3D CAD SOLIDWORKS Case Study Crownzeller

Looks like Santa Claus brought an early Christmas present to the Design Engineers at Crown Zeller, the world’s leading manufacturer of packaging products for consumer goods.  The Libertyville-based manufacturer makes high-quality closures and dispensing systems that can be found in various markets worldwide such as Food, Beverage, Health & Beauty and Household & Industrial.

Gordie Beth, a design engineer, came to Crown Zeller about seven years ago.  After 17 years as a mold maker, Beth also had extensive exposure to rapid prototyping, computer-aided manufacturing and computer-aided design, with ProEngineer as his primary CAD tool. 

Within the past six months, Crown added SOLIDWORKS to its engineering design toolset, and Beth couldn’t be happier.  He said that a Crown Zeller German division had already adopted SOLIDWORKS, but compatibility alone was not the only deciding factor.  They were also in search of a very powerful, yet easy-to-use design system.

“With SOLIDWORKS, it seemed like everything just clicked and it worked great,” said Beth.

SOLIDWORKS is so user-friendly and intuitive, it’s no wonder why it was such a good fit for Crown Zeller, a company that prides itself on innovation, technology and experience.  Crown pioneered snap-hinge technology and patented a special “butterfly hinge” which revolutionized the industry.  SOLIDWORKS has enabled Crown Zeller Engineers to continually promote these innovations, without spending excessive time doing so.

“One of the application engineers at CATI gave me the idea of using SOLIDWORKS’ design tables,” said Beth, who was introduced to the time-saving product enhancement while attending a training course at CATI.  He explained that they have hinges, neck finishes and seals that are used over and over, but require minor modifications in order to fit specific containers properly.  With assistance from CATI’s application engineers and instructors, Beth was able to customize a design table so these parts do not have to be designed manually for each project.  Rather, the software automatically updates the parts based on the necessary configuration.

“All you do is input two numbers in the table and it creates the hinge for you.  That can literally save days of work in a given project,” Beth said, explaining that it can take up to eight hours to manually design a hinge from start to finish.  “This does it in a matter of minutes.”

Beth also mentioned that he has spent some of his time preparing a design library within SOLIDWORKS.  This is a feature that neatly organizes various standard-sized parts that are frequently used, and makes them easily accessible to the entire Crown Zeller Engineering Team, also saving critical design time.

But while the design tables and design library features within SOLIDWORKS have been proven very useful, Beth also mentioned that working with CATI’s training and support staff adds even more value to using SOLIDWORKS.

“I have leaned very heavily on CATI’s technical support engineers, and they’ve done a great job.  I can’t praise them enough for the support they’ve given me,” said Beth.

Sounds like SOLIDWORKS and CATI should be on every Engineer’s Christmas list!