have come to us with ideas and we get back to them with concepts and it is nothing like there is on the market already. We bring them ideas they haven’t even considered.”

If you are ready to hire a team of inventors to help with your own invention or product, “All you have to do is come to us with an idea,” Christine added with a smile.

Christine Smiling

Freedom and Flexibility Create Optimal Work-Life Balance at Catania

Engineers have made some pretty astonishing accomplishments in the past 100 years. In fact, it’s hard not to look at just about everything around you and not be amazed at how far technology has come in such a short time. So, with all these advancements in technology, how is it that the technology industry hasn’t done a better job of engineering a better work-life balance?

Most of us need to work. That’s a fact. But do we need to work on such a regimented schedule that our passion for what we do gets lost in the balance between work and life?

Some companies are slowly changing their view of the traditional 9-5, 40-hour work week to improve quality of life – believing a better quality of life will bring a better product. Catania is one of those companies. Passion is the basis to our success and the driving force behind our decisions; as a matter of fact, it’s the first thing we look for in new team members. Our team’s passion extends to the products we design, but that passion only thrives when it has been given the freedom and flexibility to flourish.

The irony in all this is that time and time again we’ve seen that the overall investment in time ends up being the same. When our employees are given the freedom and flexibility to manage their projects, they consistently return with innovative ideas and methods to tackle those projects. When the project is something they are passionate about, time no longer is relevant. They want to accomplish the vision for the product. In the end, it is a win for both our customers and our team.

Christine Bralich is a Catania Mechanical Engineer whose passion is evident both at work and in her free time.  When not designing for Catania, Christine is passionate about advancing her knowledge in design and 3D printing. She attends Groundswell Startup’s 3D printing meet-ups and competes in their challenges for fun. Groundswell Startups is a Melbourne, Florida-based start-up incubator that helps start-ups succeed. She’s won many of these challenges as well as being a speaker for the event.

Christine working on designs with the team

Ray Catania, CTO, and Stefanie Catania, CEO, are leading the team to have an optimal work-life balance.  They both love to sail, travel and experience the world, and they integrate that passion into their work.

An image of a sailboat sailing and text that says 'Ohana'
Ray & Stefanie Catania aboard their sailing home (picture courtesy of SVDelos)

“We like to bring what we are experiencing in the world to our customers,” Stefanie said. “When we travel, we go to museums, art galleries, or walk around the city to see different types of architecture. Our experiences often prompt creative ideas to complex problems we’ve faced, or it may inspire us to modify a design or process, or even create something new.”

Stefanie adds, “The Catania team mentality is to have freedom outside of work to truly rejuvenate and bring an individual’s passion into their projects at work. We created this company so we could provide a transformative work environment for people. We want the people who work with us to have a life because there is more to life than work. For me, the love of running a company is enhanced by being able to travel with my family and homeschool my kids. Our focus is not to be the next 40-hour work week engineering company, but to create an environment that works for everyone.”

SPOTLIGHT: SwiftPaws® Shows Off Sleek Lure Controller Design at ESPNs Fastest Dog USA Competition, December 2021

SwiftPaws® Shows Off Sleek Lure Controller Design at ESPNs Fastest Dog

On Christmas Day 2021, SwiftPaws® was given the opportunity to show off the latest version of its lure controller at ESPN’s American’s Fastest Dog Competition.

In business for the past decade, SwiftPaws® (www.swiftpaws.com) holds the patent for lure coursing equipment and is currently the only professional manufacturer in the industry.

The competition took place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Three-year-old Reas, a Whippet (a medium-sized breed of English origin descended from the Greyhound), raced the 100-yard dash in 5.669 seconds, with an average speed of 35.36 mph, according to disneysportsnews.com, in order to capture the coveted canine title.

Indeed, “capturing” is the key to winning the competition. In order to be the fastest, canines chase a lure.  Dogs are visually stimulated, and the lure, which they believe to be a rabbit or squirrel, is actually a white plastic bag attached to a string. The lure can travel at speeds of up to 60 mph via a system of pulleys, using a remote control.

“The pulley system and controller are what set us apart from what’s been around,” explained Meghan Wolfgram, CEO and Founder of SwiftPaws®.

The controller uses a trigger mechanism similar to that of a power tool, can be set to various speeds, and can also reverse.

Speed control of the lure is vital to ensuring fairness and equity during such canine speed competitions especially due to various breeds competing against one another. This allows the human controller of the lure to take into account a canine’s personal preferences and idiosyncrasies during competition. 

