The Reality of Innovation

Many, if not all, of our clients are looking for the “next big thing” in their industry. Ideation and brainstorming activities are usually a good starting point in trying to discover them. These creative gatherings are usually focused on generating new concepts and provoking thoughts that are untethered by any type of constraints. It is fun and exciting to think up new ideas if we ignore how they might actually work or be produced. Phrases like “thinking outside the box”, and “blue sky thinking” mean that there are no limitations and all solutions are possible.

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THE CHINESE TOOLING PUZZLE

A large part of Catalyst’s business is producing rapid, prototype, and bridge plastic injection tooling for our clients. In fact, few vendors who specialize only in tooling can consistently build the complex plastic injection molds that we do in the lead time or price that we do it. But, in quoting situations sometimes we hear “I have a quote from China that is less than yours”. When we hear this, we think of the little Chinese finger puzzles that are popular at kid’s birthday parties. The key is to relax, think about why you are trapped, and then escape.

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New Product Perspectives & Trends for 2019

Many companies returned from the holidays with a focus on 2019—finalizing financial targets, planning new product introductions, completing budgets. No doubt, there are discussions taking place on what worked, what didn’t, and where to improve. For those of us that work in product design and development, it is a time to look at past product introductions and assess their successes (or their challenges).

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Catalyst Converts to All LED High-bay Lighting in Production Area

Catalyst recently replaced the halogen lighting in their production area with 44 new, energy efficient LED light fixtures. The new high bay LED light fixtures were installed above the CNC and EDM machining centers, over the short-run assembly department, in the injection mold tool room, and the plastic injection mold production areas. 

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Catalyst Fights Hunger with Gleaners Food Bank "Hunger Doesn't Take Time Off"

How do you beat a competitor that never sleeps and is everywhere at once? By outworking it! This can be pretty challenging when your competition is hunger.

“In just Indiana alone, there are over a million people who do not have enough food—a third of which are children,” remarks Catalyst President, Jack Lawson.

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The Seven Deadly Sins of Product Design

A product’s design defines its functionality and also gives it life, beauty, and meaning. However, sometimes during the design process things go horribly wrong as if Satan himself had possessed the product. Here are the seven deadly sins of product design that should be avoided to keep your design from becoming a disaster of biblical proportions.

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How to Choose the Right Rapid Tooling Partner

While some failures can lead to new discoveries and opportunities, “success challenged development” often only succeeds in consuming valuable time and budget. Errors caught early in the process such as during prototyping, can be quick and inexpensive to address. But, errors discovered further downstream are usually more challenging to remedy. And, time lost to errors deep in the development cycle is not only more difficult to recover, but also very costly. Obviously, the solution is to identify challenges early in the design process—often easier said than done.

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