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How to Successfully Design Flexible Packaging Materials.

Flexible packaging materials should be designed to play multiple roles throughout the supply chain (from the converter to the consumer). These roles, or better these functions (see the following list), need to be covered from the designer in order to develop a functional, safe and successful packaging material.
    1.Economic/Benchmarking
    2.Laws’ conformity
    3.Consumer convenience
    4.Transportation
    5.Storage
    6.Protection
    7.Conservation
    8.Processing
    9.Portioning
    10.Communication/Marketing
    11.Environmental
    12.Innovation
    13.Quality
Even If some of these functions could be considered as given, well-known and established, the designer (or the R& D team) should carefully take them into consideration. The risk of packaging design failure is really minimized when a research including the following parameters has been conducted and all results are available:
  • Industry involved (e.g. food, medical, etc)
  • Nature of product to be packed (e.g. coffee, rice, wet wipes, etc)
  • Type of packaging (primary, secondary, etc)
  • Filling process and packs post-processing (Hot-filling, aseptic, pasteurization, etc)
  • Packaging machine (VFFS, Lidding, Speed, working temperatures, jaws profile, etc)
  • Mechanical drawings / Packages layouts and dimension tolerances.
  • Type of sealing (lap seal, fin seal, overwrapping, lidding)
  • Portioning (weight of packed product)
  • Storage conditions
  • Transport (trucks, air-freight, Post, Magazine distribution, etc)
  • Expected shelf-life
  • Specific characteristics (e.g. easy open, re-close, Easy tear, Modified atmosphere, etc).
  • Communication and presentation (e.g. transparency, stiffness, haptic, special printing, etc).
  • Distribution and Retailing (Super Markets, Kiosks, etc)
In A. Hatzopoulos S.A the above-described design process is included in our R&D procedure, having as a goal and achieving the development of successful flexible packaging materials, in collaboration with our customers.