The Serbian Chamber of Commerce’s Iskorak Godine “Step Forward” award recognizes businesses in Serbia that go above and beyond their peers to innovate and drive positive change in their industry. One of the most recent winners of the prestigious accolade is Inmold, a family-run business and specialist in high-quality injection molds for plastic and non-ferrous metal.
The award acknowledges the steps the Serbian manufacturer took to further strengthen its reputation as a global industry leader in state-of-the-art equipment for plastic packaging, as well as being a socially responsible company. Forward-thinking and highly adaptable, Inmold embarked on a digital transformation and business process modernization initiative in 2017, and continues to nurture and support local talent through its education program with local schools. These efforts enabled the business to grow at an impressive rate, despite challenging global market conditions.
“We have diversified our product portfolio and invested in new machines, equipment and technology, enabling us to achieve record growth in the past year,” said Slobodan Jankovic, deputy CEO and business development manager at Inmold. “Our customers choose us as our molds and robots are easy to use, reliable, easy to maintain, high quality and low price. The company is 15 years old, but our knowledge and experience in plastic mold making goes back much further. The company depends on its people, and we are committed to developing them. It’s been key to our ability to diversify and has enabled us to develop a resilient business.”
As Inmold sets its business on course for further growth, it continues to focus on bringing sustainable innovations to market. This includes developing the mold and production robot for the lightest one-liter plastic bucket. It weighs just 24.5 grams, almost 30% less than the industry standard. Inmold’s engineers designed the thin-wall injection molding and in-mold labeling solution using Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE® platform.
“We are renowned producers of some of the world’s lightest thin-wall packaging,” Jankovic said. “Our one-liter bucket mold is a prime example of this. One mold saves 200 tons of plastic per year. It shows how we’re responding to market demand to reduce the amount of plastic being used. Low weight packaging needs new generation materials; and technologies and the 3DEXPERIENCE platform will help us create ever lighter and faster packaging solutions.”
Low weight packaging needs new generation materials; and technologies and the 3DEXPERIENCE platform will help us create ever lighter and faster packaging solutions.
Driven by its desire to use the latest industry-leading technologies, Inmold moved to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to keep pace with its fast-growing business and to continue to deliver the highest quality products possible. As a user of Dassault Systèmes’ 3D design application CATIA to design its molds and automation solutions, the platform’s wider product and project management capabilities impressed Inmold.
“We realized we needed more powerful technology as the company expanded,” said Rade Joksimović, technical manager at Inmold. “We investigated what we could find on the market, and it made absolute sense to go with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. It has the capabilities to support all business departments and allows us to centralize our data so that we’re all working on the same platform. We’re really pleased with what it has enabled us to do so far and we are confident it will scale with our business needs.”
Two of Inmold’s largest design departments – packaging mold design and automation design – are up and running on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Being able to design right first time and achieve extreme precision is what enables Inmold to make the molds for the world’s lightest thin-wall packaging.
“I work in the packaging mold design office and we’re already seeing a big transformation in the way we work,” Joksimović said. “Before, we had CATIA users who worked on design projects independently and then we had to go through a process of synchronizing all their work. This sometimes created mistakes and problems, such as particular part designs not fitting together as we’d used different measurements. Now, we don’t have those issues to contend with and we can focus on creating molds and machines that produce the most lightweight packaging. It’s a very complicated process but, using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, we’re saving time and have the design capabilities to develop molds with new generation materials, which enables us to create innovations like the lightest one-liter plastic bucket.”
With quality top of mind, Inmold also takes advantage of the project management capabilities of ENOVIA on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. This ensures full traceability throughout the product development process and keeps project milestones on track.
“We use ENOVIA to define and manage the key product development milestones and deadlines,” Joksimović said. “We store all reports for controls and testing in the platform and keep track of everything to ensure delivery targets are met. We are now working on integration between the platform and production planning to optimize our manufacturing operations and increase capacity.”
Dassault Systèmes business partner Solfins worked closely with Inmold throughout the implementation, delivering ongoing support and training to ensure Inmold gets the most from the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
“Our partnership with Solfins goes back many years,” Jankovic said. “They have a highly experienced team of experts that can help us with any questions we have about the platform. Their expertise was invaluable at the beginning when we were getting used to the platform. They were on hand to help us with any issues and really showed us they were invested in making this a success. When you’re changing the way you work completely, you need a partner you can truly rely on, and they went above and beyond to demonstrate that.”
