Harpak-ULMA has introduced a nationwide 3D printing service tailored for tray package prototyping. 

Customers also have the option of in-person collaboration at Harpak-ULMA’s Customer Experience Center in Taunton, Massachusetts. Merchandisers can utilize this service to easily, quickly and cost-effectively customize tray designs to meet specific marketing needs and preferences.

Unlike conventional design practices, Harpak-ULMA's 3D printing service for tray package prototyping offers merchandisers flexibility and versatility — whether customization requirements call for adjusting dimensions, adding intricate features or incorporating branding elements. 

Package customization is crucial to product differentiation and brand identity in merchandising. However, the prototyping process involved in developing customized trays is labor-intensive, time-consuming and requires long lead times and significant costs. Such costs are often prohibitive for smaller businesses or those with limited budgets. The extended timeline can be a deal-breaker for merchandisers facing tight time-to-market schedules. Moreover, retail food merchandisers may lack the skilled personnel and specialized equipment to produce prototypes. As a result, many may shy away from exploring customized packaging concepts. 

In addition, 3D printing can reduce waste associated with legacy prototyping methods, making it more environmentally friendly.

"Our new 3D printing-enabled package prototype services eliminates these barriers, shortening the prototyping process from weeks to months to hours – with commensurately lower costs," says Joshua Allen, Harpak-ULMA's marketing director. "It also facilitates quick and inexpensive iterations. You can easily incorporate feedback from testing and evaluation into successive prototypes. That kind of iterative approach leads to better final products. This is another example of how leveraging technology can improve the customer experience, which is central to our go-to-market philosophy. Beyond leading the industry with our solutions, we seek to elevate our customers' packaging lifecycle experience – from design to operations and maintenance.”