United Glass invests in 3D design system
that could help it influence product design for leading drinks
companies such as Scottish Courage and Anheuser Busch.
PTC has signed a contract to supply United Glass (UG), one of the UK's leading glass packaging companies, with its successful Pro/Engineer product suite and its collaborative design management solution Pro/Collaborate.
The deal, worth £250,000, will enable UG to become the first glass company in the UK to offer its customers an end to end 3D design service.
UG hopes the solution will reduce the cost of new product development from failures of sample bottles and improve productivity. The company is also looking to PTC to help reduce the time taken to bring new products to market by up to one third, thereby improving the response to customer requests and raising service levels.
3D visualisations of finished products have become common since United Glass introduced the concept in 1992. Despite this, all glassmakers still create the actual bottle design using two-dimensional drawing packages and do not actually move to 3D until the mould is manufactured.
The PTC solution will mean all phases of design are implemented in 3D thus reducing potentially costly errors arising from misinterpretation of 2D drawings.
United Glass is one of the UK's leading suppliers of packaging solutions to the UK drinks industry and the company has major facilities in both Harlow in Essex and Alloa in Scotland.
The purchase of Pro/Engineer and associated hardware will enable designers to present and share 3D bottle models with customers using the Pro/Collaborate.
The investment will also reduce lead times taken to introduce a new product, by enabling bottle and mould drawings to be undertaken concurrently.Pilot implementation has begun on the project and United Glass proposes to have its entire design centre equipped with and fully trained in Pro/Engineer by September 2002.
Commenting on the contract win, PTC's Northern European marketing director, Nigel Rodliffe said: "United Glass is a company that is leading its sector by putting the development of market leading products at the forefront of its business strategy.In the fast moving and fickle world of consumer brands, innovative packaging can play a key role in a product's success."
Keith Reynolds, design centre manager at United Glass, said: "This is a major step change for the design process in our industry.Initial feedback from our designers and customers is that the 3D drawing environment is going to improve both the creative output and the efficiency of our design department.
In addition, we expect the benefits to be felt right through the supply chain from our mould makers, through manufacturing and delivery to customer service," he added.