The brains behind your packaging
Do you remember the “Black Box” experiments in your science classes? Most of us barely remember what we did yesterday, but the “Black Box” was literally a black box, which served as a teaching tool to introduce the scientific method as a generic protocol for problem solving. It was your objective, as students, to find out what was in that box using observation and data collection techniques. There were students who didn’t really care and students who thought those experiments was equivalent to a trip to Disneyland. Those students became ENGINEERS! We celebrate these engineers for they are the ones who gave us Disneyland. Walt Disney had the vision of what the magical kingdom should look like, but without engineers, Disneyland would have only existed in books and sketches.
At EPE, we owe our successes to our engineers. They play one of the most crucial roles in our company. Our engineer’s custom design, test, produce and create earth friendly packaging that is used throughout a variety of industries.
EPE’s global footprint allows our engineers to collaborate country to country and across multiple industries, providing exposure to new materials and processes to facilitate further innovation in our products. Combined with EPE’s state of the art design and testing facilities, EPE design engineers have a relentless approach to learning, the freedom to explore new ideas, and the dedication to innovate.
In honor of National Engineer Week, we sat down with our engineers and asked them a couple of questions. We were able to take a little peek into their amazing minds and gather some advice they would give to budding engineers:
What do you love most about being a packaging engineer?
… is having firsthand encounters with new products releases such as medical devices, industrial components, aerospace and automotive parts.
It’s the perfect blend between Science and Art. Every day, I get to work on a variety of different projects where the creative side of my brain high fives the logical side of my brain to get work done. Nerdy huh?
It’s fun to watch a design grow from a basic idea to a prototype that will be improved into a final product.
It is very hands on. I’m always moving.
Taking concepts to reality using 3D modeling software, sampling tools and having the ability to design something that doesn’t exist until you make it.
I love that I get to use the combination of creative thinking and practical skills. I get to have fun coming up with new ideas and packages and then challenge myself by redirecting them into a feasible design.
You never stop learning.
What advice would you give aspiring packaging engineers?
Catalogue and save any relevant information on projects you’ve work on. It’s helpful at times when you’re stuck on a project to go back and overview some stuff you’ve done before.
Be a sponge in the workplace and absorb all the knowledge you can. Ask lots of questions, and learn from the answers you receive. Oh, also advice for life: Measure twice, cut once.
Don’t be afraid to try. “Do what you cannot in order to learn how to do it.” – Picasso
Packaging is very versatile. You are able to do a lot with it. You don’t only have to become an engineer or designer. You can also go into Sales, Marketing, Production… It is good to keep options open!
Always be confident.
Never stop challenging yourself both professionally and personally. Through growth come challenges, but in the end, it is rewarding.
Focus on hands-on learning instead of theory. Theory will produce a safe design, but being hands-on will spark creativity.
Think about how the packaging will be manufactured and not just about how it will be used after it’s made. Add location markers and avoid thin glue lines; Do what you can to make it easier for the people in the plant to manufacture and assemble, to reduce cost.
We thank our EPE engineers for actually creating the “Black Boxes.” They are truly incredible scientists, but also under appreciated artists. We hope they inspire a new batch of engineers to solve the world’s problems or create a Disneyland on Mars. If anyone can figure things out, they can!