You'd be surprised how often companies or people that manufacture goods neglect to plan how they will package that product to get it to their customers quickly and in one piece. “On the manufacturing and industrial side,” says Alicia Guillette, President of Valley Box, “the packaging design typically just needs to be strong enough to transport the product to the end customer, damage-free.”
In some cases, the package may even remain with the product a bit longer, such as in the case with bases that have integrated support components.
If we focus on original equipment manufacturers (OEM's), buyers need to understand that not all wood crates are created equal. Many packaging design factors can affect the lifespan of a wood crate such as quality of wood and materials, building technique, hardware, or steel integration.
Depending on the options chosen an industrial design can handle almost any product whether it be large or small, heavy or fragile, temperature sensitive or durable. The design possibilities alone are almost infinite. Just check out just some of the packaging design options for building only the base of a crate!
Sometimes companies will opt for ATA cases (Airport Transport Association) or plastic cases thinking that the life span is much longer than that of a wood crate. However, a wood crate can last for the same amount of time as these other products, while remaining green to help preserve the environment. Upgrade options range from:
Lumber & plywood
Blocking & Bracing
Beyond durability, individuals and companies small and large may want to set their products apart from the competition. In fact, in the major retail brand sector, custom packaging design has literally become a part of the product’s appeal. The presentation and “unboxing” experience can be one of the most memorable aspects of the customer experience.
Just take a look at this unboxing video for the Apple Watch and you’ll see what we mean! "They really know how to do an unboxing experience" remarks Lou with the Unbox Therapy YouTube Channel. And of course, no one can duplicate Apple’s packaging— because they own it!
The intellectual property behind packaging design can belong to the company that developed it. There are usually two schools of thought when it comes to design ownership during manufacturing:
Selling the intellectual property (engineering time, die fees, etc.)
Retaining ownership of the design and charging for manufacturing only
Both arrangements can have pros and cons, which have to be carefully weighed in order for the company to reach its ultimate goal of creating a signature packaging design that will also protect the products. To get there, work with your packaging provider to decide which options are available to you.