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Within the Lines

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: March 9, 2007

page 3 of 8

Because these trends are short-lived, it is beneficial for packagers to stay ahead of their customers—spotting trends and then presenting ideas and proposals. Fagan states that customers select CROWN Risdon, in many cases, to develop the package.

With the rate of new product introductions, effectively further cutting the life span of trends, the upcoming trends must be forecast further and further out. “It is harder to look into the future as perhaps in years past,” said Pfaff. “So, we in the field of transparent folding boxes are trying to forecast the trend for the next 12 months.”

As Pfaff also noted, the necessary reaction time to a forecast trend depends on how and who a packager is serving. For Seufert’s promotional packaging business, there is a high demand for flexibility, and the company is able to respond in seven weeks.

At PolyOne, designers and engineers begin a project 12 to 18 months before a product launch. “Colorant schemes are very high on the list of priorities to be completed,” said Prusak. “The danger is bad market trend data. If the ‘color of the year’ ends too quickly, a product launch could be in jeopardy. Packagers stay ahead of the forecasts by belonging to organizations that make up the trends. Speed-to-market is key these days.”

CROWN Risdon underscores digital tools/methods and an encompassing system for design packaging. “The use of design software, rapid proto typing and stereolithography rapid prototyping (SLA) modeling has really enhanced the development of new products designs on several levels,” said Fagan. “It enables CROWN Risdon to effectively communicate with its customer base in a very efficient manner. A potential design can be confirmed for size, filling capacity and overall feasibility within hours. Of course, all of this is done electronically to anywhere in the world.”