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Innnovative Packaging Developed By Student

From the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology For immediate release


Work done by a Massey University technology student, Gareth Hargreaves, has led to better protective shrink-wrap packaging on ovens made by one of New Zealand's biggest manufacturers.

Mr Hargreaves took on a full-time project for a year at Long Plastics Ltd in Christchurch to evaluate and recommend improvements for the existing packaging design. Technology New Zealand supported his project through its Graduates in Industry Fellowship (GRIF) scheme, which gives tertiary students an opportunity to do research work with businesses.

"I had to develop a testing procedure for evaluating the complete packaging solution," Mr Hargreaves says. "The design process used to be trial and error, accompanied by experience."

Long's general manager, Peter Spackman, says the project arose out of a requirement for packaging to better protect whiteware in transit from maker to customer.

"Damage to products had got to unacceptable levels, but we didn't have enough science and technical expertise to work out how to fix the problem," Mr Spackman says. "That's where Gareth came in."

Mr Spackman says the improvements that came from the project had given whiteware manufacturer Fisher and Paykel the confidence to invest in the packaging.

"The benefits include lower cost and reduced transit damage. It means, too, that any damage can now be seen at every stage of distribution. "It's been a three-way win - for us at Long's, for Gareth and for Fisher and Paykel."

Mr Hargreaves had just completed his Bachelor of Technology degree at Massey and the project counted towards a Diploma in Packaging Technology.

Mr Hargreaves, 24, who grew up in Lower Hutt and went to Hutt Valley High School, now works for Fisher & Paykel. "I got a summer job with them following the project, and since March I've been taken on permanently." -ends-

Contact: * Gareth Hargreaves, Fisher and Paykel Ltd, Dukes Rd, Mosgiel. Ph: (03) 489-3819. Email:

* Peter Spackman, GeneralManager, Long Plastics Ltd, 10 March Pl, Belfast, Christchurch 8005. Ph: (03) 323-6540. Fax: (03) 323-8291. Email:

* Tony Hadfield, Technology New Zealand (Christchurch Office) at the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, (03) 377-9340. Website:

Prepared on behalf of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology by ID Communications. Contact: Ian Carson (04) 477-2525. Email:

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