Inmold now develops all new molds and packaging robots in the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Since the implementation, productivity increased and time to market is faster than ever.
“In the past, it was impossible to work together on one project,” Joksimović said. “Now, it’s normal. All information is shared on the platform. Concurrent engineering has become a reality for us, which is a big advantage. With the platform we’re getting all the input for all products connected in one place, and all information can be easily accessed by the people who need to see it. There are no mistakes or confusion, which makes it easier to maintain quality, but it also means we can produce more molds than ever before.”
ENOVIA centrally stores all of Inmold’s designs and projects, allowing it to create an easily searchable archive.
“We used to start each project from zero and see it all the way through to the end, but now we’re beginning to reuse designs from past projects,” Joksimović said. “In that sense, CATIA on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform is very powerful. Our engineers can pull up previous designs and use them as a strong basis for each new project. If we’re designing a mold that is already at the 50 to 60% completion stage, we can work much faster. We are halving design time.”
CATIA’s advanced modeling capabilities ensure Inmold’s engineers get designs right the first time and consider all aspects of the entire product development lifecycle to avoid any issues arising in production.
“We are working so much faster and more effectively than before,” Joksimović said. “We have greater confidence in our designs and that sense of reliability carries all the way through to production and beyond. Now, everyone can collaborate seamlessly on the same data model.”
It’s a very complicated process but, using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, we’re saving time and have the design capabilities to develop molds with new generation materials, which enables us to create innovations like the lightest one-liter plastic bucket.
Inmold is a strong advocate of developing a skilled local workforce. Not only did the company choose the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to optimize its business, but it also wanted to empower its people by giving them the opportunity to work with industry-leading technology.
“We have recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of our high school education program,” Jankovic said. “We started this program with the goal of preparing students as best as we could for the working world and upskilling the workforce to future proof our company. More than 200 students have been through our program and gone on to work for us. It is really important that these students and our own workforce have access to the latest technologies so that they can develop their skills further. By using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, we’re staying one step ahead of our competitors and keeping our younger users engaged. They enjoy using the software and want to work for us as they know we’re constantly investing in the latest technology.”
The 3DEXPERIENCE platform also helps Inmold to support customers in developing regions and drive growth in local economies.
“We work in 40 countries around the world and want to help developing regions build thriving economies,” Joksimović said. “For example, we are involved in setting up a new packaging plant in Zambia that will create many new jobs in the local area. We have found that there are many companies in less developed areas that would like to produce high quality packaging, but they don’t have an equipment supplier. Now, as we’re working faster and better ourselves, we can pay more attention to these up-and-coming businesses and provide them with the molds and automation they need to compete effectively.”
With two of its main design departments working better and faster than before, Inmold now looks to roll out the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to the rest of the company.
“In the next few years, I’m sure we’ll at least double the number of users we have on the platform,” Jankovic said. “Our next goal is to work more on the interconnection between each of our departments to share their experiences and best practices so we’re really working as one company. The platform will help by keeping everything in one place and making it far easier to share information.”
Through its close partnership with Solfins, Inmold developed a strong foundation and understanding of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform from which it now can scale up and build new capabilities.
“Together, we spent a lot of time upfront defining our workflows and learning how to use the platform,” Jankovic said. “Our efforts are paying off. It is making the rollout across the rest of the company far easier. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform has become integral to the way we work and is key to the future success of our business.”
Established in 2006, Inmold is a family-owned company, specialized in the production of high-quality injection molds for plastic and non-ferrous metal. A global supplier to the packaging and automotive industry, the Serbian manufacturer designs and makes injection molds for thin-wall packaging and technical components, as well as IML robots.
For more information: https://inmold-ltd.com/en/
Solfins is an authorized Dassault Systèmes partner for Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. The company has extensive experience in the implementation of advanced industry software solutions, including CATIA, DELMIA, SIMULIA and ENOVIA on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Solfins’ leading consulting and project management team proposes and executes the best possible tailored solutions for your company.
For more information: https://solfins.com/en_US/