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Simulation software: Mars partners with Ansys for digital packaging makeover in snacking sector

#Simulation software: Mars partners with Ansys for digital packaging makeover in snacking sector

14 Mar 2024 — Mars has announced a new collaboration with US-based engineering software giant Ansys to adopt simulation software that can “reimagine the packaging innovation process” at Mars through digital means. According to the company, Ansys’ technology can minimize the need for extensive physical testing during the R&D processes.

Mars will begin by trialing the new simulation approach with virtual testing and prototyping, initially across its snacking portfolio.

Mars says the collaboration will also provide in-depth insights into various aspects of complex production phases, including wrapping, drop tests and failure scenarios for its household brand names like M&M’S, Royal Canin and Snickers.

“In the world we want tomorrow, no packaging becomes waste,” says Qing Qi, vice president for R&D global innovation at Mars Snacking.

“This vision is at the heart of our multi-billion dollar Sustainable in a Generation plan and will only become a reality by taking unconstrained strides, leveraging breakthrough science, innovative thinking and partnerships to push the boundaries of what’s possible.”

Innova Market Insights pegged “Digitalized Circularity” as its top trend for 2024, noting that industry players are increasingly embracing digitalization to improve their environmental impacts, automate supply chains and avoid greenwashing litigation.Ansys simulation solutions set to supercharge Mars’ packaging development process with potential to cut development time by up to 40%.

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“Digital-first environment”
Mars’ collaboration with Ansys ultimately aims at the CPG giant’s goal of using 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging for its products.

The implementation of simulation software is intended to facilitate a more agile, “digital-first development environment” at Mars, spanning from design to manufacturing, making processes easier and more efficient for its team of R&D experts.

“We continue to see the impact and potential of simulation and digital engineering in progressing sustainability initiatives throughout the world,” says Walt Hearn, senior vice president of worldwide sales and customer excellence at Ansys.

“Mars has successfully implemented the pervasive insights of Ansys simulation to optimize its design and packaging processes. Mars’ more sustainable approach to development sets a terrific example for other manufacturers to adopt new solutions that move us all toward a cleaner planet.”

Researchers at Mars have already reported reductions in development time of up to 40% through computer modeling and a drop in roughly 246 tons of plastic used for testing.

The food and pet care provider also says it is working to redesign more than 12,000 packaging types across its portfolio to fit with the recycling infrastructure that “either exists today or is likely to exist in the future,” making it easier for consumers to recycle their packaging.

By Louis Gore-Langton

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