3D Design software experts Innova Systems have announced that their SOLIDWORKS design and engineering package was extensively used in the development of the squeezable bottles now used for the iconic brands of Marmite and Colman’s Mustard. Design consultants Pemberton Dear undertook the engineering design of the bottles for the Unilever project. Peter Chapman’s Innovation Generation was commissioned by Unilever to manage all aspects of the re-packaging of these two household names. Peter Chapman selected Pemberton Dear to design the Marmite bottle and subsequently the Colman’s bottle.
Using SOLIDWORKS, Pemberton Dear generated a series of design concepts that could be quickly circulated around the Unilever team for comments using eDrawings. Once a general direction had been chosen SOLIDWORKS was able to quickly and accurately give substance to the technical and marketing challenges of the brief.”I know now that SOLIDWORKS can get me out of just about any tricky situation that our clients throw at us,” said Stephen Dear.
SOLIDWORKS is a 3D engineering design package that is now used by over 3 million engineers, designers and architects worldwide. It is renowned for its ease of use and its ability to help designers create 3D models in a virtual environment. It is also capable of assembling and even testing the design in this virtual environment, enabling engineers to perfect the design prior to real world production. “Basically when you stop squeezing, the bottle stops pouring” said Stephen Dear of Pemberton Dear, “It may seem obvious, but with a product like Marmite it wasn’t as easy as it sounds.
SOLIDWORKS helped in so many ways. Everyone loved the photo-realistic renderings we could output. The Unilever marketing team was able to access images quickly and use them in early focus groups. As comments came back we could quickly modify the solid model and send out updates in next to no time. Later on, due to pressing timescales, it was decided that we should short-circuit the usual model-making and rapid prototyping and go straight to pilot tooling. With SOLIDWORKS I was confident that it wouldn’t be a problem”. Key to the design was the sculpting of the body and the thickness of the walls. SOLIDWORKS’ ability to shell a body with differing wall thicknesses was essential, with 1mm front and back, thickening to 2mm at the sides. It was essential that the bottle had “good suck-back”, to draw the Marmite yeast extract cleanly back into the body of the bottle, leaving the nozzle relatively clean time after time, while also consistently returning the bottle to its original shape after use.
Apart from its ability to quickly deliver different shape iterations of the bottle and then move swiftly into tooling, SOLIDWORKS gave Pemberton Dear the ability to work out and then generate label outlines for Unilever’s graphic agency, before any prototype bottles had been generated on the pilot tool, including the tricky tamper-seal that runs over the cap. “I know now that SOLIDWORKS can get me out of just about any tricky situation that our clients throw at us,” said Stephen Dear. “More and more it has become the backbone for our wide variety of design projects, which range from bottles like Marmite through to bathroom fitting and scientific instruments. SOLIDWORKS copes with them all”.