Soft and alcoholic drinks, perfume, pharmaceutical products or chemicals are frequently filled and packaged in PET bottles, cans and shaped plastic containers. Founded in 1951, the company Krones AG, based in Neutraubling in Germany, specializes in the development of this type of container. Both design and stability are key factors when it comes to development. The containers need to be capable of withstanding logistical processes and transport conditions, such as possible top-loading when filled and stacked on pallets for transportation by truck.
Troublefree data transmission
Krones had already been using software for many years to validate its bottle designs. The system used previously took up to 30 hours or more for each bottle design iteration. As Krones was already using NX CAD software from Siemens PLM Software, the company took the decision to move over to NX for its CAE functions too. The geometry data from NX CAD can now be seamlessly transferred into the NX CAE environment, and geometry modifications can be quickly and intuitively carried out using the in NX CAE integrated tool Synchronous Technology. Wall thicknesses can now be simply integrated into the simulation model – previously a time-consuming and laborious process which had to be performed by hand. Because it has now been possible to automate this step, the processing time required has been cut from between four and eight hours to just one.
Four times the speed
Simulation of top-load conditions has also been optimized. “The implicit NX Nastran solver with the feature of low-speed dynamics is well-suited for the top-load analysis we are doing at Krones,” states Thomas Albrecht, a simulation expert at Krones. Using NX Nastran has slashed the solution time required to around a quarter.
Krones is also looking to speed up the validation process – by using an automated wizard for top-load simulation. Developers currently have to await feedback from the analyst group before they are able to proceed with refining their designs. The aim is now for the CAE analysis team to create an automated wizard for top-load simulation using NX Open, the CAD and CAE programming interface available within the NX environment. This will mean that the developers can perform an initial top-load simulation using NX CAD, allowing them to act independently of the analysis experts and speeding up the whole process.
Arno Haner, Head of PET packaging design at Krones, sums up the benefits: “NX is the preferred and probably the only environment available on the market that scales simulation from expert analysts to the design community. Our ultimate goal is to take a three to four-week process down to just three to four days. The ability of designers to use simulation during design with NX will help us achieve that goal.”