Conventional wisdom to the contrary, the packaging of a product is as important to commercial success as the formula for what goes inside that package.

A well-designed package sustains the integrity of the product from manufacturing, through shipping and shelf life, through its application by end users. Along the way, it must contain the product, keep contents from deteriorating, protect it during shipping, market it, and then properly dispense it. If the package breaks down at any point during this cycle, consumers are likely to reject the product as subpar, whether the actual product has performed as expected or not. 

Top-loading simulation of plastic bottle

Engineering simulation can serve as a valuable tool in guiding the designer through different phases of the process, providing insight and detailed information along the way. Whether the container holds a beverage, shampoo, or household cleaner in a plastic molded bottle or thermoformed box, there are similar functions the package must perform.

Ensuring that a bottle or box will make it through the complex packaging process is key. Designing for proper dispensing is an engineering task that involves modeling fluid structure interaction and major thermal effects. Manufacturing concerns include electromagnetic effects that occur during sealing as well as acoustic phenomena and discrete particle modeling. Various mechanical, explicit and drop tests ensure that a package and its contents can hold up under regular use. A virtual packaging system (VPS) can take engineers through all these complex design challenges before any physical prototypes are tested, saving money and time in the design process.

Creating environmentally friendly packaging adds another layer of challenges to the design process; yet it’s necessary to create this type of packaging as consumers demand alternatives to waste-producing packaging. The development effort that goes into new designs and materials, including new composites, for this packaging means even more rounds of testing. Virtual prototyping allows engineers to test a large variety of iterations to come up with the best solution for a product.

Engineering simulation tools from ANSYS offer unequalled technical depth to investigate potential weaknesses of a product or a process, and to optimize them in a cost-effective way. The savings in cost and time to market can make the difference in the competitive consumer products packaging market.

  • Glass bottles
  • Plastic containers
  • Film
  • Trays