The Future of Package Design – Beyond the Box

By David

Package design technology is on the rise, and so are its expectations to create and deliver.

Meeting consumer demand used to mean creating the best product available. But times have changed. Today’s consumers aren’t as easy to please. They’ve come to expect sustainable and eco-friendly packaging in their retail products, as well as a commitment from brand manufacturers to share these environmentally-conscious values.

As Consumer Packaged Goods and Retail companies shift greater focus towards rethinking packaging design, they need answers to meet these growing demands for sustainability. Brand manufacturers must now create packaging designs not only with increased functionality and greater efficiency, but with stronger shelf performance.

To do this, they’ll need to explore innovative avenues for devising new packaging design strategies. But before they can even think about to incorporate new design features, CPG and retail companies must have their design processes down to a science, or they’ll quickly find themselves grouped with the statistical majority of package failures.

Today’s plastic bottle takes 450 years to decompose. Could tomorrow’s bio-plastic do it in 5?

As if appealing to consumer values and contributing to the environment wasn’t enough, packaging designers concentrating their efforts on sustainability have been quick to discover the potential economic benefits in using renewable materials. For example, manufacturers have found that minimizing the use of corrugate cardboard in packaging has potential to reduce shipping costs, decrease the potential for product damages, and even save shelf space.

The solution for recyclable package designs calls for optimizing resource management and energy consumption, while integrating reusable elements. Packaging suppliers and design agencies need sophisticated research tools to manage these complexities. To avoid falling into a tangled process of redundant rework and organizational disconnect, inventing the next packaging breakthrough requires the means to navigate the design cycle – and it starts with the ability to control what you create.

Can package designers do more with less?

Today, we can make 3 tin cans with the same amount of material it used to take to make just one.

Packaging manufacturers have made this possible by learning to innovate through re-creation – taking existing elements and exploiting previous design assets, then applying them to new concepts. But testing the feasibility of a physical prototype takes time and resources many packaging innovators don’t have. And with 50 percent of new packaging performing worse than what its replacing, innovators need every tool available to make sure their end product functions the way it should.

Did you know:

Integrating design, engineering, and simulation can cut design time 50 percent and lower material costs 30 to 50 percent while improving sustainability and consumer delight?

What package designers need is an application built around the innovation process from “concept to shelf.”  In order to apply existing packaging concepts into new geographies with minimal investment of time and resources, design teams need to be able to collectively assess multiple sources of data and share all of their digital assets across a unified virtual dashboard. Instead of relying on other agencies and suppliers for what they need, the ability to instantly access and reuse previous designs, labels, and materials, expedites the innovative design process and increasing productivity.

To accelerate expansion into new markets, packaging designers must be able to adapt designs for line extensions, new sizes and local preferences quicker than competition. From executing change order requests with “where used” analyses, to simulating mold, manufacturing, and package performance, synchronizing product data across a single platform allows package designers to bring products to market faster and more efficiently.

By integrating design, marketing, engineering, and manufacturing systems across a single business platform, packaging manufacturers can bridge the gaps responsible for undermining the innovation process and avoid costly rework, delays, quality issues and recalls.

And like all innovators seeking to eliminate uncertainty, package designers looking to ensure their new initiatives deliver the results they want know that when it comes to concept development; seeing is believing.

Could we see our creations before we craft them?

Brand manufacturers have no more than 8 seconds to “wow” a potential buyer. With more than 40,000 different products on retail shelves, brand manufacturers simply can’t afford to let their products go unnoticed. To ensure packaging innovations effectively communicate value and stimulate customer engagement, CPG and retail companies must be able to uncover true shopper insights in the context of a realistic retail environment.

This is why brand manufacturers, design agencies, packaging suppliers and artwork designers need a virtual template for integrating visual creation, digital comparison, system of record, proofing tools to eliminate errors throughout the packaging design cycle. Using a cloud-based technology, all parties throughout the supply chain can instantly monitor individual contributions made onto each stage of the design process to ensure brand consistency across multiple product lines.

Creating and testing new packaging concepts virtually is critical in guaranteeing product shelf success. This virtual interface provides stronger visualization and design sharing, allowing technical packaging engineers to collaborate with industrial designers. Together they can identify optimal design strategies, explore package feasibility from conception, and select the best packaging candidates based on consumer feedback and manufacturability. With the means to image how design concepts will look alongside competition, brand manufacturers can ensure all key design elements of the “perfect package” are translated on the shelf, without losing sight of the finished product.

If brand manufacturers wanted to increase design performance while beating the clock of competition – could they do it?

The answer is yes. And it starts with visibility.

