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Packaging Review: Package Design

describe the imageThe first segment of the lifecycle is the Package Design Phase. The best time to consider Package Design can depend on your type of manufacturing process and your product. Design challenges can be overcome by involving your packaging vendor during the early product development phase.

For the purposes of this webinar, we’ll break down manufacturers into three types.

A “type one” packaging operation would include products that are produced in daily larger quantities rolling off an assembly line like bottling or semiconductors.  The time to address your packaging should be prior to any manufacturing. Treat the packaging as part of the product rather than an afterthought. If your product is moved, handled, or staged during production, it may be cost effective to incorporate the packaging into your process as a function of material handling.

A “type two” packaging operation may be a product that is larger dimensionally, and the thru put time could range from a week to months like machinery or computerized manufacturing equipment. The product’s design may be the same or vary to customer requirements, but would generally ship assembled with few ancillary packages.  The time to address your packaging should be during the product production phase, in order to avoid shipping delays.

A “type three” packaging operation is similar to a type two but may be more customized, like custom conveyor systems or whole production lines. Packaging designs are usually addressed once the product is completed as the product may undergo last minute modifications and possible dis-assembly due to various shipping challenges.

In a case study put together by Valley Box we take a look at a type 3 customer. This Aircraft Company manufactures large and heavy milled rings, which require off-site machining by a sub-contractor, who then ships the rings back to the point of origin.

Valley box suggested a reusable box rather than a one-way shipper. The reusable features provided long-term durability and included steel, hardware, waterproofing, and an attached loading ramp.

Assuming a performance lifespan of at least 5 years, the savings of this reusable package design out weighed the cost of replacing each one-way shipper. Other benefits included expedited round-robin shipments, and reduced packaging waste associated with one-way shippers.

Why does it matter to have a plan prior to shipment? Well if you are utilizing international sea containers or freight trucking, designing packaging to optimize the payload can dramatically reduce the cost.
By implementing a packaging plan in advance,  you can load a higher value of goods while the freight charges remain constant. When voids of space occur within the load, blocking and bracing is necessary to avoid load shifting that can potentially destroy the contents. By creating a packaging configuration that best utilizes the internal dimensions of the containers, labor & materials for such blocking and bracing are greatly reduced.

Here is another case study for a Parts Machining Manufacturer who needed to optimize the outside dimensions of their wood boxes, in order to efficiently pack their overseas shipping container. Valley Box designed heat treated wood boxes that held the maximum amount of parts while not exceeding the maximum dimensions. Additionally this method saved time during loading and unloading by eliminating blocking and bracing needs.

There are many types of packaging materials to choose from, it’s important to understand the differences of each material.

  • Corrugated boxes, Single wall and double wall boxes are good for a Type 1 company who have a higher rate of usage and buy in large repetitive quantities.
  • Triple Wall is a triple fluted corrugated box. This material is a light weight tough, rugged material that works well for air freight or when the cost of freight is weight sensitive. Since it is fiber board,  triple wall may not be desirable for long term outdoor storage. A similar sized standard wood container could weigh nearly 40% more impacting your freight costs.
  • Wood Crates are lightweight and can potentially offer a more economic outer package than its paneled wood box counterpart. It can be a cost effective choice when determining the level of protection your product really needs.
  • Light & Heavy Duty Boxes - Are perfect for the Type 2 & 3 Manufacturer. They are durable and customizable to your product. These styles of boxes can be built to hold payloads of any size and weight.

When discussing the package design with your vendor, addressing the method of closure and end customer opening is vital. How you close the package determines how it will be opened.

This can impact the end user in that tools and manpower may be needed. If an end user sustains an injury attempting to open your package, this not only becomes a potential liability to you, but could alter the perception of Your Products Quality.

There are many ways to secure a package. Some methods like strapping require specific tools. All tapes can be applied easily, and stretch wrap is quick at securing palleted stacks of products.

Discuss what is most cost effective with appropriate performance levels with your supplier.

Valley Box Company Inc.
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Topics: Wood, Services, Tips

Valley Box Company

Written by Valley Box Company

Valley Box demonstrates what is possible beyond just the typical wooden box. This specialty packaging manufacturer works with a wide variety of materials from wood to plastic, corrugate, metals and more. Discover how to take specialty packaging to the next level.