Case study 3

Weight optimisation

 

Starting situation

We have been manufacturing a lid for an internationally well-known premium ice cream brand for many years. In order to remain competitive in an increasingly competitive environment, rationalisation potential was being looked for.

Industry

Ice-cream manufacturer

Strategy/reason

Weight reduction

Task

To achieve a reduction in weight by modifying the current lid. It was essential for the appearance and the overall quality impression to remain the same. The new lid should be processed on the existing filling systems without mechanical modifications.

Implementation

Different lid variants were designed and analysed using in-house, state of the art CAD (Computer Aided Design) and CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) systems. The necessary process parameters such as filling behaviour, filling pressures, cooling and shrinkage behaviour etc. were determined using computer-assisted simulations. The computationally best variant was then implemented in a sample tool. The result of the sampling were very similar to the simulation results.

The mechanical properties of the lid have changed due to the thinner walls, meaning that the capping process within the filling system no longer worked perfectly. By means of extensive material tests, a special material combination was determined which safeguarded the required mechanical properties of the lid in combination with the material-saving geometry.

Following successful system tests, this geometry was then implemented in the series production tools.

Result

The weight of the lid was reduced by about 20 % using the computer-assisted new development . By using a special material combination, the mechanical characteristics were almost unchanged, meaning that problem-free transfer to the filling plant was guaranteed.

Customer benefit

The development time and costs were dramatically reduced by using simulation tools. The customer and the environment will benefit from the significant weight reduction. Production was able to implement the conversion to the new lid without modifications or adaptations to the filling system.

Result

Improvement to

  • Weight saving
  • Development time/cost