Designers of packaging machinery face a set of challenges, but with the right tools designers can help their companies prevail in the marketplace. Five discrete challenges are contributing heavily to packaging machine design success or failure, according to 3D CAD manufacturer, Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks (DS SolidWorks), who are represented in Australia by Solidtec Solutions .
DS SolidWorks explore these challenges and solutions in a whitepaper called ‘Streamlining the Design of Packaging Machinery,’ and in a pod cast and a Web site. The company is using this same framework to optimise SolidWorks 3D CAD software for packaging machinery design. Following are the five discrete challenges that are contributing to packaging machine design success or failure:
Cost: A design team’s ability to drive down cost from the earliest stages of a proposal dictates its success in winning contracts and securing profit margins.
Flexibility: Customers are demanding packaging machines that do more than one thing and can quickly adapt to a range of changing tasks. The same machine, for example, might need to package candy one day and cookies the next.
Reliability: Buyers of packaging machines will no longer tolerate equipment that fails to work as advertised. This means machines must handle specified capacity without interruption or failure. Packaging line slowdowns and shutdowns can devastate profits.
Modularity: Customers expect packaging equipment that is configurable based on the job at hand, and is upgradeable as improved equipment becomes available. Packaging machine operators should be able to swap out components as easily as PC users swap out graphic cards.
Energy Consumption: Energy is expensive, and choosing the right motors, actuators, and controllers can affect power consumption, a critical concern for both the environment and the bottom line.
In the whitepaper, DS SolidWorks propose a combination of software capabilities, methodologies, and best practices to address the packaging design challenges. Solutions involve 3D simulation, integrated control software, configurations, and proper specification.
According to Kathleen Maher, Senior Analyst, Jon Peddie Research, packaging machine designers want to design the machine, select the right controls, preview everything moving on the screen, and detect any weaknesses, failure points, or interferences as they make their decisions. The approach defined by DS SolidWorks enables them to do this and help to ensure little problems do not grow into big ones.