Six Step Method for Cushioned Package Development
Product + Package > Environment
That simple formula is a key to success. You must establish knowledge in each area…
- How harsh is transport environment in which I will ship my product?
- How durable is my product?
- How much, and what kind of packaging do I need to assure my product will arrive without damage?
Too much packaging results in waste and unnecessary cost. Too little packaging results in damaged products, which a worst-case scenario with replacement costs and unhappy consumers. An optimized packaged-product that takes advantage of a robust product design is the desired solution…Lansmont’s Six Step Methodology provides a intuitive approach for addressing those key questions, resulting in a balanced equation!
Step 1 – Define the Environment
Regardless of where products move from point of manufacture to the end-user, the environment possesses some amount of damage potential. You need to understand and quantify that damage potential, and Lansmont delivers that by use of our SAVER™ Field Instruments. Measuring and Monitoring of the transport environment sets the bar for both product and package design performance requirements.
Step 2 – Define Product Fragility
Hazards are unavoidable within transport environments. So what do you know about the durability of your products? Are they fragile or durable? Are you transporting crystal tableware or mobile phones? Their comparative durability is quite different, but how can you define that in understandable metrics? Lansmont can characterize product fragility through standardized methodologies, performed on our shock and vibration test systems.
Step 3 – Product Improvement Feedback
Step 3 of Lansmont’s Six Step Method promotes the process of implementing Product Improvement Feedback, in an effort to improve product durability. Improving product durability reduces the subsequent requirements for protective packaging, while improving product quality, creating enhanced value for the end-user. By improving robustness/durability of your products, you by default, reduce dependency on packaging; that’s sustainable!
Step 4 – Cushion Material Performance Evaluation
Selecting the appropriate packaging materials is based upon thorough Cushion Material Performance Evaluation. What does the packaging material need to do for us? Mitigate shock or vibration? Do we need the case, carton, or the primary package to provide some structural rigidity to overcome compressive loads? Use of Lansmont test systems helps in the proper selection of those materials.
Step 5 – Package Design
Having established an awareness of the distribution and transport environment, as well as the robustness of the product, the package designer now has all the information necessary to design packaging that will adequately protect the product during distribution…Package + Product > Environment!
Step 6 – Test the Product/Package System
Now that the package is designed to protect our product from the hazards of the transport environment, will it perform its protective function? The answer is found through performance testing. Referring back to Step 1 and our definition of the environment, we use this original environmental characterization to drive our laboratory transport simulation – the definition of Lansmont’s Field-to-Lab™ methodology.
A cushioned package design project may be broken down into 6 manageable tasks. Each provides information which helps to develop an optimum packaging solution.
- Define the Environment
- Assess the Product Fragility
- Provide Product Improvement Feedback
- Evaluate Cushion Material Performance
- Design the Package System
- Test the Product/Package System
Designing the package is only a small part of the total package development process. Much effort is put into accurately determining how the package should perform so that it can provide the proper amount protection. Once this information is understood, an optimum solution can be reached which takes into account the weaknesses of the product, the hazards of the distribution environment and the characteristics of the packaging materials.