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Introduction to Packaging Engineering

Yongquan Zhou, CPP

Project Engineer
FedEx Packaging Design and Development


Adjunct Faculty
CBU School of Engineering
What’s packaging?

Packaging has many faces. In its more

familiar forms it is the box on the grocer's
shelf and the wrapper on a candy bar. It can
also be the crate around a machine or a bulk
container for chemicals. It is art and
science; it is materials and equipment; it is
protection, promotion, law, logistics,
manufacturing, and materials handling all
rolled into one. It is many things to many
people, and it is a very difficult concept to
describe and define.

---- Handbook of Package Engineering, 2nd

Edition by Joseph F. Hanlon
What’s packaging - continued?

Packaging is best described as a coordinated

system of preparing goods for transport,
distribution, storage, retailing, and use. It is
a complex, dynamic, scientific, artistic, and
controversial business function, which in its
most fundamental form contains, protects/
preserves, transports, and informs/sells.
Packaging is a service function that cannot
exist by itself; it needs a product. If there is
no product, there is no need for a package.

---- Fundamentals of Packaging

Technology, 2nd Edition by Walter Soroka
What’s packaging - continued?

♦ the technique of preparing good for

♦ the design criteria, processes, and
procedures used to protect material
from deterioration and damage from the
time manufacturing is completed until
ultimate use or disposal;
♦ DISCUSSION: it includes cleaning,
drying, preserving, packing, unitization,
and marking
♦ the processes and procedures used to
protect an item in a unit package

---- ASTM D996 Standard Terminology of

Packaging and Distribution
Why packaging?

You see more of it and think less about it

than probably any other thing touching your
life. The fact is that you just are not
conscious of packaging. This shows how
effectively it works for you - you just take it
for granted.

Without packaging, your standard of living

would fall far below the level you now
enjoy. In fact, without it, you might not be
around to enjoy any standard of living.

Without packages that protect the product

and help you use it, the typical food item
you take home from today's supermarket
simply wouldn't be there. You would have
nothing like the choice of food you now
have- and at the price levels which mass
packaging and mass distribution make
Why packaging - continued?

Without packaging, the medicines your physician

prescribes for you and the materials your surgeon
uses when operating on you just wouldn't be
available at today's level of sterility, uniformity,
and value. And, in between life-sustaining foods
and life-saving medicines, the accomplishments of
packaging enrich your life beyond compare.

If you don't think so, when you go home stop and

take a look at the first ten packages you see in
your kitchen and bathroom. Just try to imaging
how you would live without these products in the
easy-to-use form which their packages provide.

---- FOREWORD to Opportunities in Packaging

Science by David Olsson and Harold Raphael
By R. Bruce Holmgren, Editor Director,
What's packaging engineering?

♦ Packaging engineering is the activity in

which scientific and engineering
principles are applied in solving the
problem of functional design,
formation, filling, closing, and/or
preparation for shipment of containers
(regardless of type or kind) or the
product enclosed therein.

♦ Packaging engineering includes the

study of products, packages, materials
and containers, structures, methods,
machinery, and transportation; it deals
with such disciplines as chemistry,
physics, mechanics, machine design,
industrial engineering, electronics,
materials handling, and other
specialized skills.
The system of packaging science 1

• Packaging sociology • Packaging technology

>> Packaging environment >> Product science

>> Marketing >> Packaging design

• Packaging materials science >> Packaging mechanics

>> Materials engineering >> Distribution engineering

>> Materials processing >> Packaging evaluation

Who's packaging engineer?

♦ Any individual who is engaged in the

packaging engineering function is in
essence a packaging engineer.

♦ He/she may have his/her major training

in one of these specific areas,
depending upon the main emphasis of
his assignment
Why work in packaging?

