Packaging Engineering is the activity that applies scientific and engineering principles to solve problems in the design, production, and preparation of packaged products for distribution.
Package engineering includes aspects of industrial engineering, marketing, materials science, industrial design and logistics. Packaging engineers must interact with research and development, manufacturing, marketing, graphic design, regulatory, purchasing, planning and so on. The package must sell and protect the product, while maintaining an efficient, cost-effective process cycle.
The Practice of Packaging Engineering
Packaging engineers plan, design, develop, and produce containers for all types of products. When developing a package, the purpose of the packaging and the needs of the end users. Packaging for a product may be needed for a variety of reasons: for shipping, storage, display, or protection. A package for display must be attractive as well as durable and easy to store. If the packaging purpose is for storage and shipping, then ease of handling and durability have to be considered.
Packaging engineers study the physical properties and handling requirements of the product in order to develop the best kind of packaging. They are also concerned with efficient use of raw materials and production facilities as well as conservation of energy and reduction of costs.
Design and marketing factors also need to be considered when creating the actual package that will be seen by the consumer. Packaging engineers work with graphic designers and packaging designers to design effective packaging that will appeal to consumers.
Once all the details for packaging are worked out, packaging engineers may be involved in supervising the filling and packing operations, operating production lines, or drawing up contracts with customers or sales representatives.
Finally, packaging engineers may also supervise the testing of the package. This may involve simulation of all the various conditions a packaged good may be subjected to, such as temperature, handling, and shipping.