General Question

guywithanaccountnow's avatar

If someone had a product line that needed a package for each unit sold, how would you find where to get the packages for your product made?

Asked by guywithanaccountnow (313 points ) January 28th, 2012

There must be times when the product is made and packaged all in the same factory AND times when that doesn’t happen. In the latter case, who would someone who needed packages for their products go to?

In case anyone doesn’t get the question, here’s an example:

Someone owns a pizzeria that does delivery, and so they need boxes to send the pizzas in. Who makes the boxes? Not just generic ones, but ones with the company logo, a custom design, product information, etc.

I’m not just asking about cardboard boxes, though, so anyone with info on other types of packages can still post that info.

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12 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

My friend has a small tool and die shop where he designs and makes the molds for plastic bubble packaging (and, incidentally, plastic holiday serve-ware). Manufacturing is done elsewhere, but his process is the first.
Does that help?

Judi's avatar

I used to have someone work for me who was a packaging engineer. I don’t know who he had worked for, but his job was to design custom packaging.
A quick google search for custom boxes yielded this vendor
I’m sure with a little research you could find more.

JaneraSolomon's avatar

You go to a commercial printer such as “Triangle Printing and Packaging Company”
http://www.triangle-printing.com/
to order packages, printing, die cutting, and fabrication if necessary.
However if the visual appearance is important (as it is for most commercial products) you should first have a design, for which you should probably see a graphic designer who specializes in packaging.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I use U-line for certain packaging needs. Uline

CWOTUS's avatar

Product design and marketing for every manufacturer that I’ve ever worked for (more than a few, and in several industries, too) have always included packaging / packing for shipment (and sometimes for retail sale as well) and logistics.

In other words, the product has to be shipped to distributors and/or retailers, and it has to survive the trip. So packing for shipment (and again, also for retail sale in many cases) has to be part of the product development cycle, not just an afterthought. The way Apple packs iPods, for example, and the way IKEA package their RTA (ready-to-assemble) furniture are not accidental or left to chance. It’s part of the entire design of the product.

So if you don’t have in-house packaging engineers, then you select a subcontractor / partner who specializes in this work, and contract with them to participate in the product design and manufacture.

And when your product is utility-size steam boilers, then your product design has to include “constructability” (the thing has to be capable of erection at the jobsite) and all of the pieces have to ship over the road (including over and under all the bridges that it may encounter), on rails, on ships and barges, and it has to survive all of that shipping and handling at multiple points, too. It also needs to include or provide for long-term storage at various places and in all sorts of wet, dry, hot, cold, desert and marine environments, too.

No responsible manufacturer produces something and then pays lip service to, “Well, there it is. Let’s slap a cover on it and throw it in the truck.”

srmorgan's avatar

I worked in the manufacture and distribution of small electrical connectors.

Everything was packaged as it came off the automated assembly line or from manual job assembly. When we brought out a new product line the packaging had to either be designed specifically for that product or we used existing packaging. Obviously if we could use existing packaging, such as a 50 piece box or 100 piece box then we saved money by purchasing and storing only one standard box size which reduced our inventory requirements.

When the standard packaging needed to be changed our box suppliers were more than happy to do the new design for us’; after all it gave them new business and guaranteed that we would keep using them as a supplier.

It should be noted most of our custom work was required to be packaged and shipped according to the customer’s specifications as to type of packaging, materials, size, markings, labels, etc.

SRM

jazmina88's avatar

packaging plants abound.

JaneraSolomon's avatar

“No responsible manufacturer produces something and then pays lip service to, “Well, there it is. Let’s slap a cover on it and throw it in the truck”
@CWOTUS, that depends on the market for the product. What you’re saying is true for a retail free market but not for most wholesale products or for instance military items such as ration meals.
http://i801.photobucket.com/albums/yy293/Bigbrottroy/mres_two_tan.jpg

CWOTUS's avatar

@JaneraSolomon I can’t say anything about packaging for “most wholesale products”, but you’re incorrect in thinking there’s not much thought involved in the packaging for MREs. Take a look at this for starters (pun not intended).

JaneraSolomon's avatar

Functional yes. Decoratively printed, no.

hearkat's avatar

My sweetheart works for a company that prints on the plastics and molded forms for health and beauty products. It’s a very specialized industry with expensive materials and inks. They have salespeople on staff, but also a website to get their name out there. They have very big-name clients though, because what they do is pricey.

If I was a start-up, I would start with local printers, and if they might have additional resources for vendors that have the kind of packaging I’d need.

Silence04's avatar

The company should probably first go to a packaging or branding design agency, as container manufacturers typically don’t have a full creative design staff and only manufacture to supplied specifications.

Also packaging/branding agencies typically know what suppliers to use for specific parts of containers.

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