cost-optimisation

Injection Moulding Course – 23rd October 2014

Posted in Cosmetics & Toiletries, Design, Design Cognition News, Drinks Packaging, Food Packaging, Gift Packaging, Healthcare & Pharma, Innovation, Machinery, Marketing, Materials, Medical Devices, Technology, Training, cost-optimisation on September 2nd, 2014 by Chris Penfold – 1 Comment

lego bricks - cropAnother exciting one day intensive hands-on training course being run by Design Cognition in October.

Injection moulding is used in many areas of packaging component manufacturing and in all sectors including cosmetics, food, healthcare, and toiletries. So this course is applicable to ALL.

It will provide delegates with a basic grounding in the processing of thermoplastics and elastomers by injection moulding methods including multi-shot moulding.

In addition the course will look at the key components that make up the injection moulding tool, including various gate designs and hot runner configurations.

To gain the best possible experience, you will get to see moulding machines in action and handle the tooling moulds themselves.

So whether you know nothing, have a basic understanding or are familiar with this area, this course will provide you with useful knowledge and insights from some of the leading tooling experts in the UK who have worked in the industry for over 40 years.

For more information – Follow this link to our Training Page to download a PDF flyer

New Season of Packaging Training Courses

Posted in Anti-Counterfeiting, Branding, Cosmetics & Toiletries, Design, Design Cognition News, Drinks Packaging, Environmental Issues, Events, Food Packaging, Gift Packaging, Healthcare & Pharma, Innovation, Marketing, Materials, Medical Devices, Safety, Technology, Training, Uncategorized, cost-optimisation on August 27th, 2014 by Chris Penfold – Be the first to comment
creative brain - opening

Open up your mind to new possibilities

By popular demand, we are pleased to announce a new season of packaging-related training courses starting in October.

The first will be Bar Coding & Mass Serialisation, which will take place on 14th October.

Other courses have been scheduled and are presently being developed, including Plastics Injection Moulding and the Packaging of Pharmaceuticals and you can find out about all of them and others on our Training page by following this link: Training Courses.

As always, all of these courses can be run as bespoke events at your own premises, if that would suit you better. As an international training provider, we are willing to consider running events anywhere in the world.

Why not give us a call (+44 115 846 1914) to talk through your own particular circumstances and needs, or drop an email to training@designcognition.com).

All of these courses can be run as bespoke events at your own premises – See more at: http://www.designcognition.com/training/#sthash.gMdIGbAF.dpuf
All of these courses can be run as bespoke events at your own premises – See more at: http://www.designcognition.com/training/#sthash.gMdIGbAF.dpuf

Plastic injection moulding & tooling – a one day introductory course

Posted in Design, Healthcare & Pharma, Machinery, Materials, Technology, Training, cost-optimisation on December 20th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 114 Comments
Want to know more about injection moulding? Increase your skills on our 1 day course

Want to know more about injection moulding? Increase your skills on our 1 day course

If you are involved in the design or development of injection moulded thermoplastic parts, whether packaging, delivery systems or devices, and want to save huge amounts of time, money & hassle, this 1 day course is for you – especially if you would like to be able to:

- Understand the key terms and phrases associated with injection moulding machines, the process and a basic multi cavity hot runner mould tool configuration.

- Have the knowledge and confidence to interact on an even level with suppliers when specifying, sourcing and managing a plastics moulding, tooling project through to final acceptance.

- Recognise common moulding faults and implement a course of remedial action quickly.

- Create a bespoke mould tool specification documents for your own components. This will enable you to not only understand your current suppliers documentation, but also compare alternative suppliers on a like-for-like basis.

There is an EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT, but HURRY, the discount ends Friday 24th December 2010.

To find out more, check out: Packaging Training Courses – More Information

or email Training@DesignCognition.Com

Alternatively just give us a call on +44 (0) 115 8461914

Look forward to seeing you there!