Ms. Wolfgram of Melbourne, Florida, is a canine aficionado, who wanted to design and mass-produce lure equipment not only for use during competition but to also provide dog lovers everywhere with options for exercising their beloved “best friends” wherever they live and play. From that desire came the creation of SwiftPaws’® products, including the SwiftPaws® Pro Alpha, for competitive use, and SwiftPaws® Home, for indoor and outdoor use.

One week before the competition, Ms. Wolfgram received a call from ESPN asking if she’d like to be interviewed at the event. The next thing she did was call Catania Enterprises. She had a makeshift controller to work the lure equipment which worked but she did not think it looked professional enough to represent her brand.

With only a week to go from concept to prototype, Catania Enterprises had to work quickly and also accurately. There would be no time for second chances. They had to get the controller housing designed correctly the first time around. Because SwiftPaws® and Catania Enterprises are located in Brevard County, Florida, both companies were able to work together in person to make Ms. Wolfgram’s dream a reality. Hand measurements were carefully taken to ensure accuracy, and a housing was created, taking into account previous internal designs that Catania Enterprises had not created themselves. Before one week, the prototype was delivered. Ms. Wolfgram was happy with the results, so much so, that Catania Enterprises has done two additional designs then started mass producing the controllers.

swiftpaws-controller-out-of-3d-printer

Catania Enterprises focuses on mass producing their designs, taking pride in creating “user-centric” products, such as handles or controllers, focusing on aesthetically pleasing designs, as well as ergonomically designed ones.

“They made a miracle happen,” said Ms. Wolfgram of the prototype controller.

To this day, she still receives telephone calls and emails about the ESPN interview and requests on how to purchase SwiftPaws® products.

“We have clubs all over the country that use our equipment,” added Ms. Wolfgram. “We aspire to be the Nike of dog sports.” 

Even though they love to travel, Ray Catania, CTO, and his Stefanie Catania, CEO, realize that Brevard County is still home.

“We take a lot of pride in the companies here. There is a lot of talent in the area,” said Ray Catania.

“There are a lot of engineering resources in our area,” remarked Ms. Wolfgram. “But there is a lack of mechanical engineering resources that know how to work with something that can be injection molded. Designing for mass manufacturing is a real skill.”  

Freedom Plus Creativity Equals Company Culture at Catania Enterprises

freedom plus creativity equals company culture at catania

Catania Enterprises’ company culture is based upon the premise that freedom begets creativity.

Ray Catania, CTO, Catania Enterprises, is a mechanical engineer who has always been passionate about creating innovative solutions. He and his wife, Stefanie Catania, CEO, started their business to help other small business owners and inventors turn their ideas into functional products with an artistic flair.

Before leaving his corporate engineering job in 2018, Ray recognized that the traditional 9 to 5, 40-hour workweek (which has morphed today into an 8 to 6, 50-hour workweek for many technical companies) breeds stress in employees, from the “TGIF syndrome on Fridays” to “I hate Mondays” attitude. After his first son was born, Ray was permitted, by the company he was working for at the time, to reduce his schedule to a 36-hour, four-day workweek, giving him more time to spend with family. A nice by-product of that decision was that he was much more efficient in his work, and a lot happier, too.

The Catanias realize how a happy work-life balance sparks creativity instead of putting out the fire. Having learned firsthand how much more efficient and happy employees can be when given a flexible schedule, the couple encourages employees to design their weekly schedules in order to be more successful in both their work and their personal lives. Because employees are more productive with this type of work arrangement, customer satisfaction is often exceeded.

Therefore, balancing employee flexibility with meeting customer’s needs is key.

“We will never put our employees in a situation where they are being worked to death or aren’t being treated fairly by us or one of our customers,” said Stefanie. “On the other hand, we will never let a customer down and we always ensure their needs are put first whenever possible.

“Most importantly, we want our employees to feel the freedom of the job. If they want to work from a mountain top somewhere in Colorado for two months to go skiing, they can. We will work it out.”

Sometimes face-to-face meetings are necessary, or assemblies need to be made in one location. Many times, however, meetings can be held via Zoom.

The couple has always enjoyed traveling and realizes that changing the scenery once in a while can trigger creativity. Not sitting at a desk every day at the office.

“A lot of the ideas that we have, we get during travel. We will see something in a museum or see a part on an airplane that can give us an idea on how to solve a problem for a client. Or we will be travelling through an area of the country and see a shape of a building which could be the inspiration for the next design of a product we will be working on,” said Ray.