Brand manufacturers are realizing more and more every day that when it comes to the package design world, creating the box starts with thinking beyond its walls. But collaboration is a team effort. And with the added complexities of consumer demands and industry standards, brand manufacturers wanting to thrive in a competitive marketplace need to be able to see the big picture. They need a partner that not only understands the cycle for inventive package, but can virtually lead them throughout the process.

Consumer Product Goods and Retail companies need to appeal to the mass market, while addressing a social agenda of implementing sustainable packaging design methods along the way. Brand manufacturers who can succeed in creating a packaging design that delivers both enhanced consumer value and sustainability benefits will drive consumer engagement and brand interaction. And craft a legacy of winning products at shelf. By managing the complexities of design with Perfect Package, brand manufacturers and packaging suppliers have the power to illustrate what change will mean for the future of packaging and help us realize that future…sooner.

Discover package designs trends today’s consumers are demanding and what brand manufacturers are doing to create them.

Download the “Future of Packaging” report to learn:

  • New trends in sustainable packaging
  • How packaging can influence shoppers
  • Key technologies to accelerate design efforts

…and how Dassault Systèmes helps brand manufacturers foster a deep connection between retail companies and their shoppers, through innovative packaging design.

There is a better way to develop new packaging which avoids costly mistakes and delays, the Dassault Systèmes Perfect Package 3DEXPERIENCE® can help cut design time and costs by 50% while virtually eliminating potential quality issues and recalls.


Spotlight on Impararia: Reducing the Gap Between Aerospace Optimization and AEC Inefficiency

By Akio
Mohamed Ali El Hani, CEO of IMPARARIA Inc.

Mohamed Ali El Hani, CEO of IMPARARIA Inc.

After decades providing IT and product lifecycle management consulting services to the aerospace industry, Mohamed Ali El Hani saw an opportunity to apply his experience in that mature industry to a new sector just beginning to adopt similar processes and tools: the AEC industry.

Interested in exploring how aerospace technologies and a PLM approach could help improve the productivity of the design and construction industries, El Hani founded Impararia Solutions Inc. in 2009.

With Impararia, El Hani set out to become a leader in PLM, helping AEC customers optimize their business processes by looking at IT investments that address the full lifecycle of their projects.

However, the CEO of the Montreal-based company quickly recognized that despite the many similarities between aerospace and AEC, significant gaps still exist.


Impararia is setting out to narrow these gaps through change management, and by helping AEC companies create a vision for their future.

Shifting From Project to Process

While technology providers see the AEC industry at the cusp of an efficiency evolution already completed by the aerospace industry, many architects, engineers, and contractors struggle to change their mindset from “projects” to “products.”

According to El Hani, the shift in thinking about a building as a manufactured product is an important step in optimizing design and construction. It requires a focus on reusable building processes, rather than on seeing each project as a separate entity.

Click to TweetClick to Tweet: “Focus on reusable #building processes,
rather than each #AEC project as separate entity” -@IMPARARIA

With this shift in thinking, more design and construction companies are turning to manufacturing tools, such as simulation and 3D modeling software, and concepts such as PLM.

Impararia describes PLM as a process covering every aspect of a product’s lifecycle, from the first design to the end of the product (or project) life. The PLM concept relies on the control of all product information, processes, roles and information systems involved in the product lifecycle. This broad view is put into place to shorten the overall project duration and reduce costs.

Although many AEC professionals see PLM as interchangeable with building information management, PLM is a much broader concept that encompasses BIM technologies. While BIM focuses on digital mockup creation, the scope of PLM includes total project and supply chain management.

The Shift to a More Collaborative Approach

Helping AEC professionals understand the applicability of PLM is one of the challenges Impararia has faced in moving into the building industries. While the technologies and practices being used in aerospace — such as 2D to 3D migration, and certain business processes — are applicable to AEC, El Hani found they couldn’t be immediately transferred until the industry’s unique challenges were addressed.

One of those challenges is an ill-defined supply chain compared to aerospace.

“In some cases the architect is bidding, in other cases it’s the owner, and in other cases it’s the contractor,” he says. “The result is that we’re seeing each actor in this supply chain think only of its own benefits and scope of work — and the owner at the end pays the cost.”

Click to TweetClick to Tweet: When each party in #AEC supply chain
thinks only of own benefits & scope, Owner pays the price

Another challenge preventing a shift to more optimized construction is the way projects contracts are defined. Current contract structures make it difficult to define ownership of shared BIM data.

Further complicating this optimization, El Hani says, is a gap between the expectations of AEC players and technology providers.

