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Customer Stories

Plastic Ingenuity Creates Functional Screen Installation Package for OtterBox

OtterBox AmeriStar Award Winning Design by Plastic Ingenuity
OtterBox AmeriStar Award Winning Design by Plastic Ingenuity

The Challenge

Creating an innovative, re-designed screen protection installation tool

OtterBox asked Plastic Ingenuity to create an innovative, re-designed glass screen protection installation tool. Their goal was to enhance the unpacking experience for customers and simplify installing screen protectors on smartphones. OtterBox and Plastic Ingenuity achieved remarkable advancements through their dedication and ingenuity.

OtterBox and Plastic Ingenuity applied creative thinking by introducing a thermoformed PCR installation tool. This new tool brought about a redesign of the product packaging, which aimed to provide clear instructions and improve the overall experience of screen protection installation. The thermoformed tool proved to be a technical breakthrough, allowing OtterBox to create a leading installation tool that could be used on a wide variety of smartphone devices with unparalleled accuracy compared to previous instruments.

OtterBox AmeriStar Award Winning Design by Plastic Ingenuity

The Process

Incorporating new material applications and innovative design

The design of the installation tool served multiple functions, acting as a protective tray during transportation, an efficient installation tool, and a means to keep the phone centered for accurate screen protection placement. Its versatility enabled it to accommodate multiple phone sizes, significantly reducing SKU variants and simplifying inventory management. OtterBox achieved this design advancement by utilizing light gauge thermoformed packages instead of traditional injection molded packages.

A notable aspect of the re-designed installation tool was incorporating new material applications. With the help of sustainability experts at Plastic Ingenuity, OtterBox shifted from non-recyclable virgin materials to 100% PCR PET (post-consumer recycled polyethylene terephthalate), which was curbside recyclable. This change contributed to environmental sustainability and aligned with the growing demand for eco-friendly packaging solutions.

The primary purpose of the installation tool was to install a layer of screen protection that is engineered to protect smartphone screens. The final design ensured optimal protection by implementing a locking mechanism that securely held the glass membrane within the tray during assembly. Additionally, the cardboard sleeve provided additional protection during storage and transportation. Extensive testing was conducted to meet the protection requirements, including physical tests and focus group sessions. With proper adherence to the instructions, users achieved 100% success in accurately applying the glass protection to their phones.

Economics played a significant role in the re-design process. By transitioning from an injection molded installation tool to a thermoformed tool, OtterBox reduced costs by nearly 40 percent. This cost reduction was primarily attributed to the change in the manufacturing process, resulting in greater efficiency and lower production expenses. Furthermore, the universal design of the installation tool allowed it to fit multiple phone sizes, reducing the number of required SKUs and streamlining inventory management.

Considering the overall performance of the re-designed installation tool, its functionality was optimized to deliver an exceptional user experience. The inclusion of a rubber band aided in securing the phone during installation, eliminating the need for using both hands to hold it in place. The glass membrane remained securely locked within the tray due to its assembly design and the outer cardboard sleeve. While the packaging process still involved manual packing, the improved distribution benefits were evident through the reduced weight of the new package compared to its predecessor, resulting in improved transportation efficiencies.

From a marketing perspective, the re-designed installation tool boasted structural and graphic improvements. The updated structure allowed the device to securely attach to the internal cardboard structure, eliminating the previous loose packaging arrangement. This organized and integrated design provided a seamless unpacking experience, with installation instructions readily accessible to customers. The positive changes to the package’s structure and graphics significantly improved its acceptability among consumers, transforming the installation process into a positive aspect of the product experience.

OtterBox AmeriStar Award Winning Design by Plastic Ingenuity

The Solution

Environmental considerations at the forefront of re-design efforts

Environmental considerations were at the forefront of the re-design efforts. The previous injection molded installation tool used non-recyclable virgin materials, posing a significant environmental challenge. Plastic Ingenuity achieved a more sustainable solution by switching to a thermoformed package made from 100% PCR PET material. The new material was recyclable in certain municipalities and regions, promoting responsible waste management practices. Furthermore, reducing package weight from 29.2 grams to 20.1 grams improved transportation efficiencies and contributed to lower carbon emissions during distribution.

In conclusion, the re-designed glass screen protection installation tool demonstrated exceptional innovation, technical advances, design improvements, cost reductions, and environmental improvements. Combining a thermoformed PCR installation tool, versatile design, and sustainable materials created a customer-centric product that exceeded expectations. With improved protection, ease of use, and a positive marketing impact, OtterBox successfully elevated the screen protection installation experience to new heights while prioritizing environmental sustainability.

The Results

A Resounding Success

Reduced package weight by 9.2 grams


Incorporated 100% PCR


Reduced package cost by 40%