Limited-Time Packaging Runs

Back to School is here, and it will soon be followed by Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. You know what that means: special packaging. And that means coupons, toys, BOGOs, and gift with purchase, all of which mess up your systems for packaging.

Seasonal packaging can be fun. It lets you swap out those suspiciously muscular baseball players with werewolves and mummies on bubblegum wrappers, it lets you drink Coca-Cola (what polar bears drink in nature) from polar bear printed cans, but it also requires extra effort from manufacturers.

If you’re trying to get embrace the holiday spirit, packaging instantly gets a little bit trickier.

The thing is — the package designers may not have any idea what happens in a factory. Can the new package be printed with the same machines, steps, movements, and workflow as the old one? If the package is changing shape, the entire line might need changes. Designers may think of their packages as three dimensional objects hovering in their minds, but in the factory, they have to fit into specific spaces.

Even a small change can mean reconfiguring things like automatic palletization, and holiday packaging often isn’t just a small change. That gift-with-purchase double pack is a much bigger deal on the factory floor than it seems like in the creative meetings.

There’s also the question of timing. If you know in plenty of time that a change is coming up, you can adjust. But it doesn’t always work out that way.

Coca-Cola had to change their packaging during the Christmas season in 2011 after they dropped the iconic red can for a can with a white background. They didn’t foresee how attached the public was to the classic red look and the potential confusion with the diet option. The company ending up halting production due to the public’s response.

If possible, get in communication with companies whose packaging you create now — and stay in communication as the year continues. Forewarned is truly forearmed.

You don’t get forewarning on problems with your servo motors, though. Be like a Boy Scout and be prepared for trouble with your Indramat motion control by putting our number into your phone. We’re your first line of defense when you discover that your parameters need reconfiguration or your servos are in need of repair.