A packaging solution for Oceanmax
Oceanmax International Ltd. have developed a coating system that prevents marine growth from fouling metal surfaces of ships and boats below the waterline. The product, “Propspeed”, is exported worldwide, promising more speed, less fuel.
Oceanmax approached Scion in 2015 to explore the possibility of using more bio-based materials in their products. During the discussions, Packaging Research Leader Lou Sherman had the opportunity to assess the company’s packaging.
“The packaging used for Propspeed was plain and did not reflect the quality and effectiveness of the product within,” said Lou. “Packaging is multi-functional; it not only protects the product but also plays a significant role in marketing and sales.”
Lou proposed that Oceanmax consider a package redesign with Scion contributing its materials expertise and partnering with design professionals. “We used Scion’s network of contacts,” said Lou, “and approached Anke Nienhuis, lecturer in industrial design and innovation at AUT to get the support Oceanmax needed.”
Anke gave the problem to second year design students. After a Scion presentation around packaging design and sustainable material options, the students were given free rein to come up with concepts. The brief stressed the fact that the packaging should enhance the user experience, as well as protect and sell the product. Halfway through the five week project the students pitched their best two concepts then refined their ideas and developed 3D models. The refined concepts were shown to Scion and Oceanmax, who choose their top three preferred designs from the entire class.
"It is great to run student projects in collaboration with industry," says Anke. "Students learn so much from ‘real world’ problems, from interacting with professionals and getting their feedback. The expert input from Scion was especially beneficial to the students’ learning."
Michael Jones, Oceanmax's Technical Manager, says he is a big fan of working with Scion.
"They have energy, enthusiasm and extensive knowledge of the packaging landscape. We are focused on biocompatible, green solutions and their expertise in bio-based materials and alternatives was impressive. The team gave invaluable insight into our product and helped us to create a dynamic solution for otherwise modest product. This new product has been quickly adopted by industry and resulted in up to 35% increase in sales in some markets."
Oceanmax have integrated a number of suggestions from the project into their product portfolio and are using the refreshed approach to inspire packaging solutions for new products.