Why do we offer prototypes?
We have written in-depth blog posts about the benefits our prototypes offer our customers. Not only does a prototype allow our customers to test their returnable packaging for fit and function, but it also allows our customers to test its endurance. Prototypes also provide the peace of mind that when your project goes into full production it will be manufactured to the specifications that have been planned and laid out throughout the prototyping stage. They also allow our customers to add value to their returnable pack. You may find during the testing phase that your returnable pack needs an extra protection feature like a laminate option or waterjet cut foam perhaps. If so, you notify your project manager and they will get this request to our engineering team so they can see if it is feasible for your project. Your prototype would be revised at this point and sent back to you for another round of testing.
Here's a quick reference list of the key benefits our prototypes offer to the design process:
- Confirms the design of the returnable pack works
- Allows for you, our customer, to touch and feel the materials - this brings a greater understanding of the integrity of the materials we use
- Provide our customers with the ability to test the returnable packaging for fit, function, and form
- Allows for added value features to be added or changes to be made before your project goes into full production
- Returnable packaging is an investment, due to this fact, it is paramount that you see what you are purchasing
Why do we provide concept drawings?
This is a step that we have as an option for our customers before the prototyping stage. A concept drawing is a 3D presentation of your returnable pack. It provides a fast visual and can assist in getting you and your project manager on the same page right from the beginning of the project. A concept can be done more quickly than a prototype which again, can get the ball rolling in the right direction. Most often, a concept drawing moves to a prototype, however, we want to highlight the benefits that this early stage in the design process offers.
- Early presentation of the idea for the returnable pack - clarifies design
- Helps to establish the right path the design process is going to go down
- Explains nuances of the design such as tabs, flute direction, rolled edge laminate
- If the customer has math data for their part that is going inside of the returnable pack, our engineers can recreate the part so it can be a part of the 3D concept drawing. This illustrates on paper, how the part will fit into the pack
With all of the above being said - often the concept drawing then moves to the prototype stage. The above also highlights the fact that we believe in the testing phase so quality throughout the production process is maintained. We provided an example in the photo gallery below of a concept drawing then the result of the finished returnable pack. We used our Amatech sample kit, something familiar to some of our audience.
We want you to know that we feel a concept and a prototype are very important pieces to the design process of your returnable packaging. These two pieces can work hand in hand. We always recommend a prototype and sometimes that process can start with a 3D concept drawing. We want to limit guesswork, get on the same page as effectively as possible, so your returnable packaging program is as successful as you need it to be. Our team is ready and here for you to get your project moving in the right direction.