Innovative Packaging Equipment Manufacturer Quickly Retools Designs in SOLIDWORKS



The Company

Packaging equipment manufacturers have traditionally needed as long as two years to perfect their designs. Once introduced, equipment would typically continue to meet customer requirements for up to a decade.
Today, the packaging industry is on a faster track. Even state-of-the-art equipment has a life expectancy of only a few years before being superseded by something better. Hartness International of Greenville, South Carolina, has kept pace by introducing packaging equipment with exceptional versatility and exciting options, such as high-tech diagnostics and a unique finger grid system that facilitates quick repair during production.

The Challenge

Hartness had committed to delivering a specific model of its dynamic accumulating conveyor system (DYNAC) to a customer within four months. Two months into the project the customer changed the specifications of the containers it expected the equipment to handle. "The machine we had intended to install in their plant was no longer suitable," recalls CEO Bern McPheely. "But the customer still expected us to meet their delivery date." With the target date looming engineers began scrambling to find product design software that would help them redesign quickly. "We didn't have time to make any mistakes," comments McPheely. "We had to see the machine before going to metal."

The Solution

With SOLIDWORKS, Hartness engineers were able to design assemblies and test them before building any parts. Using SolidWorks CAD software to design the new product, Hartness engineers were able to shorten the design and manufacturing cycle from five months to just two months.

The Result

  • Lowered number of prototypes needed by 50 percent
  • Cut an entire month from product development cycle
  • Saved 5 percent in development costs
  • Reduced number of design errors

"Using SOLIDWORKS software, we have clearly experienced a reduction in design errors, which means fewer modifications need to be made."

Dwight Crotty
Engineering Manager Hartness International