Design & Technology
Printing, finishing, packaging, and paper engineering.
Packaging functions and techniques
Packaging fulfils the following functions:
- containing and holding the product
- protecting the product from damage
- informing the customer about the product
- creating brand identity to promote and help sell the product
- making it convenient to carry, use and store the product
Cardboard cartons are the most common form of packaging. The process involved in manufacturing cartons can be summarised as follows:
- Print the carton design onto card.
- Cut out the surface development of the carton, with tabs for gluing.
- Fold the net into the carton shape.
- Glue the carton together along the tabs.
Other types of packaging
- Bottles and jars made from glass or plastic are used for liquids, granules and powders.
- Boxes and cylinders made from card are used for granules, powders and whole items.
- Plastic bags are used for food products and small loose items, eg snack foods and sweets.
- Cans are used for food products. Drinks cans are made from aluminium and food cans are made from tin-coated steel (tinplate).
- Bubble packs consisting of a stiff plastic bubble made by vaccuum-forming fixed to a card backing - are used for small products, eg stationery items, toys and screws.
- Shrink-wrapping - soft plastic vaccuum formed onto card backing - is used for some small products, eg DIY products and toys.
Bar code on packaging
The information given on packaging is regulated by laws [laws: Formal rules adopted by Parliament and enforced by government. ] and standards [standards: Guidelines or specifications which are widely agreed and commonly accepted, but do not necessarily have the force of law. ]. Some of the most important principles are that:
- the name of the company that made the product should be visible on the packaging. This is required by law.
- the contents of the product (and its packaging) should be listed. This is required by law.
- health and safety information about using the product should be given. This is required by law.
- information about safely disposing of the packaging or container after use should be given
- a bar code should be displayed for stock control and pricing purposes
- instructions for recycling the product and/or its packaging after use