Packaging Design Project

Hey there people,

First Post!..Been reading the forum for a while now, but thought i’d register and let you know what i’m doing and what problems i’ve hit and maybe get some advice?

OK, so i’m 4 weeks into an 8 week placement at an electronics company, they manufacture PAT Testers (laymans terms - things that test whether electrical goods are ok to use…those little stickers that say “tested until 2010”)

So far, its been a bit slow…I have just finished my second year at Northumbria University doing Design For Industry, my knowledge of packaging is was very little.

My hand was forced into taking whatever placement came along rather than doing an extra brief for Uni and getting no industry experience. So this resulted in me doing something i am not really enjoying.

Anyways, My brief was to reduce the amount of packaging that the company uses, and make it alot more standardised.

And look into changing suppliers because the company we supply our bespoke packaging from has a high MOQ and they dump all of the pallets of packaging on the company.

So far, i’ve designed 2 different boxes, one is a smaller version of a box they recently stated using, I designed the smaller one to house the 3 best selling products, this reduces shipping costs due to the fact that they arent shipping any air around in the box as they were in the bigger box.

I have also designed a box that house 9 different sized and shaped products, this I think is a good feat, quite innovative I may add :slight_smile:

It uses extra tabs to hold in different items, so no extra inserts need manfacturing.

So i am looking to get these 2 boxes put into production, I have yet to contact the company we are currently dealing with, due to the fact they might rip us off, so I have tried to outsource…to no avail, i have emailed companies photos and technical drawings of my boxes and had 2 replies, one was that the order quantity we were looking for was too small, and the other wouldnt deal with us becuase of our “geographical location.”

I guess im just looking for some advice for anyone that maybe ever done anything like this?

I maybe feel as though i’m not being professional enough, just because im here every day people are seeing the prototypes ive been making with like 10 rolls of making tape on…

My mannerisms are professional, but i’m only 20 i still feel as though people dont think im not mature enough or competatnt enough to do the job, to be fair my lack of packaging knowledge puts me at a disadvantage, but im trying!, learning on the job, coming in and seeing things from a fresh perspective

I have another part of the brief which involves designing a “utility belt” for the people using these testers, this i feel as though i might be able to get my teeth into, i mean they only want conceptual drawings to send to the far east…i can deliver that!

if anyone wants to chip in with anything then please do, sorry this is an essay, im just looking for some inspiration!

Any questions please ask away! ive probably missed load out
Slim Primetest Prototype Photograph small.JPG

Tupperware,

Don’t worry about the tape. That is how you get your thoughts out esspecially if this is your first time designing packaging. My suggestion is that you have your suppliers come in and help you. By the pictures you posted there is not a lot of information in what you are trying to accomplish. From these pics we don’t know how the product is going to be shipped, is it palletize, how is it displayed, were is it sold, and most of all how is it packed. These are key points when designing packaging. If you can get the answers to the points it will help you in the direction that you need to go and what supplier will be best to use.

hey PackageID

thanks for your reply,

i can answer a few of your questions to give you more scope, where i am working its tricky within terms of despatch, the sellover 100 different products, and the majority of orders come from distributors…so anything an everything can get shipped at the same time, so sometimes things are palletised, and sometimes just sent out as they come off the shelf.

one problem with the items that are say a single box is that the item gets shipped and all of the packing notes etc get stuck all over the box, then when it arrives at the distributors they rip the crap off it and the box looks second hand (branding ripped off due to stickers bieng stuck on)

ive had to come up with a way around this, the company is reluctant to spend ££ on this so i had 3 options,

a plain box that went over the box so it could be shipped then the box removed revealing a shiny branded box inside

branded poly bags like what catalogues use

or the boxes are wrapped in the pallet wrap (this is the cheapest)

as for the way things are packed etc, i am happy with the packaging i have made as i thave thought about how they are going to be packed, and wrote packing specs etc.

i just need help with regards to sourcing a company

here is the email i sent out, i attatched those photos above and some technical drawings aswell

to be honest i think its the order quantitys we want that are putting people off, but there are companies that sell far less, and they manage to get bespoke packaging manufactured


Hello,

At Seaward Electronics we are looking to source a packaging company that can compete and surpass the services of our current supplier. We are looking for low cost, low minimum order quantity and high quality in addition to a call off facility.

We have two types of box, each with a plain white base and detachable printed or plain lids.

