Reply Thu 2 Nov, 2006 08:43 pm
I just spent some time opening a curtain rod package from Levolor Corporation. I wasnt too bad. I'd opened another one yesterday with a simple screwdriver eight times over, nabbing the staples as I could to keep my dog from stepping on them.

This time I took regular scissors, forget that, and then some Kitchen Shear type scissors, and was eventually successful, though I ruined what would have been a good container for some other things in my house.

All this reminds me of the Zip Drive thing I bought at Costco that I had to use a hacksaw to get to.

I can see people hurting themselves in these endeavors.

Don't get me started on vacuum packed bottled stuff. I've given up more than once. And, I've taken something back to the store to have them open it (olives from Costco two years ago, the ones with the five inch lids... they had to call three people...)

I suppose there are statistics on all this....
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 2,550 • Replies: 12
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JPB
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Nov, 2006 07:46 am
I'm not sure about actual injury stats, osso, but I've told my girls they can enter any occupation they choose EXCEPT package engineering. When I went to work for a large pharmaceutical/diagnostics manufacturer, I was shocked to learn that package engineering is a profession. I think they should all be shot.

You have my sincere sympathies.
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gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Nov, 2006 07:55 am
You know what annoys the hell out of me? When I buy a bottle of syrup and the first time I go to pour from the bottle nothing comes out because of that little friggin round piece of cardboard sealed over the bottle opening. You have to unscrew the cap, take the cardboard off, screw the cap back on, and by that time your friggin waffles are cold.

At that point I yell, "F#CK!!" and throw the friggin plate across the room and the waffles invariably hit the wall just right and they slide down and leave a nice butter trail all the way to the floor. Then, eventually, maybe a week or two, I have to clean that friggin wall and waste the better part of 10 minutes and all because they had to put that little white friggin piece of cardboard in that friggin bottle in the first place.

Fu#king bastards.
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Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Nov, 2006 07:57 am
I sliced my hand open pretty bad once on one of the hard plastic never-getting-into-this packages.

You have to be very careful with them. They hurt. And they cut deep.
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Nov, 2006 07:57 am
I have, in my pantry, a jar of stuffed mushroom caps that has been there for 2 years because i am unable to open the jar.
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gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Nov, 2006 07:59 am
Try it sober some time, dys.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Nov, 2006 08:02 am
dyslexia wrote:
I have, in my pantry, a jar of stuffed mushroom caps that has been there for 2 years because i am unable to open the jar.


Grab jar.

Turn upside down,


Find unchippable surface.


Bang jar, lid down, on the surface (I use my kitchen benches).


You do it hard enough to be pretty hard, but not hard enough to smash jar.


Almost infallible at removing tough screw lids.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Fri 3 Nov, 2006 08:03 am
One of my students at university had studied before changing the faculty "practical design - area of specialisation: package designing".

I've always thought, she changed the subject to social work due to a court's order for unsocial behaviour.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Nov, 2006 08:03 am
Gus- If it weren't for the cuckoos and nutjobs who get their jollies by poisoning people, you never would have had the problem with the blankety blank pieces of paper.

What bugs me even more, is the plastic seal over some products, such as soft margarine. They leave a tiny bit of plastic hanging over the edge of the container. So I think that if I pull just right, I can peel the plastic off the container. It never works, and I end up cursing the company.

In the same vein, what about those products that are sealed with foil that is so thick, that you can't use your fingernail to pierce it???

I wish that they would stop putting in the seals, and I would just take my chances on getting poisoned! Laughing
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Nov, 2006 08:03 am
gustavratzenhofer wrote:
Try it sober some time, dys.

Interesting concept.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Nov, 2006 03:47 pm
I can often open hard-to-open jars by tapping the middle of the lid once or twice with something like the bottom of a knife handle.. but not always.
I can often open hard-to-open jars by using a rubber pot holder to maximize my grip... but not always.
Grrrrrr...
Then there is the old whack-the-side-of-the-lid routine using a wooden stirring spoon.. this rarely works.


Ouch, Bella, that hurts just to read about it.
0 Replies
 
sandmansf
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Dec, 2010 03:52 pm
What kind of package engineering forum is this? It has nothing to do with engineering. This should be the packaging complaint forum. Call the company that you have an issue with and let them know the problem.

- Clamshell packaging stinks; I will freely admit. It's cheap and helps prevent pilfering because it is so darn difficult to remove the contents in the store. There have been some improvements in clamshell packaging by some companies. You might have noticed that some of these packages now have "buttons" at the corners and allow the end user to pull them apart to open the package. I hate this type of packaging, think it's boring and am glad I do not work with it.

- Product seals are a necessary evil. They aren't only there to prevent someone from poisoning you. If someone really wanted they could just inject a syringe in the seal and you would never know. They prevent a horrible mess which would make you even angrier. Syrup would make a terrible mess if it leaked out of the container. Other products would slosh all over the cap without a seal and would be very messy when you opened it. Others reduce the amount of oxygen that gets to the product (cooking oils, coffee, peanut butter) which in turn prevents oxidation/rancidity. The type of seal is chosen based on the requirements. A thicker foil seal will be required if you need to reduce water vapor or oxygen transmission rates.

There are many annoying things about packaging like when a liner/seal material tears. Packaging engineers need to balance the need for cost savings with acceptable package performance. I'm sure everyone here knows that corporations are always pushing for more and more cost savings. Sometimes, the almighty dollar wins over the packaging engineer's strongest warnings of poor performance.

As for glass jars, there's not too much you can do about that. The lids aren't being put on too tightly. They are being held on by a vacuum. The product is cooked to a very high temperature and then sent through a cooling tunnel. When a closed container is cooled, it pulls a vacuum. You're trying to overcome a vacuum when opening a jar. Old technology. The reason why it took so long to go from glass to plastic for things like apple juice and spaghetti sauce is because the plastic would become distorted when the product was cooled and pulled a vacuum. Not only have the plastics been improved but they usually have large ribs in the design of the bottle as well for strength to prevent distortion of the plastic upon cooling.

Then there are some things that are not the doing of the packaging engineer but the production facility: such as those overzealous seals on your bags of cereal that you end up tearing through and making a mess. The manufacturer might want closed seals at all costs which means turning up the sealing equipment and making it impossible for you to open.

While packaging may seem evil and is much maligned, it actually serves a very important role. It may appear wasteful, but packaging actually helps reduce overall waste by reducing spoilage and damage during transit and storage. Packaging helps preserve the safety, purity, and efficacy of our drugs and medical devices. It helps to reduce shoplifting and counterfeiting and can tell you if your product has been tampered with. Yes there are some things that are overpackaged and there are many factors to consider when trying to reduce the materials used, but progress is always being made. It is a constantly evolving process.
0 Replies
 
iammartinc1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Feb, 2015 05:42 am
@ossobuco,
I am very poor at opening blister packaging. Blister packaging is really tough to unpack.
0 Replies
 
 

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