Branded Packaging That Delivers – Transform Your Products

Posted in Branding, Design, Design Cognition News, Events, Innovation, Marketing, Product News, Retailers, Training, cost-optimisation on November 3rd, 2010 by Chris Penfold – Be the first to comment
coca cola - branded packaging that delivers

coca cola - branded packaging that delivers

In today’s increasingly competitive marketplace, effective branding is essential.

So we are running a 1 day course to give you hints, tips and pointers on how to make your product stand out on shelf through effective packaging as a marketing tool.

It will explain how to transform your good brand into a GREAT brand and help take your products to the ‘next level’, looking at a number of important aspects including brand values, added value & convenience, rationalisation, pack size, reducing material cost and innovation to get retailer acceptance, drive sales and increase profitability.

9th December 2010 at Biocity in Nottingham, UK

HURRY NOW – find out more & how to register to get an EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT by clicking Branded Packaging That Delivers

PET falling out of favour?

Posted in Drinks Packaging, Environmental Issues, Recycling, Uncategorized, cost-optimisation on October 19th, 2010 by Jane Bear – 9 Comments

Well it would appear to be the case in certain sectors of the market.

German retailer Penny Markt has announced that it will be moving a range of its own beverages from PET bottles to aluminium cans.  They appear to be claiming that when you look at the whole life cycle of the product they feel that aluminium cans are more environmentally friendly, or should that be less environmentally damaging.

Penny Markt are justifying their move back into cans with claims that new can designs now mean that 30% less material is used, that the recycling rate for aluminium cans in Germany have risen significantly and that they can also achieve savings as the cans stack better than the PET bottles they are replacing and also chill much faster – therefore saving energy and money.

The full article written by David Vink of European Plastics news makes an interesting read and gives a good background to the German drinks market.  Penny Markt obviously feel they are doing the ‘right thing’ and others in their market appear to be preparing to follow, but who is ultimately right?

If you talk to PET manufacturers they will have you believe that PET is less environmentally damaging than other packaging materials – if you talk to the glass industry then they are of course the most environmentally friendly – if you talk to the aluminium can producers they will equally justify themselves.

I believe the answer is very much ‘horses for courses’ in other words it really depends on not only the products you are looking to package, but also the full life cycle of the packaging, including the transport of the empty container and the disposal of it after use.  If you need help with making the most environmentally friendly decisions for your products, then don’t forget that we have two Chartered Environmentalists who can help, so why not contact Design Cognition and see how we could help make those seemingly difficult decisions easy!

Developing a product & packaging? There’s no such thing as a ‘free launch’!

Posted in Branding, Design, Marketing, Opinion, Social Media, Top 10 Tips, Training, cost-optimisation on August 10th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 6 Comments
There's no such thing as a free launch

There's no such thing as a free launch

The trouble with television programmes like High Street Dreams and Dragons Den, is that they only provide a
‘snapshot/soundbite’ of branding and the product development process, making it all appear oh-so-easy to the average ‘personon the street’. In reality, it’s a complicated process and there are a number of steps involved that should be considered before even thinking about approaching a branding or design agency and spending ‘hard-earned’ cash.
At Design Cognition we routinely get approached by all manner of entrepreneurs and small business owners who have very limited experience of branding and New Product Development (NPD). So we thought that we ought to provide some ‘pointers’ for those of you new to this arena, to get you to ‘stop and think’ and focus on what it is you are actually trying to achieve! It’s not in your interests or ours to develop products that have a high probability of failure.

So here are some fundamental questions to ask yourself, before you even think about branding & packaging:

read more »

Medical packaging & devices go greener

Posted in Design, Environmental Issues, Government, Healthcare & Pharma, Materials, Recycling, cost-optimisation on July 15th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 2 Comments
Medical device packaging

Medical device packaging

Traditionally medical products, devices and their related packaging has been ’sidelined’ in much of the debate around the environment, where the major focus has been on retail products. However, it is estimated (Mulligan) that medical packaging contributes between 30% to 50% (or more) of the medical waste stream. There is a lot of work going on in the background, within the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, and further afield globally, as healthcare practitioners are put under increasing pressure to ‘go green’, become more ’sustainable’ and reduce their ‘carbon footprint’.  These initiatives go right to the core of their infrastructure, looking at everything from operating theatre furniture and equipment, through to medical devices and all related packaging.