♦ It is still an area for pioneering Choose




♦ It has substantial social, environmental, Define the


and ecological challenges to be dealt



♦ It represents a key, vital position in a

growing number of companies

♦ It is increasing in importance in the

day-to-day management of business

♦ It provides the satisfaction of doing an

important job

♦ It offers opportunities for advancement

♦ Generally the pay is good

Career opportunities in packaging

♦ Packaging materials

♦ Packaging design
Career opportunities in packaging - continued

♦ Packaging research and development

Snapshot of Impact/Drop Data

Impact Orientation – 40LB Package

Equivalent Drop Height Frequency and Cumulative Percentage – 40LB Package

Truck Vibration - PSD

Truck Vibration PSD



PSD (G^2/Hz)

0.0001 CH 1 PSD (G^2/Hz)

CH 2 PSD (G^2/Hz)
0.00001 CH 3 PSD (G^2/Hz)



1 10 100 1000

Frequency (Hz)
Career opportunities in packaging - continued

♦ Packaging machinery design and development

Career opportunities in packaging - continued

♦ Purchasing, marketing, sales, advertising

♦ Packaging management
Who hire packaging engineers?

♦ Packaging users

- Food/beverage, medical/pharmaceutical makers - Computer, electronics, consumer goods

- Household, industrial, institutional products makers - Transportation companies

♦ Packaging suppliers

- Materials makers - Machinery manufacturers

♦ Packaging services providers

- Contract packagers - Design firms - Testing and research labs

- Consultants - Associations - Testing equipment/instruments makers

Who hire packaging engineers in Memphis, Mid-south?

♦ Memphis is the world distribution center

– Air/ground carriers

– Warehouse/distribution centers

– Packaging suppliers and packaging services

♦ Memphis has several major manufacturers

- Medical/pharmaceutical makers - Food/beverage, consumer goods companies


Divisions of packaging

♦ Based on end-user

– Consumer packaging
– Industrial packaging
– Institutional packaging
– Military packaging
– Government packaging

♦ Based on packaging level

– Primary packaging
– Secondary packaging
– Distribution packaging
– Unitized/palletized packaging
– Containerized packaging (1, 2)
Divisions of packaging - continued

♦ Based on commodity

– Food packaging
– Pharmaceutical packaging
– Medical device packaging
– Electronics packaging
– Cosmetic packaging
– Chemical packaging
– Hazardous materials packaging
Functions of packaging

♦ 4 Principal packaging functions

– Contain
– Protect/Preserve
– Transport
– Inform/Sell

♦ Other packaging functions - performance

– Convenience

~ Carry ~ Open ~ Dispense

~ Measure ~ Cut ~ Close/re-close

– Utility
Functions of packaging - continued

♦ Technical functions

- Contain - Protect/Preserve - Transport

- Dispense - Measure - Store

♦ Marketing functions

- Communicate - Display - Inform

- Promote - Sell - Motivate
Functions of packaging - continued

♦ Product characteristics

♦ Examples of protective packaging problems and concerns

♦ Typical preservation packaging problems and concerns

♦ Typical transport handling and storage information

♦ Retail packaging functionalities vs transport packaging functionalities

♦ Application of packaging functions survey by Dr. David L. Olsson

The packaging industry 1

♦ Packaging suppliers ♦ Packaging users

- Producers of raw materials - Consumer

- Converters of raw materials - Industrial
- Packaging machinery manufacturers - Institutional
- Military

♦ Packaging service organizations

- Contract packagers - Consultants

- Testing and research organizations - Testing machine manufacturers
- Trade associations
Some professional associations related to packaging

♦ Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP)

♦ World Packaging Organization (WPO)
♦ Women in Packaging
♦ International Safe Transit Association (ISTA)
♦ American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
♦ International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
♦ Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI)
♦ International Molded Pulp Environmental Packaging Association (IMPEPA)
♦ Flexible Packaging Association
♦ Fibre Box Association
♦ Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) 1, 2
Major schools with B.S. degree in packaging 1

♦ Clemson University, Clemson, SC

♦ Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

♦ Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY

♦ San Jose State University, San Jose, CA

♦ University of Wisconsin-Stout, Menomonie, WI

Knowledge in packaging will help engineering students

♦ Knowledge in packaging will enhance and increase career opportunities and alternatives
for engineering students

♦ There are limited students graduated with packaging degree, option, or minor around the
country while the demands for packaging professionals are increasing

♦ Many, if not all, companies need even more packaging professionals to help change
their products and business suitable for the new economy of internet and e-commence

♦ Many companies need to hire packaging engineers not only with packaging engineering
and packaging science background but also with other engineering backgrounds such as
mechanical and chemical engineering

♦ Knowledge in packaging will also help future mechanical engineers, electrical

engineers, industrial engineers, or chemical engineers

Thank you!