Packaging refers to the process of design, evaluation, and production of packages.
Packaging contains, protects, preserves, transports, informs, and sells.
Packaging is all around; for government, business, institutional, industrial, and personal use.
Dutch Pack International Packaging Solutions
Dutch Pack is supplier of flexible packaging materials, specialising in film on reel, stand-up pouches or standard pouches. Our packaging solutions are always tailored to your products, your production process and your specific demands. Our experienced team can advise you on what kind of packaging suits best with your product.
In order to meet your demands, Dutch Pack works together with specialized and certified partners worldwide. This results in our competitive prices and flexibility. Add our experience and service-oriented way of working, and you have found the perfect supplier of your custom made packaging.
A short historic overview of packaging
Packaging has developed enormously over the past centuries, or actually, millennia. The first packages used the natural materials available at the time: baskets of reeds, wine bags, wooden boxes, pottery vases, ceramic amphorae, wooden barrels, woven bags, etc. Processed materials were used to form packages as they were developed: for example, early glass and bronze vessels. The study of old packages is an important aspect of archaeology.
Iron and tin plated steel were used to make cans in the early 19th century. Paperboard cartons and corrugated fiberboard boxes were first introduced in the late 19th century.
Packaging advancements in the early 20th century included Bakelite closures on bottles, transparent cellophane overwraps and panels on cartons, increased processing efficiency and improved food safety. As additional materials such as aluminum and several types of plastic were developed, they were incorporated into packages to improve performance and functionality.
As of 2003, the packaging sector accounted for about two percent of the gross national product in developed countries. About half of this market was related to food packaging.
Packaging has several objectives
These objectives are:
- Physical protection – A product may require protection from mechanical shock, vibration, electrostatic discharge, compression, temperature, etc.
- Barrier protection – A barrier from oxygen, water vapor, dust, etc., is often required. A barrier can extend shelf life; it keeps the contents clean, fresh, sterile and safe.
- Containment – Small objects are typically grouped together in one package for reasons of efficiency. For example, a single box of 1000 pencils requires less physical handling than 1000 single pencils. Liquids, powders, and granular materials need containment. Bulk commodities (such as salt) can be divided into packages that are a more suitable size for individual households.
- Information transmission – Packages and labels communicate how to use, transport, recycle, or dispose of the package or product. With pharmaceuticals, food, medical, and chemical products, some types of information are required by governments.
- Marketing – The packaging and labels can be used by marketers to encourage potential buyers to purchase the product. Package graphic design and physical design have been important and constantly evolving phenomenon for several decades.
- Convenience – Packages can be convenient for distribution, handling, stacking, display, sale, opening, reclosing, use, dispensing, and reuse.
Package development considerations
Package design and development are often thought of as an integral part of the new product development process. Alternatively, development of a package can be a separate process, but must be linked closely with the product. Package design starts with the identification of all the requirements: structural design, marketing, shelf life, quality assurance, logistics, legal, regulatory, graphic design, end-use, environmental, etc. The design criteria, performance (specified by package testing), completion time targets, resources, and cost constraints need to be considered.
With some types of products, the design process involves detailed regulatory requirements for the package. For example with packaging foods, any package components that may contact the food are food contact materials. Toxicologists and food scientists need to verify that the packaging materials are allowed by applicable regulations. Packaging engineers need to verify that the completed package will keep the product safe for its intended shelf life with normal usage. Packaging processes, labeling, distribution, and sale need to be validated to comply with regulations and have the well being of the consumer in mind.
Sometimes the objectives of package development seem contradictory. For example, regulations for an over-the-counter drug might require the package to be tamper-evident and child resistant: These intentionally make the package difficult to open. The intended consumer, however, might be handicapped or elderly and be unable to readily open the package. Meeting all goals is a challenge.
Package design may take place within a company or with various degrees of external packaging engineering: independent contractors, consultants, vendor evaluations, independent laboratories, contract packagers, total outsourcing, etc.
At Dutch Pack, we are more than happy to consult on packaging material, shapes etc. We have more than 20 years of experience in this field and consider ourselves as providers of a packaging solution.