Raising $10,000 for South Brevard Sharing Center – Catania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Stefanie Catania
CEO
321-236-0007 ext 701
scatania@cataniaenterprises.com

Catania Product Development Raises $10,000 for South Brevard Sharing Center in Annual Charity Auction 

Company event focuses on living local, giving local.

Melbourne, Fla. (December 16, 2022) – At its 2nd annual Live Local, Give Local event held on December 9th at Groundswell Startups, Catania Product Development, a product-design engineering firm out of Melbourne, Florida, raised $10,000 for the South Brevard Sharing Center (SBSC), a non-profit, community-based agency whose mission is to support, strengthen and empower families to achieve self-sufficiency in south Brevard County, FL.

Live Local, Give Local provides a platform for local businesses and individuals to give back to their own community. The event features local food and entertainment while attendees bid on auction items of which 100% of proceeds are given to a local charity. This year’s proceeds more than tripled last year’s total and double the company’s goal for the evening. In addition, the value of this year’s charity auction items was $10,000, coming from over thirty Space Coast individuals or organizations.

“We understand the value of connection and wanted to provide a way for local individuals and businesses to learn about each other in a relaxed, fun atmosphere,” said Stefanie Catania, CEO of Catania Product Development. “In 2021, after our first annual party, I felt we could do better and involve the whole community by giving back to the locals most in need. This led us to finding SBSC; their goal of helping people achieve self-sufficiency inspired us in how they solve problems, which is something we do every day through our product design.”

“We are so grateful to Catania Product Development for hosting this extraordinary event. We were blown away by the support from the local business community at groundswell. The success of the event sends a clear message of their dedication and compassion to help those in need in our community,” said Pamela Huffman, Executive Director of the South Brevard Sharing Center.  

The Mission of the South Brevard Sharing Center (SBSC) is to support, strengthen and empower families to achieve self-sufficiency. Assistance includes food, clothing, household items and financial vouchers for prescriptions, utilities, rent and other miscellaneous items through case-managed services. Seasonally, the SBSC also provides food and gifts over the holiday season to qualified residents. 

“Groundswell’s mission is to cultivate Space Coast innovators to build, grow and thrive and we are proud to watch members of our family give back to raise our community and those in need, showcasing how our mission positively impacts the Space Coast,” said Jarin Eisenberg, COO of Groundswell Startups. 

To learn more about Catania Enterprises, visit www.CataniaEnterprises.com

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Catania Product Development is a Brevard-based startup that focuses on artistic designs that elevate the user’s experience.  Their team is passionate about their projects, resulting in designs that the end-user will love and delivering engineering services in the most efficient and productive ways. 

Reverse engineering to develop a better product.

Person looking at a custom designed wheel, with the title reading "Design for Manufacturing: Simplifying with Reverse Engineering".

Ever torn something apart or broken something down piece by piece to see what’s inside? 

In the process did you discover something new, like how it was made? 

I know that I have. Recently, I took apart one of my son’s remote-controlled toys and what I found was that it was surprisingly complex. It was full of small gears, circuit boards, and each piece was well placed inside its designated area. It gave me a bunch of new ideas for our products and was a successful practice in reverse engineering. Except the part where my son wanted me to put it back together to play with.

Reverse engineering is a commonly used practice and one we use a ton around the office at Catania. Because we work on such a large spectrum of products, reverse engineering has become a valuable process. As much as we like to believe we are experts at everything, we are not. Reverse engineering is an educational tool that saves time and money by allowing us to take something that has already been engineered and fabricated, and learn from it. This helps us to better design products that we can specifically tailor to our client’s needs. It’s so critical to our internal processes that we decided to write out the steps and share how it’s done.

How do we reverse engineer a product? 

Let’s use one of our recent projects, the AbSculpt, as an example. For this product, the customer wanted to build a first of its kind bi-directional resistance ab roller with a wheel that offers more stability and size for the athlete. 

In designing the wheel, we had multiple challenges. How do we create the tire? What size of tire should we use? What materials would be right for the tire and product and how do we mold the rubber of the tire to the rim? It was not easy.

We followed these 4 steps.