However, there are wider ramifications, as it apparent that these sustainability initiatives will also enable huge cost benefits, improved regulatory compliance, and enhanced corporate social responsibility (CSR) when done correctly. So no pressure then ;-) !

On the face of it, this looks like a huge and daunting task, but with the aid of modern modelling techniques, such as those used by Walmart and by Marks & Spencer (M&S) in their ‘Plan A’, data and issues can be quite easily ‘chunked-down’ into manageable bite-size segments. This can help prioritisation and enable ‘quick wins’ on the highest ‘value creating’ initiatives.

It is important that suppliers and medical device manufacturers think about these sweeping changes and, if not already doing so, start to design and develop medical devices & healthcare packaging to meet these more stringent requirements. Next-generation packaging must be: 1) easy to manufacture; 2) meet stringent regulatory requirements; 3) meet the needs of distributors, healthcare institutions, and medical practitioners; and 4) minimize impact on the environment.

Mulligan talks in greater detail about all of this in an interesting article ‘Using a Life Cycle Analysis approach in medical packaging‘ recently published on the Healthcare Packaging website. Have a read and let us know what you think!

Chris Penfold

Consumer needs for active & intelligent food packaging?

Posted in Design, Drinks Packaging, Food Packaging, Innovation, Marketing, Materials, Opinion, Retailers, Technology, Tweets, cost-optimisation on July 5th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 9 Comments
Apparently over 30% food produced is wasted before being eaten

Apparently over 30% of food produced is wasted before being eaten

It is interesting to read that the focus of active and intelligent (A&I) packaging has shifted from “manufacturer concerns” such as shelf-life and spoilage to “consumer concerns such as freshness, quality and information”, according to recently published research.

The report – ‘The Future of Active and Intelligent Packaging in Food and Drinks’ said that industry leaders had identified “freshness indicators as the most important innovations in the field over the next five years. A development on quality was listed as the next most important field followed by temperature and time indicators.”

However, with over 30% of all food that we buy being wasted, I would hardly call “shelf-life and spoilage” just “manufacturing concerns”. They are huge and global concerns for everyone, much of which is to do with education and the role that packaging can play to save costs for everyone in the supply chain (very important in the present economic situation) but also, ultimately, to help save the planet’s finite resources.

I’m not sure how the research was conducted, what questions were asked, or how they were asked, but apparently, consumers ranked “health, convenience, safety and enhancing product attributes” as the most important attributes that would make them willing to pay more for A&I-packaged products. “Longer shelf-life and packaging that communicates product information” were also seen as important, but consumers perhaps see these as a ‘given’ and wouldn’t necessarily want to pay extra for them.

It is my feeling that the growth of A&I packaging has been primarily technology-led, by developments in sensor technology including nanosensors and biosensors. This is highlighted by the emerging trend of the incorporation of scavenging functions into packaging with bottles, labels or films. This is great technology, but I’m not sure that most consumers would understand what these are or what benefits they bring and therefore they would certainly not want to pay for their incorporation.

It is true that “Delivery of efficiencies in the value chain and the opportunity for manufacturers to differentiate their products and boost their efficiency by reducing product losses” will be major benefits for manufacturers and retailers – but what about consumers? There is a huge consumer-led marketing ‘trick’ being missed here, especially when “High production costs, compliance with food safety regulations and consumer mistrusts” are being highlighted in the report as “potential challenges”.

So, it is good to see that the consumer perspective is taking greater prominence (to some degree at least), in the New Product developments (NPD) that will help meet consumer needs in the expanding drinks and ready-meals segments. I agree, that the current focus for A&I has to be on luxury goods initially, and that it will move to lower-end products as the technology becomes more widely available and costs fall, but maybe it’s time to take a large ’step back’, flip this around completely and look at it from a consumers’ point-of-view. It is up to us all to educate consumers – highlight the wider issues of food (and water) waste & spoilage, get them to understand the more holistic effects of these on their daily ‘wants & (real) needs’ and ultimately get their ‘buy-in’ to the ‘real’ benefits.
Chris Penfold

You can read the full article at www.foodproductiondaily.com

Many thanks to @PhilCyLaw in Brussels for bringing this to our attention via Twitter.

