Delivering Fresh Produce from the Fields to the Grocer with SOLIDWORKS Software


Cool Pak LLC

The Company 

Do you ever wonder where the blueberries and strawberries that you add to your morning cereal grew? Do you ever think about when your fresh produce was harvested, or how far it traveled to arrive at your local grocer? In all likelihood, the only questions that you have concerning produce are these: How fresh is it, and how good does it taste?

Making sure that the answers to those questions are “very” and “great” is the job of Cool Pak LLC. As a key supplier of packaging to growers, shippers, repackers, and other food suppliers, the company designs and manufactures a variety of trays, tills, tubs, clamshells, and domed containers that are used to package, transport, and sell fresh produce. The company’s staff combines decades of experience in agriculture and packaging—acquired through its long family history of manufacturing and distribution in California—with a commitment to innovation in the design and production of packaging solutions.

The Challenge 

Until recently, Cool Pak contracted its design and mold development work with outside consultants. However, as the company grew and customer demand for innovative and environmentally friendly packaging solutions increased, Cool Pak needed to establish its own internal design capabilities, according to Product Development Manager Leo Lira.

“I was hired to build a department and transition product design and prototype mold development in-house,” Lira explains. “Cool Pak is growing as a company, and we need to increase productivity to compete successfully. We also need to address new requirements from our larger chain customers, such as giving them the opportunity to approve new designs in advance. New traceability regulations from governmental agencies also require us to have greater control of the process.”

The Solution 

Cool Pak chose SOLIDWORKS® design software because it is easy to use, facilitates mold development, and is fully integrated with the Gold Partner Certified CAMWorks™ machining system, which the company uses to run its CNC equipment to create tooling.

“I felt that in order to build a department and get it up and running quickly, SOLIDWORKS software was the obvious choice,” Lira says. “Because it is easier to learn and use—particularly for working with mold developers and creating prototypes—"We are leveraging a variety of materials and technologies, and SOLIDWORKS solutions enable us to more quickly coordinate the development of new products. "SOLIDWORKS software was simply the logical solution.”

Results in Brief

  • Cut development cycles by 75 percent
  • Moved from design to prototype mold in a single week
  • Reduced waste throughout customer supply chains by over 35 percent
  • Built internal design capability

“With SOLIDWORKS software, we have the tools we need to grow our business and develop the innovative green packaging solutions of tomorrow,” 

Leo Lira 
Product Development Manager