Whether your skills in the kitchen are limited to making toast, or you are a master chef accustomed to cooking decadent meals, chances are you have “overcooked” something and frantically fanned your smoke detector in an effort to halt the inevitable high-pitched screeching. Enter Next Protect, the carbon monoxide and smoke detector that gives you a verbal “warning” that you can dismiss with a simple wave of your hand. Often the concept for an innovative product like this begins with understanding the problems that consumers face on a daily basis. The same, of course, can be said of innovation in packaging.
This was certainly the case when TEQ recently created sterile packaging for a medical device over 69 inches long. The problem was clear, and one that many other products faced. The package simply couldn’t fit on a standard pallet 40”x 48” long. So, instead of creating one extra long package, we incorporated several smaller interlocking buttons or snaps – a concept we had used many times before at a smaller scale for electronics, retail and food packaging. This not only allowed the package to be much more efficiently shipped and distributed, but also allowed for one easy motion for disassembly and disposal, unlike other long package designs that require bending and folding to discard.
In addition to odd dimensions, another common problem with medical packaging is the ease of recyclability (or to be more precise, the lack thereof). This is because sterile barrier systems often consist of more than one material and medical staff simply don’t have time to separate them for recycling. The result is an enormous amount of waste. In response to this issue, we created TEQethylene™. This mono-polymer sterile barrier system utilizes a new proprietary blend of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) in combination with adhesive-coated Tyvek®, a breathable HDPE lidding material developed by Dupont™ making it more easily recycled.
We have even tackled the common problem which many call “wrap rage,” developing a pull-tab solution called TekZip (patent pending). No tools. No blades. No sharp edges. No compromise on package durability or product visibility. Just easy access.
What about you? What packaging problems have you seen solved with innovation?