There is probably no other area of packaging less understood than cost. Although many organizations calculate the cost of the package material itself as the total cost, the true cost is, in reality, the total cost of the entire packaging system involved.
Now more than ever, packaging technologists must design with the end in mind. Today’s packaging professionals must account for how a package must function, who will use it, and what is the easiest and most suitable format for reuse, recycle, or refill. The tips in this article should help provide a foundation for success.
The following ideas are effective in cutting packaging costs:
- Over-packaging. It is usually best to use a safer specification to introduce a new product. Only after the history of the package is known can the material be safely reduced. Good packaging always should be as simple as possible and as inexpensive as is consistent with the desired performance.
- Material closest to the product. The most protective ply should be closest to the product. Paper/aluminum foil/polyethylene is a better protective barrier than aluminum foil/paper/ polyethylene. The barrier characteristics of aluminum foil are enhanced by its closeness to the specific product.
- Calipers of each ply. The thinnest material possible should be used for each ply. If 40-micron film will do the job, then 70-micron film is unnecessary.
- Substitute materials with caution. It is rarely possible to simply substitute any packaging medium with another. A new package must be devised by adhering to basic packaging requirements.
- Standardization is desirable. All incoming packaging materials and outgoing finished packages should be standardized where possible. If a multi-plant operation is involved, standards are an absolute necessity. If standards are changed, clearance should come through a central authority.