Composite Technology Development, Inc. (CTD) custom designs, manufactures and tests innovative materials and products for the energy, defense, and aerospace markets. A woman- and minority-owned small business, CTD receives numerous grants focused on developing and commercializing products needed in the government arena. These government programs have also led to commercial R&D and testing contracts. Founded in 1988, CTD is located in Lafayette, Colorado, and has 30 employees.
Through a combination of novel materials and insightful engineering, CTD has developed many new technologies and products that meet true market needs. However, with staff focused primarily on development and innovation, CTD needed help getting products to market quickly and efficiently to capture market share and maximize profits. To address this, CTD approached Manufacturer’s Edge (ME), a NIST MEP affiliate, for guidance and expertise in product development, commercialization processes and program management methods.
Experts from ME led a cross-section of CTD staff, including leadership, engineering, product development, and sales, through a series of trainings, including Rapid Cycle Product Introduction (RCPI), Project Management workshops and Lean/Six Sigma training. RCPI sparked a fundamental change in how CTD develops new products: all development activities are viewed through the lens of customer needs. Using RCPI methods, CTD collected, analyzed and implemented customer needs in the product development process like never before.
Combining insights from RCPI and processes from the Project Management and Six Sigma workshops, CTD launched its newest product, the Portable Array Module (PAM™) for Expeditionary Power, which is already responsible for over $11 million in new sales to the U.S. military. In order to support PAM™ sales and enable Portable Solar for Expeditionary Systems’ business growth, CTD formed a new company, Nishati Inc., that is focused on the solar power market and meeting the needs of the U.S Military. CTD will be leveraging the Six Sigma training provided by ME to help Nishati establish a Lean manufacturing process and institute quality procedures.
The RCPI process was a key factor in CTD’s ability to define the customer’s critical requirements and to develop a product that met the customer’s needs.Patrick Hipp, Vice President, Business Development