Eight Ways Automated Quality Control Can Improve Packaging

Eight Ways Automated Quality Control Can Improve Packaging

Date: May, 2022 | CategoryQuality Author: Hana Trokic

They say never judge a book by its cover, but let’s be honest, we always do. The way something appears to us initially impacts our feelings towards it drastically, and it’s no different when it comes to product packaging.

While packaging doesn’t necessarily determine the quality of a product, we’ve all made purchasing decisions based on the packaging of an item and continue to do so regularly. Maybe the colors caught your eye, or the minimal design and typography looked too cool to pass on. If we’re really being honest with ourselves, we can fully admit that many of our aimless purchases resulted from really good packaging and branding. It’s no surprise then that manufacturers and businesses spend billions of dollars a year to make sure that their packaging stands out on the shelves, making unsuspected consumers naturally gravitate towards them.

Many steps go into creating a great product. Along with great branding, design, and marketing, one of the critical components of a sellable product is, in fact, its packaging. Since so many components go into packaging and production, it’s nice to get some help along the way to ensure the accuracy and consistency of your product. Thankfully, automated quality control is a one-stop, all-encompassing solution that allows you to do just that! This modern technological advancement will enable you to find discrepancies in text, artwork, graphics, barcodes, and more in seconds simply by overlaying two files (a master and a sample copy) to locate all the differences between the two. With the utmost accuracy and lighting fast results, this simple yet practical addition to production processes will improve your packaging game tenfold.

At the end of the day, when you’re faced with aisles filled with competing products, you’re most likely to choose the one that looks that much better than the rest. That’s why don’t overlook the importance of excellent packaging and check out our eight ways in which automated quality control can improve it!

1. Check, Check, Check  

Picture this. You’re browsing the aisles of the health and beauty section and pick up a bottle of shampoo that promises it will help with hair loss. You turn it around to read more about the product and notice a couple of spelling mistakes on the packaging. You think, “how can I trust a product will get the job done right if it can’t even run a spell check?” With so many automated solutions and spell check platforms on the market, spelling mistakes on packaging are inexcusable. Not only does it cheapen a product, but it also makes it less reliable. If the manufacturer was that reluctant to properly invest in checking the spelling of its own product, it makes one think that the product itself was created equally – hastily and without much thought or care.

Automated quality control runs thorough and extensive spell checks (in many languages to boot) of your copy to ensure that this mistake never happens. What’s more, GlobalVision’s Text Inspection works by running a character to character comparison to inspect each Unicode value and can detect up to 18 types of text errors such as missing punctuation, font and color errors, inserted or deleted words, and more. It takes spell checks to a whole new level.

2. Proper Placement 

When creating packaging, placement is key. Where you decide to put your text and graphics is more important than one might think. Sometimes, it can become a quadratic equation just trying to figure out how to place all the necessary information on your packaging without it becoming too crowded or it damaging the integrity of the product itself.

Formatting issues and even slight formatting deviations can cause critical packaging problems. When artwork goes through several corrections, reviews, and prints, placement and formatting can likely be skewed, and the packaging can be compromised. These changes may be slight and difficult to see with the naked eye, yet, automated quality control systems find these deviations in seconds and ensure that your packaging is the way you intended it to be when the final artwork was approved for publishing.

3. Never Forget Your Barcodes

Speaking of placement, don’t overlook your barcodes! Where you choose to place a barcode on packaging is of critical importance as improper placement can lead to barcodes that cannot be scanned as they have been cut off, creased, or overlaid on other graphic elements.

If a barcode can’t be scanned on a product, its entire integrity becomes compromised and can lead to disastrous recalls and financial setbacks. To prevent your barcodes from causing severe problems in your manufacturing and production processes, GlobalVision’s automated quality control checks explicitly for barcodes in numerous ways to ensure their accuracy. The software will check for placement, but it will also inspect the barcode itself and grade its overall quality by inspecting its individual parameters. What’s left is the utmost reassurance in your barcode and packaging. Now, you can confidently send out your packaged products to suppliers everywhere to reach the hands of consumers anywhere.

4. United Colors 

Imagine your products on the shelves of retailers, neatly stacked and arranged. Yet, something is off. The products slightly differentiate from each other in that the color of the packaging is not unified. One bottle is somewhat less vibrant than the other, a little less blue, a little more pale.

These color deviations, especially when slight, are challenging to catch, and implementing an automated quality control system is an almost necessary resource in production processes to catch these errors before they make it to market. Digitally, color tones and shades are easy to pinpoint, yet slight discrepancies will likely go unnoticed manually. That is, until the artwork is printed and a side-by-side comparison can be done to reveal the mishap. With GlobalVision’s color inspection, you can confirm color with pinpoint precision, find the perfect shade, and verify color accuracy anywhere on the actual artwork. You can also measure individual color space values and inspect the same point on all repeats to ensure that your packaging is always tip-top and perfect.

5. Printer Defects are Real 

Just because artwork has been finalized, approved, and printed doesn’t mean it’s completely error-free. But before you begin to panic, be sure that automated quality control is the solution to all these problems as well.

Printer defects can lead to errors being introduced after artwork has been printed. These defects can include text breaks, missing letters or words, deviations in graphics, barcodes, color, and much more. On the bright side, automated quality control catches all of these errors through file comparison technology that digitally proofreads content by running side-by-side comparisons of two files to find errors and discrepancies between them.

6. Ensure High-Quality Packaging

As previously mentioned, errors on packaging, whether they be spelling mistakes, formatting issues, or color deviations, all cheapen a product and can make them appear unreliable in the eyes of consumers. After all, how can a consumer trust that a product will meet expectations and fulfill promises if the company didn’t take the time to ensure the accuracy and quality of its packaging?

Automated quality control inspects artwork files as a whole and will look through every aspect of your file down to the pixel. This means that it will find all differences and discrepancies between files, no matter how small, and ensure that even the most minor errors aren’t slipping through. In one inspection, the software will be able to detect errors and discrepancies in spelling, punctuation, text breaks, graphics, formatting, color deviations, and much, much more. The end result will always be perfect packaging of the highest quality, so you don’t have to worry about putting inadequate packaging out to market.

7. Good Graphics 

Along with good spelling and grammar, a very important aspect of packaging is the graphics and their placement on the artwork and product itself. When creating a design for your packaging, you need to consider the product and its shape and dimensions to properly create accompanying artwork that will look good on the packaging.

GlobalVision’s Measurement Tools gives users access to Rectangle and Line options when running a graphics inspection. By clicking and dragging the mouse on the file after selecting, the user draws either a rectangle or line, with units displayed in either inches, millimeters, or pixels. This allows the user to measure the size of graphic elements in the loaded file.

Using automated quality control systems, you will be able to use measurement tools that will give you exact numbers as to the size of graphics and font in relation to other aspects of your artwork. This will allow for precise measurements and proper placement of graphics on artwork and, therefore, the packaging and product.

8. Get into the Groove 

And then there were eight! So, why is quality control and inspection necessary? Besides the seven solid reasons mentioned above, automated quality control systems allow businesses to build a functioning inspection process that allows faster creation and production of accurate and quality packaging. Through these automated inspection methods, you will be able to speed up your document inspections and reach a smooth and effortless groove that will have you consistently creating high-quality packaging that is error-free and perfect in every single way!

Ready to start creating perfect packaging? Request a demo of GlobalVision here and heighten your packaging production processes today.