Constar International Inc., a global supplier of PET containers for F&B markets, has designed i-Design™, a proprietary software-based solution that automates the time-intensive modeling and analysis required when designing new packages. This, the company claims, will enable users to develop custom packages, make complex changes to an existing package, and even configure three-dimensional optimized pallet patterns. Projects that traditionally have taken as much as 40 hours of intense design by an experienced packaging engineer can now be done in a matter of minutes.
At The Packaging Conference, Mike Mooney, Constar's director of Design Engineering, demonstrated a sample i-Design project. In less than 10 minutes, he created a 20-ounce six-panel hot-fill bottle, changed the label panel height, improved the waist design to achieve a lighter weight, converted the overall structure from six-panel vacuum to Constar's horizontally banded Vertical Compensation Technology™, optimized the design for pallet pattern, created preforms based on the new bottle's specifications, and printed finished CAD drawings of the new, improved bottle. Further, the company asserts that after implementing i-Design, it has succeeded in slashing product development timelines-in some cases by as much as 90% and reducing material costs by optimizing the material in a package and increasing sustainability. Mooney and the Constar team use i-Design-which incorporates the company's CONSTruct™ advanced predictive engineering software-to quickly explore and identify new, tightly engineered packaging options for customers that leverage design, performance, materials usage, and costs.