Global Manufacturer Of Beverage, Food, And Aerosol Cans Uses 3D CAD Software To Make Manufacturing Machines That Turn Out Millions Of Cans A Week
CONCORD, Mass. — January 6, 2003 — The company that you usually have dinner with is using SolidWorks® three-dimensional computer-aided design (3D CAD) software to improve the machines that produce one-third of the world’s food cans and one-fifth of its beverage cans, SolidWorks announced today. Crown Cork and Seal (NYSE: CCK) uses SolidWorks to make its machines run faster and more efficiently so they can meet increasingly demanding production schedules.
Headquartered in Philadelphia, Crown Cork and Seal is a $7.2 billion (2001 sales) global packaging product supplier that makes everything from soda, food, and aerosol cans to plastic bottles and lipstick cases for customers around the world. It has 208 plants in 45 countries and produces about half of the aerosol cans and one-fifth of the beverage cans in North America, generating roughly 2 billion beverage cans in November of 2001 alone. The company’s global research and development operations have standardized on SolidWorks software to migrate from static 2D designs to 3D solid modeling and streamline the overall design cycle from as much as 20 weeks down to eight. Its engineers use SolidWorks to retrofit existing machines used for aerosol, food, and beverage can production.
“Crown’s production lines must operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year just to meet consumer demand,” said Joe Domijan, Crown Cork and Seal’s manager of three-piece metals engineering. “We’re constantly retrofitting them with new designs to meet the changing demands of our production plants. SolidWorks 3D CAD software lets us immediately spot and anticipate design issues and resolve them before we try the part out on a plant floor. That is an invaluable benefit and it helps us achieve our production and quality goals.” Domijan and his team put SolidWorks software to the challenge soon after receiving it. They had to make several design adjustments to an inserter, a machine that inserts a component into a container. What would normally have taken nearly 10 weeks to complete the design and testing in 2D, took only five weeks with SolidWorks. Using SolidWorks also eliminated the need for building a prototype.
“With AutoCAD, we typically had to produce 2D drawings and give those to the CAM [computer-aided manufacturing] manager so he could re-create the drawings in 3D to produce the parts,” said Domijan. “By the time we had the parts made and operating in the machine, it would take anywhere from 16 to 20 weeks. With SolidWorks we can achieve this in half the time, allowing us to save up to 12 weeks in design time. That’s an entire fiscal quarter. The reduced design time lets us turn out more product and capture more business.”
Crown Cork and Seal also uses SolidWorks eDrawings to streamline design collaboration by e-mailing 3D designs to the tool shop and the plant manager for their feedback. Domijan added that SolidWorks’ short learning curve helped the research and development team quickly begin designing parts in SolidWorks and shaving time off design cycles. Crown Cork and Seal also considered products from Autodesk, Think3, SolidEdge, and UniGraphics before choosing SolidWorks.
“Crown Cork & Seal’s business challenge is very straightforward. Produce more packaging products faster, more efficiently, and at a higher quality,” said John McEleney, CEO of SolidWorks. “And the company has found that’s not an easy task in 2D. SolidWorks has set the standard for establishing a clear migration path from 2D so that global manufacturers like Crown Cork and Seal can reduce design time, eliminate production errors, and meet their manufacturing goals to maintain worldwide leadership.”
SolidWorks reseller FISHER/UNITECH provides Crown Cork and Seal with software training and support.