"3D printing, thermoforming and injection molding bring my ideas to life"
Clara, Packaging Engineer
I joined P&G eight years ago in product research within R&D, working on the launch of Ariel 3-in-1 pods. This is something I’m very proud of because the three-chamber unit-dose tablet is a world-first product, and it has been a massive success in Europe.
Four-and-a-half years ago, I moved into packaging because I wanted to do more technical work. Developing packaging is like making a big puzzle. There are a lot of pieces to think about, from consumer experience and design to compliance, transportation, and cost.
At concept stage, I work on packaging technologies—thermoforming and injection molding—to develop an understanding of their constraints and possibilities. New-to-the-world designs go through prototyping; we use advanced 3D printers first, and then move on to plastic packaging formed in single industrial molds. We run the prototypes through various performance tests to learn early, catch mistakes, and make changes.
Then I need to think about how to develop the desired lineup for marketing that delivers the best experience for the consumer. So, I work with the product research team, which tells me exactly what the consumer wants. I also need to make sure packaging meets European safety standards, is attractive to consumers, protects the product, fits on varying pallet sizes and in lorries efficiently, and that my designs will work on our current packing lines.
The learning curve on packaging designs can be steep. We are constantly innovating. That’s something I love about this role and it helps me grow—personally and professionally, which helps to build the business.