When UPI first approached us, their model for a flat packed flower tower product consisted of a plastic dinner plate which had been glued to a piece of drainpipe. This had been spray painted to give the impression that it was a single piece of plastic. It is hard to imagine how far the final product has come from that initial concept, but even at that stage we could see the potential it had and were delighted to work with the company on developing it further.
Developing the Product
Our team took the company's initial concept and begun work adapting it to suit volume manufacturing. Using our Solidworks CAD system we were able to develop the base in full 3D and ensure it was optimised for injection moulding. By removing the need for clips to hold the sleeve to the base, we were able to reduce the overall number of parts and in turn the final cost of manufacturing.
In place of the standard PVC watering tube that UPI had used in their original concept, our team designed a tube connector which could be moulded into different colours. This allowed for the single solid piece of tube to be replaced by a tube that could be supplied in sections and assembled by the end user - something which helped to reduce the size of the packaging.
With the base, sleeve and watering tube design finalised, we set about prototyping a model using SLS technology. This allowed UPI to sign off on a final design and for us to press ahead with production.
Developing the Packaging
With the sleeves measuring approximately 900mm2, it was unlikely that retailers would be prepared to dedicate that amount of shelf space to the product. UPI were also keen for the product to be mail ordered and by creating smaller packaging it would help to reduce postage costs. Our team therefore created sleeves that featured folding creases which helped to reduce the size of the packaging to just 25% of its original size.
With the final product manufactured and ready to be shipped, we handled all of the logistics on UPI's behalf and arranged for pallets of the product to be delivered to their customer's retail warehouses. UPI were also able to utilise our fulfilment service and would send through daily shipping lists for mail order. We would ensure that these were despatched using either Royal Mail or courier delivery service.
If you have an innovative idea for a plastic product or packaging, do not hesitate to get in touch. Call us on 01692 501020 and we will be happy to discuss how we can assist with the design, development, prototyping and manufacturing of your concept.
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