PackAssistant supports the planning of container filling with identical parts using 3D data sets (CAD). By taking the component geometries fully into account, even complex parts can be packaged in such a way that they take up as little space as possible.

PackAssistant saves time and reduces costs through

  • Optimized container utilization
  • the elimination of time-consuming packing attempts
  • early transport, container and storage planning
  • a significant support in the preparation of the offer

Benefit & value

Optimal container filling saves time and money when it comes to transportation and storage capacity. That’s why experienced packaging planners sometimes fiddle around for a long time when packaging components with complex geometries – and still often achieve lower packing densities than the PackAssistant software.

PackAssistant greatly facilitates the packaging planning of components in the industry. The automated calculation of the best possible packaging on the computer makes fast, cost-effective and optimized container and logistics planning possible.

Developed by

Fraunhofer SCAI

Your contact person

I will be happy to provide you with information about our software products:

Natascha Silva
Natascha SilvaProduct sales

PackAssistant – User Interface

  • The user interface is very simple and intuitive to use.
  • Help boxes are available at all points in the system.
  • Possibility to adjust the unit of length of the component. User interface is adjustable in mm / inch and kg / pound.

  • Convenient 3D viewer for viewing the part and packing results.

  • PackAssistant is available in several language versions.
  • Directly create and add the automatic stable layers

Introduction to user interface and operation

Functions / Packing types

Packing with fixed intermediate layers

PackAssistant calculates an arrangement of the components in the individual layers. There are two variants of this type of packing: with and without interlocking of the components in the removal direction within one layer. The calculated arrangements have as regular a structure as possible so that they can be loaded and unloaded in a simple manner. Precisely adjustable spacing ensures individual and realistic packing planning.

Packing with flexible or without intermediate layers

In addition to fixed separations between individual layers, PackAssistant can also take flexible intermediate layers into account. Such flexible interlayers are typically foam packaging or they are made of films or nonwovens, and the thickness of these separators can be adjusted in millimeters. If a material thickness of zero millimeters is set, PackAssistant places the components directly on top of each other.

Packing with compartments

PackAssistant calculates the layer-by-layer packing of a component into compartments. The software takes into account standard rectangular multiples as well as trapezoidal and hexagonal multiples. In particular, the trapezoidal compartment allows a much higher packing density than a rectangular compartment for many components, while the additional effort for construction and handling of the compartment is low.

Packing with bulk material

Small parts are often not placed in an orderly fashion in a bin, but instead fall directly into the bin from an assembly line, for example. PackAssistant estimates how many parts will fit into the container by simulating how the parts fall into the container. Among other things, gravity, speed and collisions between parts are simulated.

Packing in stacks

In addition to filling in layers, PackAssistant offers the option of packing components in stacks. This function is particularly suitable for thin-walled components, where stacking can be vertical or at an angle.

Packaging instruction and 3D CAD output

PackAssistant provides the planner with meaningful 3D images as packaging instructions, thus creating an ideal basis for the creation of individual quotations. The customer receives a complete representation of his future components in the planned packaging structure. Until now, such visualized results were only possible through elaborate drawings or graphics.

The packing instructions can be output as a Microsoft Excel or Word document. The packaging instructions templates can be customized to meet the requirements of each company.

In addition, the results can be output as CAD data sets in the formats JT (*.jt), STEP (*.stp, *.step) and VRML (*.wrl). This enables an even more vivid presentation of the optimization results, which can be attached to the packaging instruction if required. With 3D viewer software, sections and views of the packing result can be generated in the process.

Examples packing instructions
  • 3D display / 3D result display
  • 4-window view, as familiar from CAD applications.
  • The packing direction is visualized by a bottom grid or an open container.
  • Live adjustment of the bounding box and maximum bearing surface for easy manual creation of stable layers.
  • Rotation works easily and no parts are hidden.
  • Easily show and hide individual layers in the result.

Add-on module for PackAssistant automation

PackAssistant accepts data from other programs via a new interface so that projects can be created and their optimizations started in an automated manner. This facilitates a more effective integration into the company‘s business processes and results in a faster workflow. The creation and optimization of projects via the automation interface takes place without user interaction or additional waiting times. Furthermore, there is no limitation on the number of projects that can be created and optimized via the add-on module.

The add-on module can be used in two ways:

  • Excel Add-In:
    Part of the add-on module is an Excel add-in. This allows projects created in Excel to be sent to PackAssistant and to have the optimizations started.
  • Direct use of the interface:
    The add-on module uses a standardized and widely used text format (JSON) for data exchange between PackAssistant and other software applications employed in the company. The standardized exchange format makes it possible to connect all software applications to PackAssistant that allow external programs to be called. The corresponding application must be configured accordingly and, if necessary, extended by an interface connection. The Excel Add-In is an example of such a connection to the interface.

You can find more information in the product sheet.

References & Target Groups

  • Audi AG
  • BMW Group
  • Continental AG
  • Gedia Gebrüder Dingerkus GmbH

  • KTM Power Sports AG
  • Playmobil
  • Renault Group
  • Schleich GmbH

Application example (Audi AG)

Supplier proposal
36 pieces per container
57,000 € / year
Reduction of freight costs
PackAssistant calculated
45 pieces per container

Other features of PackAssistant

  • PackAssistant is offered as a network license (floating license). FlexNet Publisher is used as the license server.
  • PackAssistant runs on any standard PC with Windows operating system. Details on the system requirements can be found here.

  • The parts can be read in the formats JT (*.jt), STEP (*.stp, *.step), IGES (*.igs, *.iges), VRML (*.wrl) and STL (*.stl).
  • Results can be exported as a packing instruction in Microsoft Excel / Word or as a CAD file in JT, STEP and VRML formats.