Step 1: We Looked for a Similar Product

First, we designed a concept and created a prototype for the project, so we knew what the wheel needed to look like. We were able to find a similar product at a local supply company. But it’s more common for us to search the web. 

We try to find something that fits into the design, taking into account the size and shape, but just as importantly, the cost. This tells us that if someone else can make it within our budget, we should be able to make a comparable product at a similar cost, and in this case, that’s exactly what happened. 

Step 2: Disassemble and Analyze  

Before dissecting the tire, or anything else for that matter, we look to see what we can learn from the outside. 

With the tire, we looked for what process was used to manufacture the rim (injection molding, casting, etc). In this case, both the tire and the rim were made with  injection molding. 

Next, we looked at where the parting lines for the tooling were placed. This helped with the design for manufacturing aspects of the shape.

To learn how the wheel and tire were mated together, we cut the assembly in half. This was necessary because we needed to see whether the tire was overmolded onto the rim, or if it was a second part that was assembled later. 

Step 3: Implementation 

We took what we learned from Step 2 and came up with a design for a product we felt confident would work. 

Then we took what we had to the manufacturers and asked for additional feedback. This allowed us to make the final changes to optimize the design for their particular manufacturing processes. 

Step 4: Review 

This is a product that will be mass produced and sold commercially. Cost, durability, functionality, and style were all variables that we fine tuned to make a product that will be successful. In order to change one of these variables, we must understand how it will affect the others. This is the delicate balance that is required for success. 

With a working prototype in hand, we examined every step from design to manufacturing to make sure we solved the problem in the best way possible. 

At Catania, we don’t reinvent the wheel. We just make it better.

From mailbox to MilaBox, Shipping Rethought

An artistic mailbox with words overtop reading "The MilaBox, A Look at Catania Design Process".

“Find a job you enjoy doing and you’ll never work a day in your life.”  Mark Twain’s famous quote is more than just lip service. It’s our mantra.

Passion is contagious. It flows from one person to another, feeding the energy and drive from employees to customers. The projects that have the most success are those that our team and customers are most excited about. When we have these types of projects, our passion for design and product development translates into helping our customers realize their dreams. 

Customers come to us with a dream of a product that they want to be made into a reality. In order to give them the very best experience and end product, we have to share their passion for the project. If we don’t, then we know we’re not the best fit for them. That’s why we pursue work we know we will be great at and help potential customers find a team better suited to their needs when we are not the best fit.

A good example of a recent project that inspired us is the MilaBox. MilaBox is a creative new look at the traditional mailbox. This design took the ‘bread loaf on a post’ look we all know and turned it into a smart mailbox – an exclusive experience in receiving and delivering mail packages. 

Before we started the project, we went through several iterations of concepts and styles. We reviewed and onboarded the customer with our team. We then worked with the customer to get the exact design he wanted for his product launch. What we came up with was pretty AWESOME.

How Our Passion Translates into Artistic Production

Focusing our business development to match our skill sets ensures that when we take on a project, we’re giving it more than 100%.  Working on something that you’re both good at and enjoy doing, creates a more efficient work flow and creates a better end product. 

OUR STEPS TO GETTING STARTED

  1. Initial Consultation – we learn about clients and our clients can learn about us. 
    • If we aren’t the best fit, we help them find a team that is. 
  2. Research & Concepts – we deliver several conceptual ideas of an idea for a low-cost, fixed fee.  
    • We don’t expect anyone to sign any contracts with us before knowing how we may approach their idea. 
  3. Review & Initiate Design Phase Contract – once concepts are delivered, customers can then decide to move forward with us or take another path.

These steps have allowed us to better tailor the level of complexity and future costs to the customer’s needs.  This is a win-win for both our team and our customers where they better understand how we are going to approach their project and we better understand how we can best meet all their needs. 

The Catania team takes our customers’ projects seriously. We want to be passionate about what we deliver and passionate about what we do.

Catania is WHERE PASSION MEETS INNOVATION.  

Come check us out!

 

 

 

Corporate Office
2412 Irwin St.
Melbourne FL 32901

The Future of Ab Workouts – 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 work, 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.

 

SwiftPaws Shows Off Sleek Lure Controller Design on ESPN

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 and 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.”  

How our Form and Function got us on Good Morning America

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 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.