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Smurfit Kappa Lends a Hand with Prosthetic Limb Packaging

24 July 2012


Smurfit Kappa has showcased its packaging design expertise by developing an innovative packaging solution for a bionic hand suitable for use by a specific consumer market with limited dexterity.

RSL Steeper - a world leader in prosthetic limb design and manufacture - provided the simple brief of creating a pack for their top of the range BeBionic prosthetic hand that’s feel, image and strength reflected the quality of the product. Challenged to create packaging that not only looked smart, but was strong enough to protect the expensive and fragile product that it encased, Smurfit Kappa provided all this and added specific design features including one hand opening and tamper evident strips.

The design team at Smurfit Kappa produced a high quality, Litho laminated box with a matt varnish, reflecting the high quality of the product.

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Thinking of the needs of the end user, and with the guidance of experts at RSL Steeper, Smurfit Kappa designed a box that can be easily opened with one hand by gripping the box sides from above with the fore finger and thumb, allowing the base to slide out from the bottom.

The product to be packaged is a fully functional microprocessor controlled unit that uses sensors attached to the wearer’s arm, which pick up on muscle contraction and activate the relevant motors. The highly technical design features mean that it was essential for the packaging to eliminate damage to the hand during transportation as well as reflect the premium quality of the product that the existing simple brown box didn’t.

RSL Steeper had originally requested an entirely plastic box including plastic fittings to support the product, however, early in the development the design team were able to demonstrate that a predominantly corrugated solution would deliver an enhanced effect. After seeing the first sample, the customer was in full agreement as this option not only gave them a more versatile product but also dramatically reduced their use of non-biodegradable materials.

With a large proportion of RSL Sleeper’s market in the USA, Smurfit Kappa also introduced a tamper evident strip for International shipping. This feature means that end users can be reassured that the product has not been removed from the box or tampered with during shipping; an issue that RSL Steeper highlighted had been a problem for them. 

Paul Lowes, the Smurfit Kappa designer who led the project comments: “Our corrugated pack, with its high quality finish, gives the product the distinction it deserves, whilst minimising the need for non biodegradable materials. By working closely with RSL Sleeper we were able to create a box that incorporated effective design elements that hadn’t previously been considered by them.”

Dean Cowan BA(Hons) Mechanical Design Engineer of RSL Steeper explains: “Smurfit Kappa’s design team delivered on all aspects of our brief and then some! From the tactile nature of the box finish, through tamper evident aspects and an ability to be opened one handed, the box has revolutionised the way we pack our high value products and present our company in the market place.”

Smurfit Kappa takes pride in its highly skilled design teams and their commitment to delivering the unparalleled advantage when it comes to their customers’ packaging needs. 

Smurfit Kappa Lends a Hand with Prosthetic Limb Packaging