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Packaging technologists design, produce and supply packaging for all products that are to be stored or distributed before making it to the end user. These products typically fall under fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), relatively low-cost items which are distributed in large quantities and bought frequently, or pharmaceuticals.
Packaging has many functions and the engineer must take charge and decide exactly what type of packaging is required for the particular product to ensure that it reaches the customer undamaged and that it fulfils brand objectives, i.e. does the packaging give off the right message? Will customers want to pick it up?
Packaging can be used for physical protection, containment of goods, information for the consumer (instructions), marketing, security and convenience.
There are four different specialisms in packaging technology and an engineer will usually focus on one or two. These are:
Packaging of products is now big business and will only continue to grow. It is a booming industry with many opportunities. Now more than ever, technologists must be fully up-to-date with sustainability issues and environmental concerns to ensure their packaging complies with regulations.