Thin-wall design provides unique food packaging solution

[image] thin-wall_packaging

A national foodservice provider, specializing in spices and concentrated flavorings for the restaurant and food processing industries, needed to develop a new and innovative package that also provided a lighter, more sustainable-friendly solution. The customer wanted an industry-leading design that was sourced domestically, but also met their unit product cost goals. Priorities included making a branded product that is easy to use, more sustainable and more logistically friendly. NOVATION INDUSTRIES assisted with designing a tub for soup products that incorporated 50% less plastic than their previous packaging, yet also incorporated design features that enhance the cooking experience.

Project Summary:

  • Packaging design
  • Tool design and engineering
  • Tool sourcing – In-mold branding
  • Thin wall molding
  • Packaging and logistics

CHALLENGE: The customer was previously purchasing an off-the-shelf container, but wanted to enhance their brand with a new and environmentally friendly thin-wall design, requiring that a custom package be designed, tooled and manufactured. They also wanted to create an easy-to-use packaging solution that provided features inherently appealing to fasted paced commercial kitchen operations, including easy grip and pour features. NOVATION was challenged to not only assist with the design process, but to also recommend materials and to provide new, cost-effective tools. Thin wall design was also a key challenge for manufacturing engineering to ensure consistent, trouble-free molding processes.

SOLUTION: Employing an Integrated Development Process (IDP), NOVATION worked with the food manufacturer and industrial designer to develop a package design that met the needs of the end user environment. NOVATION’s IDP team involved an industrial designer, manufacturing engineer, tooling engineer and other key operational managers to ensure a modern package design and cost effective production.

Development goals included having an easy-grip design that allowed for minimal slippage in the fast-paced and sometimes damp or wet commercial kitchen work environments. They also wanted to accommodate for easy pouring of small or large quantities. The industrial design team developed a flat, lightly textured surface on the lower part of the tub that provided an ergonomically-friendly gripping area, as well as a wide mouth feature to optimize pouring and minimize product waste. Thin wall requirements presented unique tool design challenges, which were overcome by taking into consideration the length of draw and the amount of draft to avoid parts sticking. The new design incorporates 50% less plastic than their prior packaging and helped the customer achieve its sustainability goals. Lighter packaging also made for less overall shipping weight and lower logistics costs.

NOVATION’s facilities are structured to support food industry providers, offering a highly clean production environment. By keeping all heavy equipment, regrind areas and tool storage outside of the production corridor, molding areas maintain clean air quality and low particulate counts.

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