Feature in FY2011:
Environmentally-conscious packaging design
- Shift to paper-based packaging materials-Started from the birth of Ecosys.
- With sufficient knowledge of both packaging materials and products, we were able to overcome the problems.
- Thorough verification and feedback have improved both products and packages.
- Pursuing higher goals, based on accumulated technologies.
Thorough verification and feedback have improved both products and packages.
How do you design/develop packaging?
Itano:Each staff member is wholly responsible for the entire packaging of one product model. The number of parts used for a model is sometimes as many as 80, including the main body of the machine, the toner, and the service parts. When the deadline for a model is close, other members help the member in charge.
Nakamura:By supporting others, members can exchange information. Seeing other members developing certain types of packaging encourages you to develop a better one. It positively stimulates your competitive spirit. The section members are all conscious rivals.
What are the merits of developing packaging materials inside the Company?
Itano:Because we have a thorough knowledge of our products, we can design appropriate packaging that matches the characteristics of each product. This would be difficult if packaging design were outsourced.
Nakamura:It is this in-house packaging design that enables us to improve our products and packaging at the same time through cooperation with our hardware designers.
How do you check the quality of the packages you have developed?
Itano:When the prototype of a package is produced, we test it thoroughly after actually placing a product inside it. Tests against various conditions such as drops, vibration, compression, and water leakages are conducted to evaluate the quality of the packaging.
Nakamura:We conduct tests in accordance with our in-house standards, which are severer than JIS standards. For example, the JIS standard requires drop tests to be conducted at least once, while we conduct our drop tests at least twice.
Itano:Design of a package is performed on the desk. But when testing a package we have designed, we often find that the range of damage to a product or package caused by a drop or for another reason differs from the results of previous simulations. We compare and verify hypotheses and actual data, and promptly make necessary corrections if any problem is found, and then conduct tests and verification again. Through repetition of these processes, the quality of each package can be improved.
Nakamura:We sometimes realize as a result of various tests that the strength of not only the packaging materials but also the product itself needs to be improved. Since the tests are conducted jointly with the hardware design representative, we can have the product improved promptly whenever necessary.
Itano:If the product itself is robust, the amount of packaging materials used can be reduced. I think our collaboration with hardware designers enables us to smoothly realize both improvement of product strength and reduction of packaging materials.