"It will shorten the design process and get the customer to market faster," stated Sheldon Yourist, Graham Packaging's senior manager for global product design.
The company says its new workshop center in York, Pennsylvania will serve as an incubator for innovative packaging design ideas. Customers will be able to participate with Graham's design team in developing new plastic containers.
"We've developed a world-class facility in our York headquarters where customers can come to explore shapes, materials, and color, as well as other aspects of packaging design," stated Sheldon Yourist, the senior manager of Graham Packaging's global product design unit. "Our customers will be able to brainstorm ideas with our design team in order to provide us with their thoughts and guidance."
Clients will work with the team for a design on the spot and create models and prototypes for the packaging.
"The idea is to create interaction and team synergy," Yourist stated. "We want our customers to work with us in a studio atmosphere to stimulate creative thinking. We'll do a design on the spot, create models and prototypes while the customer is here with us - in effect, we want to do it 'live' and get immediate feedback."
The workshop was created after Graham Packaging's managers noticed that visiting customers often preferred to remain on site while the design process was going on.
"They didn't want to leave until the project was done," Yourist stated.
Customers visiting the Innovation & Design Center will have access to wireless laptops, electronic tablets, plasma screens, libraries of image files, an extensive gallery of sample containers, technology displays and a variety of reference materials.
"We already had a significant number of customers visiting us every week," Yourist said. "We fully expect that with this new facility, that number will grow substantially."
Graham Packaging produces about 20 billion container units annually at 87 plants in North America, Europe, and South America. The company had net sales for the last 12 months of $2.4 billion.
The company is a leading US supplier of plastic containers for hot-fill juice and juice drinks, sports drinks, drinkable yogurt and smoothies, nutritional supplements, wide-mouth food, dressings, condiments, and beers. It is the leading global supplier of plastic containers for yogurt drinks, according to the company.