Before Catania Enterprises, both Ray and Stefanie were employed full-time. During their time off, they sailed down the Atlantic coast in increments from Boston to Florida in between their work schedules. Now that they own and run their own company, they enjoy living in their sailboat and traveling the East Coast. When they need to visit or work directly with customers, they live in an off-grid RV that serves as both their living quarters as well as their mobile design lab, which is set up for welding, soldering, 3-D printing, basic milling operations and prototyping assembly. This has allowed them to not only visit with customers face-to-face, but to also provide them with quick-turn and real-time design and prototyping services, without sacrificing their own dream of traveling.

Researching Your Next Idea: 3 Steps to Ensuring Success before Designing

For many inventors and start-ups, success or failure all hinge on proper initial research. This can be one of the hardest things for enthusiastic entrepreneurs to focus on. It is easy to get so excited and emotionally invested in your idea that you do not take the proper time to research your idea for viability and design goals. Failing to properly research your idea can lead to a less than stellar product or worse, a non-viable product that may be too difficult or too expensive to make and sell. We’ve broken down the main steps for the research process below. Follow these steps to give you a solid start on your research!

STEP 1: Feedback is King

Your idea may be the greatest thing since sliced bread. You may be the next great innovator of your time, but finding someone to help make your idea come to life is imperative. So how to you get this great idea out of your head and make it a reality? First, identify someone you trust who has a business mindset and experience in product design.

Once you have taken this first leap , it’s now time to protect yourself and all parties involved by signing an NDA (non-disclosure agreement). The NDA is an essential part of the development process, and you should have one in place for anyone you discuss detailed/technical information of your invention with.

Your qualified design team should be ready to test your products stability with a battery of questions including the ones below.

How does your product/idea solve a current problem?

You should be able to explain what solution your idea brings to the table. Some of the things to keep in mind should be why this idea came into your life in the first place. Is this something you need to help solve a problem in your daily career? Is this a new technology that you see as a useful application in either your professional or your personal life? What are the key features of this idea? Will this idea have value to others in a helpful manner? Are there already similar products on the market?

Be aware that if your idea is not a problem-solving idea, you will need to market to the end-user with different strategies. If your idea falls into a category such as luxury items, toys, novelty gifts, etc, then be sure you are ready to address your target market appropriately. Your idea isno less important, it just will require different ways in which to get it out into the public eye.

Lets talk Competition

Who has it already? Is there a similar product out there; if so how are they different? Is this a newer, more innovative item? What is its worth on the market? How is your idea a better solution than what is currently available? While your idea may be different, it may not be new or the only product available. Make sure that you are searching for similar items by searching multiple criteria.

Are you Special?

So your idea is different than the others, how so? What makes you stand out from the rest? What are the reasons someone should choose your product over the next? Do you have more options, a higher quality product, a lower price? Are you a completely new technology or something totally different?

If at this point you are confidently answering your questions and believe you have something great to stand behind then let’s keep moving forward!

STEP 2: GOALS! What are your goals for this item?

If you found an amazing idea to solve a problem that plagues so many and you’ve adjusted your idea based on research and feedback, you have now made it past the point many before you have failed.

During step 1 you thought about and realized where your concept came from. You know you are going to help many people with your solution. You know that people are waiting to buy your item, or you know that there are people looking to purchase your new want item, i.e. luxury item or toy.

What’s next to think about is the effort you must take to move on to the next phase. It’s time to ask yourself honestly: What’s your personal goal for this project? Where do you want to see your idea end up, what’s your vison? Are you looking to form a personal business around it? Are you looking to be the center of its development, or have someone else run it? Do you have someone in mind for this job? Is this project something to help you transition from your current employment position, and in what timeframe are you looking for? How much time are you willing to commit to the project? Do you have others willing to help develop it? Are you willing to share licensing with others?

Answering these questions openly and honestly to yourself helps to develop your business model. This is especially important if you are determined to lead this business. You need to have clear goals and values outlined from the beginning.

STEP 3: What can you afford?

Let’s be honest here, we all want to make money from our ideas and products. But the adage is true, it takes money to make money and being honest with how much money you are capable of spending to launch your product from the beginning is key. Effort is essential to getting the project done. Effort is a combination of time, money and skills.

Let’s look at the things you need to have to get your project going:

SKILLS:

What skills are you contributing, what skills do you need from others on your team? Are you able to do your own design work? Do you have a background in marketing? What do you know about intellectual property? Do you need designers with mechanical, electrical, software and technical backgrounds? What are the limits of your capability?

TIME:

Is time on your side? You need to look at all your professional and personal commitments to see how much time you have to be involved in your project. If you are going to manage it, how much time will you be hands on with it vs delegating? Do you need to hire someone to ensure the success of you and your project?

You need to be clear about the people and the skills of those people on the team you need to complete your project.