Our requirements are for the “Slimline Primetest Box” (Approx Monthly Average)

Single Corrugated White Card Base - 300 Units

Printed Lid (We have the graphics) - 220 Units

Plain White Lid - 80 Units

Our requirements for the “Supernova/Europa Box” (Approx Monthly Average)

Double Corrugated White Base - 130 Units

Printed Lid (We have the graphics) - 85 Units

Plain White Lid - 45 Units

I have attached drawings and photographs to enable you to produce some quotations, and to gain an understanding into what we are looking for. Please supply your quotation by 23rd July 08.

Any questions please don’t hesitate to email or call.

Yours,

Ryan Carter

“tupperware”]

I’ve had to come up with a way around this, the company is reluctant to spend ££ on this so I had 3 options,

a plain box that went over the box so it could be shipped then the box removed revealing a shiny branded box inside

branded poly bags like what catalogues use

or the boxes are wrapped in the pallet wrap (this is the cheapest)

I would think about your options here. These ones you have suggested seemed to a lot of extra Pkg. Could you put everything in one box with an instruction sheet inside. Or can you inside print you shipper with instruction so that they do not get torn off. These are things you need to think about with packaging. One it reduces cost and two it is better for the environment. A great example of this is the Xbox packaging done by Swerve design. Its small and compact but gets the job done.


Single Corrugated White Card Base - 300 Units

Printed Lid (We have the graphics) - 220 Units

Plain White Lid - 80 Units

Our requirements for the “Supernova/Europa Box” (Approx Monthly Average)

Double Corrugated White Base - 130 Units

Printed Lid (We have the graphics) - 85 Units

Plain White Lid - 45 Units

[/i]

These are some pretty small quantities. Can I ask why so small? A quantity like 45 units is very hard for someone to justify turning on the machine. It almost doesn’t pay for the time needed to run the machine. I would advise you to look into the medical feild and what supplier they use for their electronics and equipment. They are running small quantities as well. I do not know if they are this small though.

Hope this helps.

thanks again PackageID,

These are some pretty small quantities. Can I ask why so small?

The company who i am working for is quite big, its turn over is fairly good, they have a large market share in the pat testing sector.

the boxes i have designed will sell products that equate to about 5000 units a year, which is a fair bit of ££ for the company.

But 5000 boxes is a short run in packaging manufacture, am i right?

its just the products are expensive, like high hundred to a few thousand pounds.

those were just monthly averages, ideally we would buy a few thousand then have them stored by the packaging company, then when we needed them they would be sent to us…i dont know wther this is common within the industry?


Could you put everything in one box with an instruction sheet inside. Or can you inside print you shipper with instruction so that they do not get torn off.

i see what you mean, its only the odd single items that this happens to, for example 1 tester is in one box and its getting sent to…a distributor in london through TNT,

so the box gets the packing note stuck on, also some other crap like a dye stick that glows red if the box has been dropped.

so when the distributor recieves the item and trys to sell it on he doesnt want the TNT stickers on or any of the other stuff associated with shipping, so he/she rips them off, making the box look second hand before its even left the distributors shelf.

i cant see any way aorund this except for the ideas i mentioned before

(Thanks for your feedback by the way, its much appreciated)

But 5000 boxes is a short run in packaging manufacture, am i right?

This is not too bad for a smaller supplier. Like I said the medical field would be able to shed more light on that. Also if I don’t know what you profit margins are but you may be able to afford the packaging. Unfortunatly I work for a large candy manufacture so our quanities ar very high.


so when the distributor recieves the item and trys to sell it on he doesnt want the TNT stickers on or any of the other stuff associated with shipping, so he/she rips them off, making the box look second hand before its even left the distributors shelf.

i cant see any way aorund this except for the ideas i mentioned before

In this case you will need to create a shipper with a display or sellable carton inside. This shipper should contain multiple units. Example when send out candy to our customers (Walmart, Target, etc…) we sent out a shipper that will contain 12 display cartons. These display cartons at the cartons that go on shelf and are opened to sell the candy. I know your model is a lot different but you get the idea. You may need to have mor than one in a shipper to justify the cost.

This shipper should contain multiple units.

i understand what you are saying, we use a shipper for multiple units, but this is just one single boxed unit that i am proposing the bag or the cling wrap idea, can you see any alternatives expect a single box shipper

Thanks for the info, ill look into medical packaging if its available for shorter runs

thanks agin, knowledge is power!