Pittsburgh — Designing blow molded containers no longer has to be a months-long process, with iterations bouncing back and forth between decision makers, before a final version is hammered out.
Using something dubbed the “eight-hour month,” Amcor Rigid Plastics is relying on improvements in both software and hardware to help compress the process into a single day, according to Laurie Goetz, director of product development — diversified products, at the company.
Amcor, she said at the recent Annual Blow Molding Conference in Pittsburgh, can bring decision makers together at its Manchester, Mich., location to brainstorm and create multiple container designs within a single day.
“We'll have all those people sitting in a room and literally over a six-to-eight-hour period we usually come out with three or four designs,” she told the crowd at the conference sponsored by the Blow Molding Division of the Society of Plastic Engineers.
“It's expedited the project I would say at least two months and, if not, sometimes up to three months,” Goetz said. “It's been a huge selling point for us. Our hard part is usually to get somebody to do it once.”
After that, she said, the client is sold on the approach. “After they do it once, it's done. It becomes the normal way they operate the business in the future,” she said.
“It's really a great, fast process. That's the key. Because the software and the hardware has come a long way so you don't get bored between iterations,” Goetz said.
Bringing together customers with packaging engineers and industrial designers streamlines the design process, allowing changes to be talked about and considered within a matter of seconds or minutes thanks to advancements in software and hardware.
“That's the trend we're seeing to help our customers get to the finish line, and really to make much, much better decisions,” she said.