What’s the best way to bag sea worms and keep them fresh and wiggling?

GKS Packaging, a European company that builds produce-bagging machines for supermarkets, was recently asked to design equipment to pack live sea worms for bait and scientific research. The bags needed to be filled with ocean water and enough oxygen and nutrients for the worms to survive transit for 10-12 days. Needless to say, their regular lettuce-packing machines weren’t going to do the trick.

When you’re customizing industrial equipment, you just never know what challenges your clients will throw at you next.

Based in the Netherlands, GKS Packaging specializes in "no nonsense" flexible packaging solutions for all businesses, ranging from small companies to large industrial pack houses. GKS offers an extensive line of vertical form, fill and seal machines which are completely developed, designed and built in house. The company, which recently switched from SOLIDWORKS® to Onshape, also builds weighing systems, dosing systems, conveyor belts, and platforms to customer specifications.

“Each conveyor belt or special weighing system we build is a new design using standard components we’ve used before,” says GKS Packaging CEO Ivo Geukes. “When we were using SOLIDWORKS, it would always end up in a mess, especially when you had more than one person working on it.”

“Keeping track of which parts we already had for the assembly and which ones we needed to produce was always difficult. Excuse my French, but using a PDM system was always a bitch,” he adds. “If you want to work on a part, but someone else has already opened it, you can only open it as read-only. Data management was always a hassle.”

Eliminating the need for a PDM system altogether, Onshape’s built-in real-time data management is perfect for teams. When anyone on the team makes a design change, everyone else instantly sees it. No need to check-in or check-out files. Unlike with old file-based CAD systems, there is no longer any confusion over which version is the latest version. There is a much reduced likelihood of manufacturing the wrong part.

GKS Packaging, which designs and manufactures an extensive line of vertical form, fill and seal machines, recently switched from SOLIDWORKS to Onshape to take advantage of modern CAD’s built-in data management.

Geukes recalls also frequently running into problems with broken assemblies when he was designing his machines in SOLIDWORKS.

“If you had to make a hole bigger on a part and then open the old assembly, suddenly the whole thing changes and the left side of the screen turns red. It’s your own fault, because you were there when you did it, but it’s frustrating spending hours redoing your old work,” he says. “With Onshape, I now really appreciate the ability to branch a design and create versions. You really have to try your best to screw up an assembly.”

Those last words are worth repeating: “You have to try your best to screw up” when you’re designing in Onshape. That’s quite a compliment, underscoring the reasons why our company was founded – to let engineers focus on doing their best work versus dealing with the aggravating setbacks of file-based CAD.

To learn how other leading machinery companies are streamlining their processes with Onshape, get your free copy of our “Modern CAD for Machine Design” eBook today!