Clamshell packaging was made for retail shelves. To prevent shrinkage and increase product visibility, it was designed to be transparent while simultaneously difficult to open.
The explosion of Amazon and other online retailers made the advantages of clamshell packaging moot. However if you are a manufacturer, it may not be economically feasible to produce two different types of packaging for different retailers so lowest common denominator wins out.
Amazon has tried to combat clamshell packaging with a few manufacturers (Fisher-Price, Mattel, Microsoft), but it has yet to be adopted by the rest of the manufacturing industry.
I think we can all agree that someone overshot that target by a long range. Every single time I ask myself, "now how can I open this without damaging neither the package's content nor myself in the process?"
Wow yeah I was really confused. English is my third language and I can often figure words that I don't know from the context except that in this case I interpreted 'shrinkage' as some kind of a tendency do produce smaller products (electronics get smaller for instance). And I thought ok it seems a large package makes the product more visible on the shelves. Then I thought "ok" actually a large package would be hard to sneak under one's shirt. So it would be good for that as well.
I read the original comment and (before scrolling down) was tempted to chime in that 'in this context, shrinkage means "theft"' before realizing the discussion had already been had.
I could very easily see someone as having read that as physically shrinking in size, perhaps due to compression by repeated handling, as would happen in a store, or heat or other uhhh... harsh environmental factors commonly found in retail establishments. (Sorry, I couldn't think of a second good excuse)
Exactly. It allows for less-precise (i.e. more variability) chip size, not chip scales. :)
Simplifying the scenario might clarify what's happening. Imagine any given chip could weigh 1-2oz. And you are trying to fill a 2oz (minimum guaranteed content) bag. You already have 1 chip in the bag, weighing 1oz. The next chip you add (think "marginal" from econ class) weighs anywhere from 1-2oz and could tip the scale all the way up to 3oz, when you are only looking for 2oz in the bag. But if you use two scales, you have now a choice of TWO chips to put in the bag, so you pick the one that weighs closest to 1oz. And ultimately this allows you to fill more 2oz bags with the same quantity of chips.
I love learning about things I would never come across in everyday life, like how a packing machine works and the problems no one would ever think to think of like air pressure and altitudes. Then also the restrictions put in place and how to come up with a creative solution to a problem. This is the kind of stuff I live for.
I'm on Aderall, and by the time I watch the show its effect has worn off (watching it RIGHT before I go to sleep, the guys voice makes me go to sleep), making me slightly hungry, but not enough to get out of bed and actually make any food, besides I don't like eating right before I go to sleep.
Yes, there is a lot of food that is on there where I can find myself saying "well, definitely not eating that ever again".
I find this article to be quite frustrating. It's like reading about how some process was too slow, so they looked at the variables which include a faster processor, more RAM, and larger storage. Ultimately, they chose more RAM and developed a new algorithm and all was solved. But then they never tell you what the algorithm is. Or why it allowed them to keep within the constraints of the same processor and storage.
In this case, it's a new adhesive. But how was that developed? What makes the new adhesive better suited to high-pressure applications while keeping the temperature and time constant? Inquiring geeks want to know!
Interesting. I'm skeptical of the marketing because 14 weeks doesn't seem like long enough. I'm also skeptical of this experiment though.
Sunchips specifies 14 weeks in a hot and active compost. A new compost pile (like in the experiment) would not be very active compared to an old one, especially since he didn't add any worms to it but he did get the water and turning right. He also mentions that it was cold and rainy in the weeks after he started his compost. An old compost would shrug this off but it would have a negative effect on a newly started compost.
A friend of mine teaches gardening to children and they tried it. After 4 months the bag was a bit thinner and worn but not drastically different. They figured that in a large communal compost it might only take 14 weeks to biodegrade as communal composts are considerably hotter then anything you could have at home.
i know them. i believe a lot of the crinklyness was actually overcome by changing to a different type of heat seal, but this was after or very close to the time when the axe was dropped on the PLA bag. but there are lots of other biodegradable materials out there.
The nick you're describing creates what structural engineers call a 'stress riser' in the material of the bag. It focuses the force you exert on the bag to a small point, from which the tear will originate.
Stress risers are a common cause of structural failure, and are usually designed around. Some well known examples where they cause failures: rectangular window openings in aluminum fuselages, knots in fishing line, a poorly designed head tube lug on a steel bicycle frame.
In this case, however, the failure of the material results in a good outcome: snack time.
