Mars Invests In Digital Packaging Development


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Chicago — Mars, Inc. is collaborating with engineering software company Ansys, Inc. to adopt simulation software to reimagine the packaging innovation process at the company through digital technology. Mars says it will leverage the simulation approach to perform virtual testing and prototyping on new packaging innovation, initially across its snacking portfolio.

According to the company, the multi-physics simulation technology minimizes the need for extensive physical testing during the packaging development process and provides insights into various aspects of the production phases, including wrapping, drop tests, and failure scenarios.

The partnership reflects Mars’ ongoing efforts to achieve its aim of using 100 percent reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging for its products.

The implementation of simulation software, the company reports, is set to facilitate a more nimble, digital-first development environment at Mars, spanning from design to manufacturing, making the process easier and more efficient for its R&D team as the company looks to expedite the pace of progress across its packaging ecosystem.

Researchers at Mars have already reported reductions in development time of up to 40 percent through computer modeling and in the quantity of plastic purchased by Mars for testing by approximately 246 tons.

The company 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. 

“In the world we want tomorrow, no packaging becomes waste,” says Qing Qi, VP R&D global innovation, 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.”

“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.”