Back in 1897 an unsuspecting mathematics instructor at the Princeton University by the name of Charles Hinton created a device that would forever change the way the game of baseball was practiced. Hinton created the first gunpowder-powered pitching machine. By 1952, the pitching machine was re-invented to better mimic the release of a pitcher. Nearly three quarters of a century later, mass production of pitching machines in a variety of styles began. Today, any little league baseball player is likely to come across a pitching machine once or twice in their career. Pitching machines are a great way to get a batter comfortable behind the plate with extra reps while future Cy Young winners and strike-out kings hone their skills.
JUGS Sports has evolved the design of the pitching machine to a new level. They moved past the baseball and softball market to develop throwing machines for soccer, tennis, field hockey, and even cricket! Not only does every Major League Baseball team use JUGS machines, every National Football League team and the professional cricket teams in India and Australia have JUGS throwing machines. Matching the competitive nature of these expanding sports is the demand for high-quality throwing machine. Product line manager Greg Anderson explains, “Over the last 10 years, as competition exploded, JUGS Sports set a new direction to revitalize our product development operations, increase product innovation, and expand our product line into new areas, particularly the emerging youth recreational market.”
To meet these goals some have accused JUGS of using the steroids of 3D design systems, SOLIDWORKS. “It was immediately obvious that SolidWorks was the perfect fit for us,” Anderson says. “Our development is a unique blend of artistic and technical design elements. SolidWorks is easy to use and enables us to capture both aspects in the development of new products.”
By implementing SOLIDWORKS into its production regimen, JUGS trimmed the fat, successfully cutting time from design to prototype in half by reducing development time by 50 percent. Need not forget, SOLIDWORKS is also a powerful tool that has increased productivity and expanded product lines to capture a larger youth market.
Check out the full case study here to find out more about how JUGS Sports, Inc. utilized SOLIDWORKS to cut down on design and development time to increase practice time and build the athletes of the future.