As new products are designed, including valve bodies and the parts that comprise the finished valve, prototypes must be created. How that is achieved is what makes the difference in how long it takes to get development done and the product to market.
Prototyping is exceptionally challenging in the valve industry due to the complex, multi-component parts. In the past, all these components would require a full set of custom tooling to prototype. According to Jeff Kane at DFT Valves, tooling is hugely time-consuming and expensive for valve prototyping.
It takes time to create the tools, then build the parts and see if the design works properly the first time. If not, revisions could take many more weeks—anywhere from several weeks to as much as six months, and the cost could be upwards of $500,000 to get a valid prototype. Then the prototype would have to go through testing, validation and verification.