Bending over backwards to ensure your products don’t break

Most of the packaged goods people purchase go through quite a marathon-like journey before they find their way “home.” The product’s assorted raw materials can originate from all points across the globe before ending up in a manufacturing facility. Then the constituents are heated or cooled, blended or moulded, assembled or converted, plus a whole host of other machinations before finally being packaged, assembled into cartons, collected on pallets and sent trucking on their merry way.

And that’s just the beginning… next, the goods journey to a warehouse (or several warehouses), then a store’s back room, then the retail environment, then into the consumer’s hands, then the cash register and finally into a bag before the item makes it through the purchaser’s front door. This long, arduous process is why Bellwyck was so excited to receive EcoVadis Silver Certification earlier this year for our dedication to sustainability, especially relating to developing and implementing efficiencies in the supply chain.

Throughout the journey, these packaged goods are expected to endure a variety of stressors: they can be jostled and jiggled, roughly handled, possibly even dropped. This is why it’s not good enough for a product’s packaging to look good and convey the right information; it has to effectively protect the goods inside, too.

Product safety, or product integrity, is something we obsess over daily. Packaging can’t just look the part, it has to play the part, too. It’s why we have an entire structural design department that performs a variety of drop tests, scuff tests and more, and combines these test results with our package engineering know-how to ensure every new package design we produce performs its basic safety function.

Our structural designers have to balance several other considerations, too. As a manufacturer of folding cartons, we employ several design measures to ensure the board is the correct thickness; too thin and the contents inside can get damaged, too thick and we’re both wasting materials and making it more expensive to ship. Another consideration is the safety of our end-product – the packaging itself. If the printed package incorporates design embellishments like hot-stamped foil, custom die-cuts and embossed/debossed areas, it’s our job to ensure those elements hold true from the time the product is packaged to the time it ends up on shelf.

Clients trust us and come back to us time and again for our unbound creativity. We’re always looking for ways to push the envelope on what’s possible and create unique pieces that draw consumers’ attention. We’re also incredibly open to suggestion; if a client approaches us with a new design concept or format, we work tirelessly to engineer, troubleshoot and bring that idea to life. This innovative spirit keeps our structural design team working overtime to test and test again to make sure all the moving pieces in the design click.

One example of our “if you can dream it, we can build it” mantra in action is a special carrot-like chocolate box we developed for a client’s spring promotion. The structure of the package is deceptively tricky to execute. The leaves at the top of the box are not your typical closure, so we had to innovate a new way to ensure the package stayed closed during transit. Meanwhile, the point of the carrot is extremely delicate, so we had to take great care to create a shipping carton that ensured the point never touched a surface. Ambitions like this are always an incredible learning process and an opportunity to continuously get better.

“Something that our clients really appreciate is that as a smaller, specialty supplier, they can communicate with our structural designers directly to meet their goals,” said Kevin Nunes​, Structural Design Manager with Bellwyck. “This total team approach allows us to capture our clients’ vision first hand and explain what is necessary for the packaging to stand up during manufacturing and shipping. They tell us this process also gives them greater insight into packaging design and they feel better knowing what’s involved. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

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