DAY 9 – Packaging Tip No9 – Cost minimisation

Posted in Design, Innovation, Materials, Opinion, Top 10 Tips, Training, Uncategorized, cost-optimisation on March 16th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 9 Comments
Packaging Top Ten Tips

Packaging Top Ten Tips

In order to help you develop your packaging more productively, we have generated a series of  FREE short 1-2 minute videos detailing our Tip Ten Tips for getting it right. We will be posting 1 x video per day on this blog site over a 10 day period – so keep a look out for them – they could save you a £££$$$ fortune in the long run!

DAY 9 – Tip No9: Everyone’s aim is to develop a pack that is ‘fit for purpose’ but at minimum cost. There are a number of approaches that you can take and each will have a significant impact on the final outcome. What might seem the cheapest solution initially, might cost you dearly in the long run! Watch the video to find out more….

Smiley smiley packaging. Cheers Chris

Today’s Video:

Packaging Tip No9 – Cost minimisation – by Chris Penfold – Design Cognition

Look out tomorrow for Tip No 10 – IP protection…..

Pharmaceutical packaging – celebration of success – foundation for the future

Posted in Associations, Design, Government, Healthcare & Pharma, Legal, Machinery, Materials, Opinion, Safety, Uncategorized, cost-optimisation on March 11th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 11 Comments
Blister Packaging

Blister Packaging

The following article is one that I’ve recently written for the Packaging Professional magazine, which details a fascinating 25 year transformation in the way we work and do business in the pharmaceutical packaging industry. Over that period the industry itself has undergone huge change and with recent economic pressures and the rise of generic competition is likely to continue unabated.

Back in the 1980’s, before the days of email and the internet, working in packaging could sometimes be a lonely business, especially in an area like pharmaceuticals where regulatory requirements, standards and process were constantly being updated as authorities, such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines Control Agency (MCA), evolved  increasing powers and rules. A situation where ‘fit for purpose’ packaging could be a matter of life and death.

Pharma companies are strictly regulated and need to work to tight and common standards and most companies were running similar, machinery, quality systems and packaging materials. So learnings from one company could greatly help another and save having to ‘reinvent the wheel’. It was also important for the industry to provide a collective view to positively influence proposed legislation and regulations, with a common and pragmatic ‘voice’.

So back in 1984, the ‘seed’ of an idea for a group was ‘sown’ by Alan Haskins of Roussel Laboratories and Roy Gray of ICI Pharmaceuticals, after Roy’s boss had visited the USA and seen a successful American group working in the same sector. This was a defining moment and the group would not have happened without their collective vision and proactive approach. The first Pharmaceutical Common Interest Group (PCIG) meeting took place on 16th October 1984 at Sysonby Lodge, which was the head office of The Institute of Packaging (IOP) at the time). The meeting was chaired by Alan Haskins, with Roy Gray as Secretary and an attendance of 18 people from 15 pharmaceutical companies from across the industry. There were 37 questions raised & discussed at that meeting on a range of topics, including: a New British Standard for aluminium flexible tubes, label adhesives, Tamper Evidence and EAN bar codes – themes that would arise again and again over the years.

It was agreed that there would be three meetings per year and venues would rotate across the various company sites, but over the years most were actually hosted by the IOP.

One of the original members, Mike Shorten, who worked for Boots Pharmaceuticals at the time and is now retired, recalls:

“The PCIG soon became my most important network. Forty pharmaceutical practitioners across all sectors of the industry provided a powerful resource that could offer practical experience about most issues and without any consultants’ fees! A great strength of the group was the willingness of its members to talk openly about issues and share best practice and then to collectively influence new regulations and standards”

How the CIG has changed over the years

I have myself have been a member of the group for over 18 years (since 1991) and over that time can recall a great deal of camaraderie, focused help for each other and pragmatism having helped us all deal with issues as diverse as use of high barrier blister materials, bar coding issues and leeching of preservative through polyethylene bottles.