I see them over here all the time... you'll find them on jerky packets, for example, or as the initial seal on nearly any re-sealable bag (think of a bag of cereal with a zipper on top). The problem is that if the Seal God (blessed be his flippers) doesn't smile on you, you'll end up ripping off a sliver of the top of the bag and completely failing to get a decent opening. This has caused much wailing and gnashing of teeth. I think the material used for the bag/packaging is definitely a factor--I can pretty much always make a good tear on a ramen flavor packet, but I don't know that I've ever had a bag of jerky open properly.
God, all this talk of cereal and jerky and ramen makes it sound like I eat only crap. I eat vegetables, I swear!
Given the shape of a bag, it seems pretty difficult to put shear force on the bag. Since the sealed layer deforms and crumples, if for example you grabbed onto both sides of the middle of the top edge and tried shearing them apart, they would just reorient so that the forces are now more or less normal to the glue...
Apply thumb and forefinger on either side of the seal. Press together and slide. Coefficient of friction between finger and seal might need to be increased somehow (perhaps by texturing the material differently at that point).
"The point here is that while technical options exist to prevent premature opening of the bag, such as reducing the initial air pressure in the bag, attempting to add this to the existing processing equipment would be a nightmare. So it was necessary to increase the seal strength."
You could also reduce the air pressure in the factory, e.g. by building it in one of the aforementioned high-altitude regions.
And/or heat up the air filling the bag. As air cools, the volume decreases.
The right solution would be to squeeze to depress the bag a bit as it's sealed. Increasing the seal strength is a quick and dirty hack, but as we've all learned too well from software, the right solutions often got trumped by quick and dirty hacks. The customers just have to live with the consequence.
Your ideas have other suboptimal consequences though - sucked-in bags don't look as nice on the shelf, and in fact they look smaller. This makes them less attractive and thus less likely to be purchased.
I realize they are sold by weight, but I'll be honest, the full size merchandise is worth more to me. It is even worse on cereal, my wife saves the end of the box for me because i'll eat it. I prefer the full size, but throwing out the 'fluff' (crushed bits and powder at the end) seems like a waste.
My good fellow, I'm sure that when you partake in the delicious fruit known as an apple, undoubtedly you do like I and first neatly slice and core the apple. Once the fruit is thus prepared, I find that arranging it neatly in a circular pattern on a fine porcelain plate (preferably covered with an exquisite paper doily) is a most acceptable presentation format. How uncouth are the heathens who consume the apple straight from the stem, exposing the unsightly core in plain view.
From the perspective of a right-hander: Hold the bag upright with the notch on the left, use your left hand to grasp the upper-left corner, while using your right thumb and index finger to begin tearing downward. As soon as you break into the actual cavity, begin tearing rightward.
Invert appropriately for a left-hander.
Or just do what I do and keep a pocket knife around. Shrug
I really don't understand the objections. It's quite easy and obvious to me, has been since I was a little kid and was first confronted with sealed bags and packets like that, and I have exceedingly poor coordination.
I'm guessing he was saying that while the chips were in transport of the passes into California, the low pressure at the high altitudes combined with the higher pressure in the chip bags would cause the bags to break open. They'd be back at normal pressure at the destination however.
I also think he meant East of the Rockies as to where they were made, considering West of the Rockies is California.
I think it depends where in Colorado they started and where they went after. I walked and hitched my way cross country this year. I did not go through Colorado but went up and down in altitude quite a lot. I was up around 7000 feet at least three times in states I never thought of as all that mountainous. And Cali has mountains, some of them quite high.
> Other options besides a stronger seal are technically possible, but not economically feasible.
It would have cost next to nothing to attach slabs of foam rubber or gentle spring plates to the sealer. As the two sides move together, the air is gently squeezed out of the bag first. Sheer incompetence.
I'm not sure if I exactly understand your solution. Would you be lightly squishing the contents of the bag with the spring plates while sealing the front?
It also seems possible that manufacturers wouldn't want chip bags to look comparatively "deflated" when sold in a same-pressure environment (and thus stand out less on the shelf compared to competitors'). Also, maybe bags rupture for reasons other than pressure change and thus a stronger seal is still desirable. Just guesses, though I know the article didn't make mention of any of those reasons.
And who said they wanted to squeeze the air out --and have the deflated look, easy crushing and all?
When one talks about the "sheer incompetence" of a group of industry experts set to find a solution to a problem in an internet comment thread, while putting out an inane "solution" of his own that doesn't take all facts into account --and when he never knew all the constraints in the first place--, well, the Dunning–Kruger effect springs to mind...