Compiled ByJill Jusko Oshkosh, Wis.-based Leach Co., a manufacturer of rear loader packer bodies for refuse collection trucks, used MSC.Software Corp. technology to reduce product-development cycle times by cutting back on the number of physical prototypes required. Leach employed MSC.visualNastran 4D (vN4D), a Windows-based desktop simulation tool, to redesign a mechanism on a refuse truck that lifts and dumps containers. The simulation tool applies physics-based motion to design models and uses those results to run preliminary stress analysis. "As a result of using vN4D, we cut the number of prototypes in half. Now we're making only two prototypes for a design instead of three or four, which has reduced the time to get a new product into production by three months and reduced costs" says Mark Wittak, Leach senior design engineer. "More importantly, we're able to figure out if a mechanism will work and how it will work before we ever build it." MSC.Software is headquartered in Santa Ana, Calif.