Case Studies

Sustainable Packaging

A global consumer electronics company with a variety of category-leading high-end products, challenged PCH to redesign their existing packaging. Following the expansion of their prod- uct portfolio to include refurbished and warrantied products of different sizes and weights, they felt the existing packaging fell short on efficiency, aesthetics, cost and sustainability. PCH was tasked with developing a com- pletely new, efficient, customer friendly and sustainable packaging system for three products and their unique accessories. Our team of experts brought deep expertise in technical product development, packaging, manufacturing and supply chain which were key to delivering a comprehensive, high perfor- mance and flexible solution.

Technical Product Development, Packaging, Manufacturing

The challenge

Under the customer’s existing one-size-fits-all packaging, warrantied and refurbished products were distributed in large, over-packed, over-sealed and poorly protected corrugated cardboard boxes. This impacted the factory pack out process —adding time and effort to assembly as well as impacting end-user experience and potentially diminishing the perceived quality of the product.

PCH set out to develop new packaging that would: (1) create a positive visual impact associated with a premium product, (2) offer an enhanced and optimized consumer out-of-box experience, (3) protect the product from harm during shipping, (4) accommodate numerous products of different weights, shapes and sizes, (5) be made from sustainable materials, (6) reduce costs and waste per unit, and (7) be easy and efficient to assemble. Armed with decades of industry packaging experience and expertise, as well as familiarity with the customer’s packaging needs, PCH was the ideal partner to take on this project.

PCH solution

Concept development

PCH’s challenge was to create a robust packaging system that could be adapted to suit three models and their associated different accessories. Each product was a different weight and size and came with its own accessories.
Taking a user-friendly design approach, the PCH packaging team began analyzing the product models and the customer’s supply chain to identify weaknesses within the existing packaging
system. Based on our findings, PCH developed several concepts to address key issues with the existing packaging. Before the final concept was locked down, each concept underwent three revisions and sample sessions to determine the optimum packaging fit, structure and design.

Design delivery

The final production-ready design involved a two-tier packaging system which included an exterior one-size carton and alternative interior trays to accommodate the various products and accessories.
PCH designed the exterior carton as small as possible and created custom-fit packaging tray inserts to accommodate each of the three models and their accessories. The inserts were simple to assemble based on the specific model being packaged.
The exterior one-size packaging was made from double-wall corrugated cardboard, with agglutinated joints and a top opening that could be sealed with adhesive tape. Each of the internal tray was made of recycled light-weight plastic to support the different product weights, shapes and sizes.

Testing and quality assurance

To adhere to high-quality assurance standards, a prototype of each packaging system for the three products underwent rigorous testing of functionality, reliability, durability and quality under stress.
Each sample prototype was drop tested from a height of more than 3 feet. Each of the three cartons and insert trays with product survived the fall, with only mild impact on the outside box surface. The product remained fixed and damage free. Additionally, each prototype underwent a sequence of ten vibration tests under varying frequency levels. Again, the carton passed free of any damage with the product firmly fixed in its tray.
The final temperature/humidity test placed the carton in various climates for a period of three 12-hour cycles, with temperatures ranging from -18°C to 50°C. No issues were detected during these tests.

The result

PCH provided a reliable, efficient and high-quality solution that enabled our customer to successfully address issues that were impacting the product quality and customer experience.

At PCH, we love solving problems and delivering efficient and reliable design engineering solutions that perform at production scale. This project was the perfect fit for us. Evolving from the original process improvement consultation, to a full-scale custom design brief, it allowed us to leverage our engineering, prototype and testing, pre-production and manufacturing capabilities and ultimately, deliver another high-quality product for a premium brand.