“Our conclusion was that AEC customers were expecting to get technology for better management and collaboration from traditional AEC software providers, but what they were getting was only 3D mockup capabilities,” he says. “This gap in expectations was a big problem.”

It’s one reason Impararia partnered with Dassault Systèmes. Impararia found that the 3DExperience platform better integrated modeling tools with project management capabilities, providing the collaborative approach needed for true PLM on building and infrastructure projects.

Click to TweetClick to Tweet: Collaboration
is required for true PLM in #AEC

El Hani adds that he is seeing a slow shift toward greater collaboration and optimization in regions, such as the United Kingdom, where governments are launching initiatives to help companies reduce construction costs and improve productivity.

Their vision of BIM Level3 overlaps with a PLM philosophy. El Hani is supporting similarly focused research initiatives in Quebec to help define new policies for PLM adoption by AEC building manufacturers.


How Impararia Is Helping This Shift

To narrow these gaps, Impararia first sets out to help clients to develop a vision for their future. By helping define a roadmap of where they want to be in the next 10 to 20 years, Impararia aims to assist clients in better planning their technology investments.

Moreover, Impararia helps companies to implement PLM by first defining why the need for PLM exists and what problems this process will solve for them.

“We help them, based on our experience from other industries, refine their vision for their market and how they need to be structured internally, from business practices to technology, to support that vision. PLM does not exist without vision,” El Hani says.

Once a roadmap is in place, Impararia helps to introduce the processes, best practices and tools that will help clients to achieve their goals over the long term.

Cases in Point

In the beginning, when working with architects and contractors in the Montreal area, this process began not with vision but with convincing companies that manufacturing technologies could truly improve their processes.

The company had to explain how aerospace, and others, used the migration from 2D to 3D, model-based definition simulations, long-term archiving and other tools, to build better projects, more efficiently.

From convincing, Impararia moved to decision-making. For one French engineering company looking to migrate from 2D to 3D, but not sure how to make the move, Impararia helped capture the company’s true needs.

They came up with a solution using a 3D modeling tool with a capability for advanced relational design. With one technology investment, the engineering company found it could create a single advanced model that could be easily adjusted to meet the needs of the majority of its clients.

Increasingly Accessible Technologies

AEC professionals are becoming convinced that the aerospace roadmap can optimize their industry. Meanwhile, the incoming generation of designers and contractors are expecting more from technology.

“I often ask myself ‘why is there a gap between Aerospace and AEC?’” El Hani says. “In truth, I think it’s in large part due to technology accessibility.”

“Today, I see students born with technology in their hands. Advanced design using new equipment and collaborative technologies is already second nature to them,” El Hani says. “Mobile technology deployment took well less than a decade. PLM adoption in the AEC industry could accelerate in the next few years.”

Click to TweetClick to Tweet: Tech accessibility & #PLM adoption
in #AEC is rapidly increasing

He predicts software manufacturers like Dassault Systèmes will offer more collaborative solutions at a more rapid rate than ever, it will be up to AEC companies to put those tools to work to improve their projects.

Related Resources

Collaborative and Industrialized Construction – Dassault Systèmes

End-To-End Collaboration Enabled by BIM Level 3 White Paper

Impararia Website

Click to TweetClick to Tweet: Spotlight on @IMPARARIA: Reducing the Gap
Between Aerospace Optimization & AEC Inefficiency

3 Simple Words: Innovation, Technology and Business

By Matthew

Get ready to join ENOVIA at PLM Innovation Forum September 24-25, 2015 in Stockholm, Sweden.


This conference focuses on the whole spectrum of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) from a business, process, and functional  perspective. It brings together customers, partners, and leaders from across the industry to network, gain insight into new PLM trends, and experiences.

Join our team of ENOVIA experts:

Thursday, September 24, 2015

  • Innovate More, Manage Less: the Future of Customer Experience – a Keynote presentation by Andy KALALMBI, CEO ENOVIA
  • Technifair – Meet with, and learn from ENOVIA experts at the ENOVIA booths
  • Schedule your private 1:1 meeting with members of our attending team

Friday, September 25, 2015 (parallel meetings)

  • ENOVIA Keys to 3DEXPERIENCE Day – Hear the latest, most accurate information from ENOVIA; share your feedback,questions, and be inspired
  • ENOVIA Materials Compliance Management Advisory Board Meeting – Drive growth for the future


Register to secure your seats today and be sure to select all desired ENOVIA sessions during this single, fee-free registration process.

Matthew J. Hall

Matthew J. Hall

Matthew Hall is the ENOVIA User Advocacy & Social EXPERIENCE Specialist.  You can find him on Twitter at @mjhall. Connect with ENOVIA at @3DSENOVIA

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