Packing at the click of a mouse
Modern CAT technology and the exchanging of virtual product data are helping manufacturers significantly reduce development times while accelerating the parallel development of product, packaging and displays.
The result is virtual 3D packaging and display ideas that are graphically designed and whose functionality can be tested on the computer.
3D scanners make it possible to create virtual mappings of any customer product, which in turn helps the development process flow more smoothly.
Digital drafts have proven a favourite with customers, since they provide the design samples that customers increasingly require. The benefits go beyond just a shorter sampling process. With a draft in hand, the customers can then talk through the display design in their own offices and make more effective presentations of rough concepts during listing discussions with retailers.
Cost and time savings
Virtual packaging on the computer means first and foremost shortened process development and test phases. The mouse-driven simulation eliminates the need for time-intensive physical tests of packing and reduces time and personnel overhead for the construction of samples and models. Because the computer provides a precise calculation of the optimal arrangement of product components within the packaging, valuable space is also more effectively utilised.
The design team at STI Group uses innovative 'visualiser' software to provide customers with a clearer understanding of how the various finishing options might look. The tool takes the print format information and overlays it with structural, tactile and enhancement effects. The resulting simulation provides a 3D view of effects like foil stamping, spot coating or embossing, with an interactive animation to help customers make their evaluation. This approach cuts development times and costs, even for packaging with high-end finishing effects.
Take for example the virtual enhancements shown below: the yellow packaging catches the eye better, while the silver foil carton leaves a more technical, clean and refined impression. Another set of specialised software then helps the customer decide right on the PC which levels of finishing are preferable, eliminating the need to build an expensive sample or launch into a and time-consuming price quotation process.