Things to Consider for Prototyping Plastic Packaging

Posted by Rob Helmke | Tuesday, October 7, 2014 0 Comments

Prototyping is a necessary component of nearly every packaging run. As plastic packaging specialists, we understand how critical prototyping is and how it needs to be completed in a timely and cost-effective manner to ensure products can be packaged and placed in retail settings as quickly as possible. Here, we’ve outlined three main considerations that are crucial to plastic packaging prototyping that you should keep in mind when searching for your packaging manufacturer.

Speed to Market

Time is of the essence for many items that enter retail markets. Through traditional methods, product packaging, including tooling and, of course, prototyping, may take lengthy periods, sometimes as long as six months. For this process, a packaging design may go through several packaging or tooling companies, which can significantly increase production times. During this time, consumers may begin to lose interest in the products or develop brand loyalty with a different product. Because speed to market is so crucial for plastic packaging designs, the prototyping phase must be expedited as much as possible. By choosing a plastic packaging company that can complete all steps of the process, you can bring your products to market much more quickly. When searching for your packaging manufacturer, ask them for a timeline of how quickly they can produce your prototype design to ensure your products reach consumers in the needed time frame.

In-House Tooling

Tooling is behind every plastic packaging production line. Oftentimes, packaging designs must be created with custom tooling. Since time is critical during prototyping phases, companies cannot afford to spend long periods of time waiting on custom tooling. Therefore, packaging companies that offer in-house tooling are ideal, as they can speed the process along to ensure products reach markets in an expedited fashion. When researching plastic packaging companies, ask them about their abilities to product custom tooling for packaging designs, as well as the typical time it takes them to create these tools, so you can have a better estimate of your prototype’s timeline.


Producing plastic packaging can quickly become expensive if multiple companies are involved during the various stages of production, including designs, tooling, engineering and more. By working with an all-inclusive packaging firm, you’ll be able to effectively reduce your cost per run. Packaging companies that can complete the entire job in house offer a lower cost advantage that cannot be achieved through traditional packaging methods. Search for a packaging company that utilizes a vertical integration model for their supply chain management. Because the company can manage every part of your packaging production, including sheet extrusion, initial designs, tooling, thermoforming and distribution, you can save both time and money from looking for and procuring outside companies. As you reduce budget costs for packaging, you can then pass those savings onto consumers by offering your products at lower prices.

To learn more about considerations for prototyping, contact a plastic packaging specialist at PI today. You may also visit our Facebook page for additional packaging news and resources.

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Topics: Plastics