MONEY:

Money can be a stumbling block for many great ideas. Unfortunately, research and development can be expensive. Starting from the ground floor and running with your idea to maturity to marketing and full production will take time and money. You need to know your limits when entertaining the idea of development. Developing things on your own may sound much more financially feasible, but the money you may save could cost you time and your idea may soon become someone else’s. Another pitfall many fall in is taking time and money to develop an idea/product as cheaply as possible, then realizing much must be re-done to truly manufacture the product to get to market. There are many sources of funding you should look into during this phase, including: grants, partnerships, awards, crowdfunding, venture capitalists, angel investors, loans and more.

Remember…. Often, time is money.

So there you have it, start with these steps and work hard, and you will be well on your way to success! We would be happy to discuss any ideas or questions you may come across during your research. Until then, good luck!

Catania on how Groundswell Startups Assist Companies With Venture Capital Funds

We have loved being a part of the Groundswell Startups community and are happy to see such a great article summarizing the hard work and fantastic resources available in one area.

As Groundswell COO Jarin Eisenberg states: “We see Groundswell Startups as being a catalyst for change. We have created a space where people can take risks, pursue their dreams, and do it within a community of incredibly talented individuals who are willing to step in and help. They are deeply invested in each other’s success.”

“Everything you need to get your business started can be found through the connections made at Groundswell,” said Stefanie Catania, CEO/CFO of Catania Enterprises.

Grassroots High-Tech Incubator Groundswell Startups Assists Companies With Venture Capital Funds

Generative Design

Ever wondered how those buildings with web like arches and products with futuristic looking structures are even made? It’s all through generative design! Which can be performed right from the desk of an engineer!

What is Generative Design?

Generative design is an iterative design process which utilizes software and calculations to generate multiple solutions with respect to constraints and multiple variables. In engineering, generative design is partly carried out by a specific technology found in CAD software such as SOLIDWORKS and Autodesk Fusion 360, called topology optimization. Generative design and topology optimization cannot be used interchangeably though, Topology Optimization generally finds a single solution, whereas generative design can use topology optimization and other tools to generate a set of solutions. To put it simply, generative design builds on the foundation of topology optimization to better come up with more fine-tuned solutions.

What is Topology Optimization?

Topology Optimization is a set of processes and software that optimizes a parts structure with regards to user defined constraints and external forces. Although the software optimizes the part, it can only successfully do so when the engineer correctly defines weight constraints, areas of optimization, and loading scenarios. The CAD model shown below has been optimized to use less material while also maintaining the structural integrity to deal with external forces.

How is Generative Design Executed?

In a CAD application such as PTC Creo, a part can be optimized by inputting engineering and non-engineering requirements (such as material availability and cost), the software will then optimize the design and offer a set of solutions, which the user can choose to their liking. Depending on the software, the design can also be optimized for a specific type of manufacturing, such as additive manufacturing or “3D Printing”.

In Fusion 360, a generative design study can be set up in just a few simple steps. First, the model can be analyzed using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) on the original model. In the function tree, depending on the number of parts in the model, multiple geometries or parts can be selected to either preserve their shape or be subjected to the topology optimization. In doing this, the software will avoid certain regions where it will not modify the structure and other regions where it absolutely must.

Next, constraints can be applied to different regions to simulate real life scenarios, where a component may be fixed to a surface and can’t move. Load cases are then applied as needed to the correct regions and the user can also define specific directions. The most important part of the process though, is defining the studies’ “Objectives and Limits”.

The user can select to minimize mass or maximize stiffness as their object and a safety factor as the limit. In doing so, the software knows to reduce mass or maximize safety while referencing a factor of safety. A factor of safety establishes a limit to express how much stronger the design is than the intended load.

From here, the difference between generative design and topology optimization can be seen. The user can now choose which manufacturing method the component will be fabricated by, as well as the material type. The parameters and variables are now all set, and the study is ready to go! Multiple studies are run if needed and different outcomes are produced. The user can then choose or filter the different designs using a filter and FEA results of each different outcome.

What’s the Link with Additive Manufacturing?

When paired with additive manufacturing capabilites, the creativeness of the design and manufacturability is almost endless. The technology of 3D printing offers a wider range of possibilities in manufacturing, when compared to traditional subtractive manufacturing, such as a CNC Mill. A component like one shown below would be almost impossible to manufacture using a CNC mill due to multiple areas the end-mill could not reach and the organic shape produced by generative design. The final design cut weight by 42%, which reduced costs due to material pricing.

