Apr 30, 2011

Solid Edge reduces development time for packaging machines by 70 percent at Uflex

Uflex Engineering Division, a unit of Uflex Limited, designs and manufactures printing, packaging and converting machines (for cutting and packaging large production materials, usually roll stock, into smaller, more usable sizes and shapes). Founded in 1984, Uflex has 415 employees working at facilities spread over 11 acres near the Indian capital of New Delhi.

Uflex’s machines are used around the world to package everything from shampoos and cosmetics to pillows and mattresses. The company has introduced breakthroughs in packaging technology, such as the use of holograms. It has also received numerous international awards, including the WorldStar Award for Packaging Excellence and another for Design Innovation of the Year from Unilever.

Uflex’s goal is to be a one-stop packaging solution, providing cost-effective and innovative equipment that ensures the safe delivery of products to consumers. The company is also working to become a world leader in the field of packaging machinery. “The way to being a world-class player is paved with state-of-the-art facilities blended with world-class practices, and it shall be our endeavor to soon be placed among the top ten international players,” says Ravi Sharma, senior vice president at Uflex.

Leveraging 3D

To meet these goals, Uflex needed to accelerate the development of its machines, while maintaining high levels of product quality. A key part of this was an upgrade from a 2D computer-aided design (CAD) system to an advanced 3D solution, specifically Solid Edge® software from Siemens PLM Software.

70 percent reduction of development time for new machines
Fewer design errors
Less rework
More accurate cost estimates
Lower prices for new machines

Solid Edge was chosen over other 3D CAD solutions for a number of reasons. “Solid Edge has better technology, and we could see that it would be easy to learn and easy to deploy,” says Sharma. “In addition, the support from Siemens PLM Software’s channel partner, Avantha Technologies Limited, was better than what we would have received if we had gone with other programs.” Uflex implemented Solid Edge in its design and research and development (R&D) departments. The company received training in Solid Edge from Avantha Technologies Limited and also has on-site support from Avantha when necessary.

Faster machine design, fewer errors

Since implementing Solid Edge, Uflex has seen significant gains in efficiency and productivity. “We are now able to manufacture and deliver more machines,” says Sharma. One of the ways Solid Edge does this is by greatly reducing the number of design errors, which has reduced rework on parts and assemblies.

Sharma credits the superior visualization capabilities of Solid Edge. “When we create a digital assembly of a machine in Solid Edge, we can find problems, such as interferences, that we would have missed when we were using 2D drawings,” notes Sharma. This improved level of visualization is having a positive effect on sales and marketing too. He explains, “We show virtual machines created in Solid Edge at demonstrations for customers and at trade shows. Solid Edge helps us get the order.”

In addition, using Solid Edge, Uflex quickly generates bills of materials (BOMs) from the information in the 3D assembly models.

70 percent faster product development, significant financial benefits

Uflex has reduced the development cycle for new machines by 70 percent since the upgrade to Solid Edge. This not only helps ensure on-time delivery of its machines, it also allows the company to differentiate itself from the competition, an important part of its strategy for becoming a world leader in its industry.

The effect of Solid Edge on the company’s bottom line has been a reduction in costs enabled by a dramatic drop-off in rework. Solid Edge has a financial benefit for Uflex’s customers as well. Since installing Solid Edge, Uflex has been able to lower the prices of new machines. Other important benefits of Solid Edge include more accurate cost estimates, increased product quality and higher levels of innovation. With Solid Edge, Uflex is delivering packaging equipment that preserves, protects and displays products, as well as packaging lines that operate at among the highest production rates compared to its worldwide competition.