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05 Nov 2012

Designing the optimal perforation

By Mees Roukema

Smurfit Kappa’s expert on Retail Ready Packaging and the Packaging Functionalities Manager at the Smurfit Kappa Development Centre in the Netherlands.

AMees Roukema.jpg simple way to create a Retail Ready Pack (RRP) is to add a perforation to your current packaging, which should mean no changes to your current packaging lines. However, implementing the optimal perforation can be a discouraging process due to conflicting requirements, such as that it needs to be strong enough not to tear during transport but easy enough to open once it arrives at the store. We offer guidelines that help in making the right decision.

There are three main elements to take into consideration when implementing a perforation in your packaging:

  1. Safe and secure through the supply chain

You need a perforation that will maintain its integrity throughout the supply chain and not open  prematurely. To achieve this, the cutting of the load bearing flutes should be minimized, perforations in stressed areas of the box, such as the corners, should be avoided. Moreover, it is better to use curved rather than straight perforation lines.

  • Easy, intuitive opening

Once the packaging arrives at the store, the perforation should be easy to locate, grab and open by the employee. Therefor it is best to apply colour differences between the part that is to be removed and the packaging. Also, the dotted line of the perforation should be printed on the part that is to be removed. Next to that, large gaps can be inserted where the employee can start to tear and cuts should be placed at strategic positions.

  • Optimal appearance

Once your packaging has been placed on the shelf, you want it to look great and support your brand image. This can be realized by applying a fine perforation in the vertical lines, applying a curved front and implement the perforation in such a way that it opens from the front of the packaging to the back.

These guidelines form a basis for designing the optimal perforation for your packaging. However, as with so many design aspects, it comes down to prioritizing different, often conflicting, requirements.

For a full explanation of these guidelines and help in developing the optimal packaging that works, customized to your specific needs, please contact us.