The packaging is subjected to mechanical stresses of different types. It must meet all of these specifications while respecting environmental rules for minimizing the quantities of materials. The stake is, therefore, the correct optimization of the mechanical properties.
Adjust the mechanical properties while respecting the objectives of reducing the quantities of materials.
Check ALL the steps of the technological route of the product to inventory all successive time/temperature and humidity conditions applied to the packaging. For each step, identify the nature of the constraints applied to the material, at all scales material, primary packaging, secondary and tertiary system: vibrations, puncture, compression, traction, impact, gripping, opening. Define the tests to be performed, taking into account the worst-case time temperature-humidity conditions for each elementary property.
Take care of technical packaging sheets showing performances in standard conditions which have nothing to do with real conditions of use.
Never define specifications from the packaging characteristics to be substituted: if this packaging is oversized, the specifications will be oversized.
Global optimization of mechanical properties: better than playing of the average thickness of the material or changing the material composition, an easy route to optimize packaging behaviour is often to play on the 3D complex shape of the packaging; this route is generally more environmentally efficient, as good properties are placed only at the good location on the 3D packaging.
Optimization of properties thanks to the material formulation: (i) stiffness: change for stiffer resin, introduce fillers of fiber reinforcement, use cardboard parts (ii) softness: introduce softer resins in the formulation (cf fatty polyesters in biodegradable plastics).