Better, Faster, Smarter CPG Innovation

By Rosemary

Maintaining financial viability while delivering innovative, environmentally-sustainable products may be the most important business issue confronting Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies today.

Faced with a global recession, ever-changing consumer preferences, and higher development costs, CPG leaders want solutions that provide Better…Faster…Smarter innovation.

Leading CPG companies are finding success deploying Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) practices. As a strategic pillar for creating business growth, PLM enables:

Better innovation while providing open, yet directed collaboration across the enterprise, and with consumers and suppliers

Faster innovation through efficient use of internal and external resources and repeatable phase-gate processes

Smarter innovation by efficiently capturing and re-using intellectual property (IP) and value chain capabilities throughout the product development process

PLM practices drive organic growth by linking a company’s innovation engine intrinsically to its business strategy and empowering management.

“How do we develop new, successful, and environmentally-sustainable products, at a competitive price, and increase profitability at the same time?”

Stay tuned! I’ll be tackling this question in a blog series over the coming weeks . . .



How Do You Mend a Broken Heart?

By Tim
Courtesy Sunshine Heart

Courtesy Sunshine Heart

While I know that I should eat well, exercise regularly, not smoke, and have regular checkups – I don’t always do these healthy things, which puts me at greater risk for developing a heart condition. 

Apparently, I am not alone. I just read some staggering statistics on Heart Failure (HF) at the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. Five million people in the United States suffer from HF and 500,000 more are expected to join their ranks each year.  According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the 2006 costs associated with HF in the U.S. was 29.6 billion dollars.

Thankfully, there are many bioengineering researchers in the world who are using realistic simulation technology to study the heart and associated medical devices in amazing levels of detail.

Click to view animation of Stent analysis using Abaqus FEA

Click to view animation of Stent analysis using Abaqus FEA

Performing realistic 3D simulation of the human heart and medical devices requires being able to model human tissue, blood flow, nonlinear structures, and complex contact between the devices and the heart. SIMULIA has developed robust finite element analysis (FEA) and multiphysics technology within the Abaqus Unified FEA product suite.  This technology is being used by bioengineering researchers to simulate realistic physical behavior of the medical devices interacting with the heart, arteries, and blood vessels.

One of those researchers is Dr. William Peters, a cardiothoracic surgeon and and founder of Sunshine Heart in New Zealand. His patented C-Pulse has recently been accepted for human trials in the U.S. The device consists of a cuff that wraps around the aorta that inflates and deflates a membrane against the vessel’s external walls. This process makes the aorta pulsate in time with the heart, augmenting blood flow through the circulatory system and reducing the strain on the entire heart. Check out the complete case study here.

Milton DeHerrera Ph.D of Edwards Lifesciences  is another innovative bioengineer. At the 2009 SIMULIA Customer Conference, he presented a paper on the “Numerical Study of Metal Fatigue in a Superelastic Anchoring Stent Embedded in a Hyperelastic Tube”, coauthored by Wei Sun, Ph.D from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Connecticut. Their research is intended to  improve the virtual representation of human tissue and medical device interaction.

Adding to the complexity of developing medical devices is that ‘one-size does not always fit-all’. Dr.   Ken Perry has a cool medical device simulation blog site detailing his use of FEA and associated validation processes. Check out a couple of his recent posts – Identifying Worst Case Device Sizes and FEA and the FDA .

These dedicated researchers are helping to develop amazingly innovative and effective treatments that are truly capable of ‘mending broken hearts’. Now that I am aware of the alarming heart failure statistics, I plan to take a little more initiative in trying to keep my heart healthy.

Pass the fruit, veggies, and oats…will you join me?

Take care

PS: This is part 2 of my ongoing series on how realistic simulation is being used to improve medical devices and enhance the quality of our lives, stay tuned.

What’s in your CPG innovation pipeline?

By Rosemary

Better, faster, smarter innovation. Sounds pretty good right? This is a consumer packaged goods (CPG) mantra.

If you work with new products in a CPG company, are you working to improve in-market success for your new product introductions? Are you trying to do this faster than ever, garnering higher market share and revenue more quickly, particularly in this economy? And are you working with fewer resources to get the job done?

The answer is simple and consistent: all of us are!

The more tricky question is how?

Consumer packaged goods companies work toward this “Holy Grail” everyday, bringing their consumers products that meet their changing needs in a fast paced, competitive environment. These are products that are sold in large quantities for a low price. One consumer goods company has $84B in sales revenue and sells most of their products for $10 or less! Think about that.

These are products that are consumed, literally. Personal Care products like toiletries, soaps, lotions or teeth cleaning products. Household items like laundry detergent, household cleaners and disinfectants. It includes food and beverages products that you use and enjoy every day. And it also includes beauty products, like make-up, skin care or cologne.

So how do manufacturers keep up with the changing demands of consumers worldwide?

This is a challenging task, often in an environment of fragmented systems, with functions working independently and little collaboration with global peers. And language barriers add an additional level of complexity.

It seems to me that there is a lot of value waiting to be had for many companies who can solve this conundrum.

Common practices and centrally available information can add significant value. Often times, companies try to string current systems together. Leading companies are implementing systems that are designed to work together seamlessly and are finding significant bottom line results.

P&G is a great example. Below is a link to an article that describes their challenges, obstacles and solution that has saved them $250M annually. This too can happen to you.


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Beyond PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), Dassault Systèmes, the 3D Experience Company, provides business and people with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations. 3DSWYM, 3D VIA, CATIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA, EXALEAD, NETVIBES, SIMULIA and SOLIDWORKS are registered trademarks of Dassault Systèmes or its subsidiaries in the US and/or other countries.