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MSU to demonstrate CAD/CAM package design

After a major fundraising campaign, Michigan State University's School of Packaging dedicated its completely new computer-aided-design and manufacturing system Feb.
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27. The system will allow students in the packaging program to design folding cartons or corrugated boxes on a computer using the latest software. That program can be downloaded onto a sample table for exact cutting scoring and printing. The new system valued at more than $150 was made possible through the generosity of Artios Corp. (Irvine CA) the developer of the software and the Inland Foundation represented by Dwight Schmidt of Inland Paperboard & Packaging (Indianapolis IN). Schmidt who also chairs MSU's Alumni Board says the new software and equipment will help not only undergraduates but also industry which can use the equipment for research and small numbers of samples. The School of Packaging has installed ArtiosCAD programs on a network of computers. Each computer is linked to the Artios/Kongsberg CM1930 Premium Line sample table. Once a structural design is generated on the computer it is downloaded automatically to the table that cuts and creases board up to 70" x 115" in size. On the sample table MSU has purchased the Illustrator2 graphics toolhead. This high-resolution ink-jet system applies process printing in up to 600-dpi resolution to the carton or box board. "The School of Packaging is a major contributor to the industry" says Dale Quayle vice president of worldwide sales for Artios. "The CAD/CAM equipment is a token of our appreciation." In addition Artios has volunteered to maintain the system and to provide software upgrades as they become available at no cost. Although other packaging institutions have computer-driven cutting tables it's believed that the Michigan State installation is the most modern and complete. "Not only can the designer create the structural design with its die-cuts and creases but he or she can also produce the graphics right on the sample at the same time" says Quayle. "Anything that can be printed on a flexo press can be done by the printhead on this table." Schmidt emphasizes that the responsibility for packaging specifications has largely shifted from packager to supplier. "Both Inland and Artios have hired packaging graduates. The fact that Michigan State will now be teaching on a CAD/CAM system used by 70 percent of the packaging market will make [those graduates] even more attractive to the market." And Quayle adds demand for designers knowledgeable about CAD/CAM is far greater than the supply. According to Dr. Bruce Harte the new tools will be demonstrated in several classes this spring and will become a routine part of at least four courses this fall. The CAD/CAM system will also be available for independent projects and research. Along with Artios and Inland foundations associations and packaging companies helped with donations. Funding came from: Intl. Corrugated Packaging Foundation Institute of Packaging Professionals-West Michigan Chapter MSU Technology Fund Textile Bag Manufacturers Assn. (in recognition of Don Walker) Amway Corp. Bates Container Greif Brothers Laimbeer Packaging Rock-Tenn Sealed Air Pactiv Inc. Teich Packaging Artios and Mr. and Mrs. Dwight Schmidt.

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