By John Henry, www.changeover.com
"Nothing happens until somebody sells something." I forget where I heard this expression, but it's stuck with me. Package design is a large part of selling and marketers must always have the last word in design. On the other hand, price is also a key success factor. Even small price reductions can really goose sales, and package design can have a big impact.
I've spent my life working with packaging machinery and the interface between package and machinery. I've seen a number of cases where minimal design changes have huge impacts on manufacturing costs — lowering costs begets lower prices.
The first time I really noticed this package/machine interface problem was with a bottler. A rep from the company called and needed me in his plant right now! When I arrived at the plant, he showed me a new commemorative bottle with an inverse taper which is smaller at the bottom. It would not run on his line. As the bottles bunched up, the taper would cause them to fall over. He wound up reducing the line speed from 250BPM to about 100bpm and adding a number of temporary operators to sit along the line and prevent the bottles falling.
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