The one factor that enables Cougar to beat our competition is our design capability. Anyone can have good products and service, but design is different. We pride ourselves on developing creative solutions to packaging problems. If we analyze the customer’s requirements and focus our attention on the objectives, we can find a solution that works. By works, we do not just mean that it will pass the shipping test. It must also be:
Since our primary focus is design, we encourage our sales people to be active in the design process. In many cases, the salesperson will work hand in hand with the designer. This gives the salesperson a total understanding of the design and the ability to explain the design fully to our customer.
Once we have the customer’s criteria, and hopefully a sample of the item or items to be packaged, we focus our attention on the following:
With our design criteria in focus, we select the materials that will provide the best protection for the product. We utilize the Autocad or Solidworks program to help us determine the dimensional requirements of the pack. If the design is going to be produced from a fabricated material, we like to draw the packaging design as we produce the sample. That is why our CAD station is on the design floor. If the package design is going to be a molded product, we draw the design and then produce the sample utilizing a CNC machine. If the product requires a special die cut carton, we draw the design and have the sample cut on a special CAD table that cuts corrugated. Whatever the design is made from, we have the capability to provide a sample, usually at no cost. In the case of large wood crates or pallets, the cost would be prohibitive, so these are usually a charge item. In the case of molded items, sample capability will vary from product to product. Molded pulp samples require a prototype tool and there is certainly a charge for this tool and the samples. In the case of most of the molded foam products, these can be made at no charge using the CNC machine in limited quantities.
It might take several attempts to refine a design to meet all of the appropriate criteria.Usually, we can make an item pass the test the first time through, but we may have to refine the design to reduce cost or meet some other criteria.
With the completed design and sample, we recommend that testing be done at an independent testing facility. This allows us to stay out of the testing function and allows a lab that is certified to provide an unbiased report on the performance of the design. This independence is very important, as we want to make sure the design is evaluated fairly.