Sustainable packaging challenge by Tridonic & Rattpack
How might we make our product packaging for LED Modules more sustainable while meeting the functional requirements?
About Tridonic & Rattpack
Tridonic is a world-leading supplier of lighting technology, supporting its customers with intelligent hardware and software and offering the highest level of quality, reliability and energy savings. As a global driver of innovation in the field of lighting-based network technology, Tridonic develops scalable, future-oriented solutions that enable new business models for lighting manufacturers, building managers, systems integrators, planners and many other types of customers.
Our goal is the joint development of innovative technological solutions that convert lighting systems into intelligent networks and thereby enable associated services. Its profound, technical industry expertise makes Tridonic an ideal partner for established brands and for newcomers to the market.
Tridonic is the technology company of the Zumtobel Group and is headquartered in Dornbirn, Austria. In the 2020/21 tax year, Tridonic generated sales of €302.8 million. 1,808 highly skilled employees and a worldwide sales presence in over 70 countries reflect the company’s commitment to developing and deploying new, smart and connected lighting systems.
Responsible conduct is the common mission statement of the Zumtobel Group and Tridonic. As a global player on the lighting market, we see it as our duty to integrate social, economic and ecological considerations into all areas of our business activities and internal operations.
RATTPACK® as a specialist for printing and packaging. They are partnering with Tridonic to contribute to make packaging more sustainable. The RATTPACK® Group, headquartered in Austria, is one of the leading manufacturers of packaging solutions in Central Europe. We have been developing and and produce for over 60 years and provide solutions from cardboard, paper, corrugated board to flexible packaging.
LED Modules and the challenge of sustainable packaging
Light is not always the same. You can choose how yours looks. And we’ll help you do just that. Our LED productse give you the confidence that your chosen lighting solution will give you precisely the results you want. Thanks to our many years of experience in product development, we raised the quality of light from our LEDs to new levels. Precision is important to us. The production series have an exceptionally constant light colour so they guarantee a uniform and crystal clear colour appearance. In addition to high efficiency and a balanced distribution of light we offer you impressive robustness in the latest generation of our products – and the resultant long life will save you maintenance and repair costs. Compared with conventional light sources, our LEDs make a significant contribution to energy efficiency. For this challenge, we focus on our linear LED modules.
Example linear LED module
Tridonic LED modules are a core part of our portfolio offering, as they enable our main customer base to offer luminaires with best-in-class quality of light. To ensure that the LED modules reach their destination unharmed, we have developed during the past years special packaging for them. This packaging can be split into two parts, the product packaging, and the shipping packaging. The product packaging protects products during production until they are customized for customers. The product packaging would be the equivalent to the box where you get a phone charger. Its goal is to protect the product since the production process is finished, until it reaches customer premises and then is unpacked and used. The shipping packaging is the one where the packaged product goes, enabling the transport between locations. For the scope of this challenge, we are going to focus on the product packaging.
While our product packaging delivers well on its functional expectations, we would like to improve its sustainability. Sustainability is a crucial topic for us, not only as a company, but as human beings. We want to find reusable, environmentally friendlier ways of packaging our LED modules. At the same time, we want to retain the same quality of product packaging, which enables us to reduce the instances of product returns from customers.
As an important aspect to consider, Our products have ESD nature. ESD stands for Electrostatic Discharge. It is primarily used to prevent damage to electronic circuit boards and other ESD-sensitive products from an electrostatic charge. Due to their ESD nature, our product packaging (in the picture below) is not recyclable. For this reason, customers may incur additional costs, due to extra taxes imposed by some of the countries we operate in.
Our challenge question, there is: How might we make our product packaging for LED Modules more sustainable while meeting the functional requirements?
We expect you to create a new format for our product packaging. The new format can vary in shape, not only in materials. You can be creative around it. You can explore different materials, shapes, concepts and ideas on how our products can be safely delivered to our customers, while at the same time the packaging becomes more sustainable. We listed the current functional requirements below.
Participants are invited to tour the Zumtobel Group Lichtforum in Dornbirn and discuss how to develop the ideas beyond the InnoDays.
Functional Requirements of product packaging for LED Modules
Today, we are packing our LED linear modules in ESD trays (picture above). When redesigning the products, we need to comply with the following functional requirements:
Compact storage solution
Allow to fit multiple lengths on one single product packaging
Being able to fit smaller amount of units per product packaging, to introduce an Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ), For example, 20 products.
Modularity: Provide different sizes of packaging based on the customer’s requirements. Being able to send small quantities to customers without repackaging the product on our logistics partner side. For example, 140 mm and 70mm LED Modules are being sold in smaller quantities to our customers, so it makes no sense to ship large quantities to most customers and that could lead to repacking. Samples need to be sent to customers in small quantities as well.
Capacity: Being able to pack as many units as possible from our high runners – most popular products – in the product packaging. Our current high runners are the 560mm and 280mm linear LED Modules
Modularity has higher priority than maximize capacity. We are open to having more than one packaging to fulfill the two previous criteria. The chart below shows that we, on one side, sell in orders where big numbers are in play; but at the same time the amout of small orders cannot be neglected. Especially because those small orders are usually the starting point of the bigger ones.
ESD protection: (1) Antistatic, (2) Should not get electrostatically charged, (3) Suitable for LEDs with 2kV
High scratch protection during transport
Full enclosure during transport
Lightweight, reducing extra transport costs and fit regulations from work councils around the EU.
Allow to safely fit the front and backside connectors that exist on the LED modules
Easy ergonomics to handle and transport for the employees.
Tight fit on the carton boxes, which results on no movement within the box during transport
Note that, if possible, we prefer to use one single type of packaging per stock keeping unit (SKU = a distinct type of item on sale, such as a product, characterized by an identifier for better inventory management).