Like any great work, the best packaging designs need to be well developed from the beginning to final stages. Here at PI, we follow an extensive end-user analysis process to ensure packaging is protective and durable. Consider the following as you work with your packaging company to develop your own design that will perform well in end-user analysis.
Proper Material Selection
Choosing the appropriate packaging material requires various considerations, including the following:
- Temperature levels—The packaging material you select must be able to withstand any sterilization and heat sealing. Additionally, if you know your products will be exposed to varying temperature levels, make sure to accommodate your packaging design as such.
- UV light requirements—Some companies must take UV light into consideration when developing packaging designs. To keep their food products in sanitary condition and to prevent spoilage, many companies incorporate UV filters into their packaging designs. As you develop your packaging design, consult with your company about any UV exposure your products will have.
- Gauge—How thick does your packaging design need to be? Consider the environment in which your product will be used. Food products may need a thicker gauge of plastic to resist outside tampering and to prevent any chemicals from leaching, depending on what level of protection they need.
Cost Expectations and Budgeting
Because plastic packaging is factored into the end price of a product, you will need to find a packaging design that is highly protective while still staying within your budget. First, you will need to ask your team which material will be most suitable for your packaging. They can then recommend the appropriate plastic for your product, be it for food, retail or medical applications.
Additionally, you should discuss which method your team will use to create your packaging: vacuum forming or thermoforming. Vacuum forming is a less costly process to produce packaging designs, but it is unable to produce complex packaging. Vacuum forming can also have unreliable material distribution and can produce a webbed appearance in the design. While more expensive, thermoforming typically allows for more elaborate packaging designs—and with consistent layers of plastic materials.
Line Speed Efficiencies and Automation Expectations
Ask yourself if your packaging optimized for automated production. Of course, some products require a more meticulous design that may not be suitable for fast production. As you work with your packaging company, determine which category your products fall into.
Shipping and Distribution
You’ve now considered how to create packaging that will protect your products once they are on the shelves in stores—but have you thought abut how distribution will factor into your design? Ensure that your packaging is durable enough to withstand shipping. Your design may need to include tamper resistance if your products will be displayed in a retail setting.
In addition to how your packaging design will stand up to shipping considerations, be aware of the testing protocols in place. By keeping any validation requirements and target specifications in mind, you and your packaging company can avoid any last-minute changes that could hinder your product’s speed-to-market.
Finally, consider how your product’s packaging will fit into shelf layout and storage. If your packaging design is oddly shaped, it may not fit into standard shelves. Make sure your packaging company creates a design is optimized specifically for your display needs.
To learn more about the various factors for end user analysis to consider when developing your packaging design, contact the PI team today.