One of the great benefits of 3D CAD software has been that it allows product developers to easily share digital models, with all their design intent and history, downstream.
Manufacturing, marketing, technical documentation, and part suppliers all use the digital model to make the product a success—long before the first physical prototype rolls out of the lab.
But there’s someone in the supply chain we rarely consider sending our models to: Transit packaging. That’s the company that provides the corrugated boxes, pallets, crates, cushions, and foam, used to pack everything from cans of soup to iPads.
“In general, our industry takes a low tech approach,” says Danny Harrison, business development manager at Nicklin, a packaging firm based in the UK. “So one specification used to carry a product that weighs a ton will be used to carry every other product the weighs a ton.” Click the video for more of his remarks:
While one-size-fits-all thinking may have worked traditionally, times are changing for packaging companies. For example:
Nicklin and Concurrent Engineering are introducing engineering software into a traditionally low-tech industry.
Nicklin worked with PTC partner Concurrent Engineering to address challenges like these by adopting engineering software, including Creo 3D CAD software, simulation, and PTC Mathcad for engineering calculations.
“If a customer supplies us the CAD drawing of a product, we can model packaging around that,” says Harrison. Using simulation software, Nicklin then optimizes the shipping material to be cost efficient, low waste, environmentally sensitive, and more.
“Our approach helps us bring something innovative to the market,” says Harrison. “Something that's not easily replicated by our competitors and ultimately gives our customers cost, environmental, and safety benefits and also for their customers across the logistics supply chain.”
Want to learn more about how simulation can drive the design of better products and increase margins at your company? Download our free eBook, Best Practices: Better Design with Simulation.