Additive manufacturing is also used for rapid prototyping for components. Rapid prototyping can be seamlessly paired with generative design as it offers a quick design solutions which can then be 3D printed in a matter of hours. In addition, 3D printing is a quick way to test the multiple generative design outcomes in a real-world scenario. With the case of complex structures, a CNC mill may take many hours of labor and incur massive tooling and labor costs. Which in turn, can be very detrimental to a business when coming up with a product or providing services.

With all of the flexibility in generative design, the process allows engineers to be much more creative without sacrificing the components intended function. Generative design allows the engineers to focus their skills on solving complex designs, as opposed to manually revising the design and spending time on the revisions. When paired with additive manufacturing, the opportunities for rapid prototyping and testing are endless. Some may say these two technologies were made for each other. Generative design continues to push the boundaries of engineering and is a very promising outlook for the future.

 

Catania Enterprises provides product design services that can be optimized using generative design. Our team of engineers are experienced in providing optimized solutions that satisfy the customer’s needs while reducing manufacturing costs.

Please Contact Catania Enterprises for more information on how we can help you bring your ideas to life.

Follow us on social media for more information on current design innovations!

Form and Function: The Catania Enterprises Approach

A feature on Good Morning America is a big deal for any business, but for a small business, it is game-changing. Groundswell member Catania Enterprises teamed up with Amaranth Vase Company to produce a reimagined flower vase so innovative, it was promoted on Good Morning America’s “Deals & Steals” this fall.

Talk to any entrepreneur and they will tell you that business success is impossible without the right team and some room for trial and error. When Amaranth Vase Company needed help bringing their unique flower vase idea to fruition, they found the budding partnership with Catania Enterprises to be just what they needed to put their ideas in motion.

Raymond and Stefanie Catania of Catania Enterprises recall meeting the founder of the Amaranth Vase Company, Mendel Schectman, years ago. Schectman had an idea for a modern flower vase that made stem trimming and replacing the water much easier, but struggled to find the right company to help move the idea into production. Showing the long-term value of networking, the Catanias and Schectman were reunited and proved to be that perfect team for the project. Together, the partners solved design, engineering and production challenges needed to put the vase into the market. Then, this fall, it was showcased as a problem-solving product from a small business during Good Morning America’s “Deals & Steals.

catania vase

Catania Combines Form and Function

When asked what sets Catania Enterprises apart from other development companies, Raymond highlighted the marriage of design and functionality. “We have a breadth of experience, which helps us to take on nearly any task and run with it with little or no startup time,” he said. “We have the ability to work through even the toughest problems that customers can throw at us. On the inventor side, we strive to provide well thought-out designs that have an artistic and quality feel to them that really helps products stand out in the market.”

In the case of the vase design, Schectman has plenty of experience in online sales and marketing, but needed help with the design and the engineering of the product. Instead of navigating the “form versus function” battle between two teams, they together came up with the current Tapered Diamond design now seen on the vases. The complex geometries posed some manufacturing challenges, but Catania was able to work through the engineering and aesthetics of the final product. It was Catania’s combined expertise that not only saved Amaranth money, but time.

“I especially love when an inventor truly believes in their idea and can make me believe too. That is when I know it is going to be something great. I feed off of their excitement.” – Raymond Catania

raymond

A History with Groundswell Startups

Catania Enterprises has a long history with the Groundswell community, helping companies grow with “The Triad” approach. Customizable for every project, Catania combines each company’s three big needs, technicalscheduling and cost, to come up with a personalized engineering experience. At Groundswell, they began applying that technique to Tomahawk Robotics. Catania provided mechanical design for early projects and has seen tremendous growth since those small beginnings. As the company expanded, and after seeing how Groundswell supported companies through to their successes, Raymond and Stefanie decided to officially join the community. Since becoming members, their portfolio has expanded, providing mechanical engineering help to SwiftPaws, machining services to CFD, and proposal work with Sentry View Systems.

bike 1

What started as a passion project for their two sons turned into another beautiful product

 

Catania has prioritized networking over the years, and has worked with many companies. But what makes Groundswell Startups so unique? According to Raymond, it’s the level of member support. While traveling and networking along the east coast, they said that while they met amazing people at other incubators, “none of them compared to Groundswell’s ability to take an interest in your company and introduce you to others that can help you both succeed. It is these connections and passion for helping others that sets Groundswell apart.”

IMG_20200614_202349Raymond & Stefanie love to travel and gain inspiration from the people they meet and places they go

When Catania looks to the future, one thing is clear: growth. Catania Enterprises is excited about the possibility of expanding their team. However, it is not a process they take on lightly. Catania values relationships and quality of service, so they make sure that every member of the team upholds those values to their high standards. That way, all who work with Catania Enterprises can be confident that they are investing in a long term, exciting and successful partnership.