German Packaging Machine Maker Hinterkopf Cuts Design Time, Speeds Products To Market With SolidWorks

SolidWorks, COSMOSMotion, and SMARTEAM Used To Design Production Lines, Troubleshoot Errors, And Manage Data or Plastic Tube And Aluminum Can Production

CONCORD, Mass. — January 13, 2002 — Germany-based Hinterkopf Company will use SolidWorks® three-dimensional computer-aided design (3D CAD) software to design the automatic production lines that make everything from plastic toothpaste tubes to aluminum aerosol cans used around the world, SolidWorks announced today. SolidWorks allows Hinterkopf engineers and designers to easily create and refine large assemblies so they can reduce design time and quickly bring their production systems to retail manufacturers. Hinterkopf is the latest of hundreds of domestic and global packaging machinery and materials handling manufacturers to rely on SolidWorks to stay competitive in their markets, including Corning Inc., Hartness International, McKee Foods International, and Bosch Corporation.

A pioneer in employing automation to streamline production of aluminum cans, and aluminum and plastic tubes, Hinterkopf has set a standard for developing continuous-production and high-speed cap assembly lines to make everyday packaging, including external decoration and printing. A variety of industries, including pharmaceutical and cosmetics, use this packaging for their products. Because some of Hinterkopf’s clients demand around-the-clock production, the machinery must be durable while meeting exact engineering specifications. The company has purchased 30 licenses of SolidWorks software to accelerate product design time, reduce production errors, and fine-tune large assemblies so it can deliver machinery faster than with other CAD packages. It is also using SolidWorks SMARTEAM® product data management (PDM) software to manage all of the design data it generates and COSMOSMotion™ to analyze those product designs in operation.

For example, Hinterkopf engineers designing a shaving cream can production line must make sure that the arm for the transfer machine that handles the cans does not collide with the machine tools in place during production. Troubleshooting potential design errors ahead of time allows Hinterkopf to deliver a dependable finished product more quickly than with any other CAD software package.

“We build our production lines in a modular fashion, and each assembly can have more than 5,000 individual components in a production line that is 120 meters [394 feet] long,” said Helmut Aichele, director of research and development at Hinterkopf. “All of these machines must be perfectly aligned to allow our clients to meet their demanding production quotas. This requires exact engineering in a short time period so that we can help our clients respond to market pressures. SolidWorks, COSMOSMotion, and SMARTEAM allow us to quickly and efficiently meet our clients’ needs so they can remain profitable.”

COSMOSMotion allows Hinterkopf engineers to study large assemblies in motion so they can see where potential problems could arise, such as collisions between moving parts. Aside from overall data management, SMARTEAM also allows Hinterkopf engineers to more easily define and classify product features in their designs and display these designs in different languages.

“Hinterkopf is a leader in its field, as demonstrated by its global customers,” said Michel Gros, executive vice president, Europe for SolidWorks Corporation. “Using SolidWorks software in conjunction with COSMOSMotion and SMARTEAM will help it tailor its aluminum can and plastic tube and sleeve production machines to fulfill its customers’ requirements, while meeting tight deadlines. SolidWorks has set the standard for 3D CAD software that easily handles large assemblies while still helping designers reduce design time.”

Hinterkopf works with SolidWorks reseller SolidLine for ongoing software implementation, training, and support.

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