Aptec, a Florida company that specializes in plastic product design, has signed on to be one of the first users of a new Web-based design product created by a Hewlett-Packard Co. subsidiary. The product, dubbed OneSpace, allows molders, toolmakers, designers and their customers to meet in a virtual conference room and share data in real time. H-P's CoCreate Software Inc. subsidiary touts the program's ability to help companies outsource product-development work via the Web.
Aptec, previously known as Advanced Plastics Technologies Inc., connected with CoCreate in April and has OneSpace sessions almost daily. In one early project, the program helped solve a problem with a mold-cooling system on a multicomponent assembly project early in the product development cycle, according to Aptec of Ormond Beach, Fla.
A half-hour brainstorming session between the Aptec team in Florida and the mold maker in Wisconsin identified revisions that improved performance and quality while keeping the quick-turnaround project on schedule.
More than 10 other firms also use OneSpace now, said Gary McCormack, a spokesman for Fort Collins, Colo.-based CoCreate. OneSpace was an outgrowth of CoCreate's three-dimensional product modeling software, he said. The program allows users to avoid traditional file-transfer methods and related telephone and facsimile communication.
Jeff Badovick and Thomas Morris II left positions with automotive supplier Florida Product Engineering in Ormond Beach to found Advanced Plastics Technologies in January 1998. The firm adopted the Aptec identity two months ago and is making the transition to business-to-business electronic-commerce product design and development.
Initially, the firm provided professional engineering services for automotive, consumer electronics and appliance markets.
Aptec employs nine, occupies 3,000 square feet and recorded 1999 sales of $530,000. Morris projected that this year's sales will exceed $1 million.
Badovick, Aptec's chief executive officer, has experience in engineering management and, earlier, tooling design and construction. He started his career in his father's tool and mold shop in Macedonia, Ohio.
Morris, Aptec's chief intelligence officer, recently has focused on computer simulation after working with polymer materials and injection molding processes.