The Need for Adequate Product Packaging Evaluation
Product packaging evaluation is essential for a product’s success. Excellent design and proper manufacture mean little if the product delivered to the customer is damaged. Assessing packaging requirements requires an understanding of the product to be shipped fragility and a knowledge of the nature of transportation and storage scenarios likely to be encountered during transportation.
Environmental Stressors During Transportation
There are numerous stresses a packaged product will face during transportation and storage. These stresses include dynamic forces such as shock, vibration, and drop. They also include climatic conditions such as heat, cold, and humidity. Additionally, for electronic products, electrostatic discharge, especially during handling can lead to complete malfunction or product degradation.
Early evaluation should identify all possible modes of transportation and locations of storage. These identifications should include realistic assessments of the duration of each step so that valid criteria of stress severities can be collected. Once collected, perspective packaging methods can be chosen.
The Changing Nature of Packaging
With a marketplace more reliant on online sales, cardboard is becoming increasingly in demand. Worldwide production of cardboard is increasing to meet this demand and prices for cardboard packaging is increasing. As consumers and OEMs strive towards more environmentally sustainable behaviors, it is predicted that the overall use of plastics in packaging will decrease, placing further demands on the cardboard industry.
Cardboard while an excellent choice for many packaging needs has vulnerabilities. These issues include crushing, piercing, water resistance, compression during stacking, and failure when overloaded.
Test and Evaluation of Packaged Products
There are numerous methods for the evaluation of packaged products including ASTM, Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI), and ISO. Many proprietary methods are required of vendors by their customers as is the case in the automotive sector. These methods, once performed, can provide a reasonable assurance that a packaged product can reach its destination in good shape, ensuring customer satisfaction.
As mentioned before, storage during and after the transportation phase should be taken into consideration. Storage can often occur in uncontrolled environments that subject the package and product to induced environmental stresses. Temperatures can be reached that greatly exceed those in the outside environment such as a warehouse without HVAC in hot climates.
CVG Strategy can assist product packaging evaluation. We can provide a provide analysis of transportation and storage requirements and recommend appropriate test methodologies for verification and validation of packaging. We can also provide test witnessing and test program management for a wide array of product sectors.