Packaging Complexity Management Tip 14: Late Customisation

Packaging Complexity Management Tip 14: Late Customisation

Can you late customise components and products?


Our definition of late customisation is the physical modification of standard components and products to add features or information, making them product or market specific.  Examples would include on-line printing of content and over-labelling and may be undertaken downstream of the packaging facility.

On-line component printing is becoming increasingly common, but depends upon the type of component and information required:

  • On-line printing of foils and labels is often undertaken, particularly if only requiring black ink.
  • Equipment for near-line short-order printing of leaflets and booklets is becoming available.
  • On-line printing of multi-colour cartons (particularly pre-glued) is more complex with fewer examples, although digital presses are increasingly used at print suppliers for short runs.

Over-labelling can vary between simple printed labels (pharmacy labels) to complex labels (e.g. including sealed pouches for leaflets).

A few considerations with late-customisation and over-labelling:

  • How do you assure the quality of print for all components?  A missing decimal point could have significant consequences.
  • How do you ensure the line speeds are not significantly impacted? Is near-line printing a better option?
  • Do on-line printing machines require different artwork files or formats? Where are these files stored and how does that impact your artwork process and system uptime?
  • Can your MRP system provide the necessary breakdown of SKUs and components?

This is the fourteenth of a series of 20 blogs giving a view of methods to deal with packaging complexity. Please help me improve the thinking by adding your comments and share this with others who may have a view.

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