Packaging manufacturing machines perform specific tasks. There are printers that print your graphics and information on your packaging. There are cutters that cut-out the distinct shape and dimensions of your packaging. There are gluers that glue and adhere certain parts of your packaging.
And much more specialized equipment.
Tooling is created to enable these machines to do what they already do, but, to the specifications you need.
Tooling for custom packaging is the physical component that has to be created to fit your specific packaging requirements – almost like packaging DNA. And in my experience, no two types of custom packaging are ever the same, which means manufacturers will likely not have existing tooling that would fit your specific custom packaging.
It is worth the money and expense to make your packaging fit like a glove, and worth adjusting even 1/8th of an inch to improve the functionality of your particular packaging. It will feel better, look better, and ultimately your customer will be able to notice, even if they aren’t fully conscious of it. After all, much of consumer spending is triggered by “feelings and emotions”.
Tooling refers to many types of custom made tools and here is a list of the most common:
- Cutting Dies
- Foil Stamping Dies
- Embossing/Debossing Dies
- Print cylinders (flexible packaging or large volume folding cartons)
- Print plates (corrugated boxes or some types of flexible packaging)
- Molds (for bottles or plastic inserts or paper fiber molds, even foam molds)
Tooling is a necessary part the manufacturing process for your custom packaging. Depending upon the type of packaging you need and what sort of extras you want to include, your tooling costs will vary from $0 to upwards of $1000 and beyond.
Perhaps one day tooling will not be required – just type-in your specifications and the “built-in tooling” will adjust automatically. But we’re not there yet. The technology may exist, but manufacturer’s aren’t using it yet.
I’m blogging a multipart series on specific types of tooling.
Here’s part one – The Cutting Die.
More parts to follow…