As issues became apparent, some common themes evolved and a number of dedicated ‘sub groups’ were set up to focus on specific topics. Four of these were Working Groups for Digital Artwork & Reprographics (DAR), Validation, Child Resistance and Quality Standards. The DAR subgroup was set up at a time when ‘desktop publishing’ was a buzz word being used as artwork generation moved from ‘old fashioned’ layout board, to a digitised computerised system.  At the time there was no common standard. There was a range of hardware (PC & Mac based), a number of operating systems, and various artwork creative software packages on each platform. The ease by which artwork could be generated and manipulated raised its own issues in terms of artwork version control and (in the early days) data going ‘missing’ sometimes between approval and print – which had the potential to cause a catastrophic result. So the group played a critical role in sharing ‘best practice’ and setting appropriate standards.

The Validation subgroup was formed in 1992, the founding Chairman being Mike Harwood of The Wellcome Foundation, Dartford. A subsequent Chairman (1993-98) John Cooper (of Pfizer at the time) recalls “The original intent was to develop a set of guidelines for validating pharmaceutical packaging equipment and then issue to IOP members, but as the guideline developed and the information was shared informally with machine manufacturers it became obvious that it would be of a wider benefit to publish a ‘book’. As I was a member both of the PCIG and Institute of Quality Assurance Pharma Quality Group (IQA PQG), I suggested that this was published jointly as a monograph in the series which was already established by the PQG. The monograph was published in 1998 and launched at a joint meeting of PCIG and PQG at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Lambeth with over 200 people in attendance, including the MCA Head of Inspection and Enforcement, Gordon Munro!” That was another defining moment in the ‘life’ of the PCIG and evidence of the esteem with which the group was held within the pharmaceutical industry. The third edition of that monograph is presently due for print.

It was not uncommon in the early days for PCIG meeting attendance to be around 35-40 people, with standing room only. Questions would be collated by the Secretary and shared at each meeting. It would sometimes take 3 or 4 hours to go through them all, one-by-one. As the years have gone by and we have moved in to a digital age, email has enabled members to converse more easily and questions can be asked and answered sometimes within minutes. So the focus and frequency of face-to-face meetings changed to providing more of an opportunity for discussing in more depth, processes, procedures, technology and impending legislation, and to keep in touch with old colleagues and friends. Together with the myriad of mergers among the pharma companies, this has meant attendances have dropped.

Where we are going with it in future
The PCIG (now called the Pharmaceutical Packaging Forum – PPF) is still active, with a core of ‘stalwart’ members and a new voluntary Secretary, David Pethick, former Director of Packaging Development at GSK. David is upbeat about future for the group and says “the pharma landscape, increasing demands and changing regulations on packaging present as much, if not more of, a challenge as when the PCIG was first established. I see both a need and role for a vibrant PCIG to help the pharma packaging professional meet those challenges, whether that be from simply providing networking among its members, to wider influencing, technical leadership, training needs or whatever”.

Pharma packaging legislation/regulation has changed enormously, and the Society recently received an enquiry about training courses on this. Feedback from PCIG members showed a high level of similar interest. Whether or not such a course could be developed is still a work in progress, but both David (for PPF) and Ian Morris, Training Manager at IOM3, would be interested in readers’ feedback.

Ultimately, the future and utility of PCIG, as over its past history, is reliant on the members who actively value and contribute to it.

Chris Penfold

If you work in Pharma and are interested in knowing more or in joining the PPF group, you can contact David Pethick (the Secretary) at dppk@btinternet .

On my own part (Chris), as well as continuing to be an active member of the PPF and a consultant, I am also the External Relations Officer of the East Midlands Packaging Society, for which you can find more information at: East Midlands Packaging Society.

You can find more help and advice on various aspects of pharmaceutical packaging at our sister site: The Pharma Gateway