The proper understanding of quality and price relation of glass packaging

The quality of glass may vary dramatically from process to process. What seems to be simple at first, sometimes turns out to be the most difficult part of the project or the entire supply chain. To avoid misconceptions, it’s worth learning at least the basics of glass production and the functioning of the manufacturer – pricing, processing, supplies and design.

Price and profitability

As experienced specialists in the industry often say, “the last thing you want is to be the less profitable customer of the manufacturer”. Clients tend to require lowest prices and expect flawless quality. n the manufacturer’s point of view things are not so simple. Glass manufacturers use a common metric to evaluate the efficiency – Melt to Pack Ration (MPR), which is a relation of the glass produced in bulk to the quantity of product leaving the furnace and shipped to the client.

The MPR is exposed to lots of factors: raw material defects, glass breakage, structural or cosmetic defects, cooling, decoration, coating and so on. Meanwhile, most customers won’t even realize, that even the most advanced technologies can’t guarantee flawless processing.

Glass manufacturing remains just as much and art as a science. he price of glass packaging is straightly related to MPR, rejections rate and accepted quality level. The more rejections allowed in the agreement between the manufacturer and the client, the cheaper the production gets making the final price lower.

Looking for the lowest price automatically implies higher rate of rejections.

Technology does not guarantee perfect quality

There is a common misconception among customers to expect each bottle in the batch to be perfect. This may be possible in one case – if the manufacturer sorts out and discards all the rejection on his own. The MPR index in such case drops down, decreasing the efficiency and profitability of production, and naturally pushing the price up – even several-fold at times.

Glass rejections are inevitable just by nature, so manufacturers mainly aim on reaching the acceptable rejection rate agreed with the customer instead of pointless attempts to eliminate defects completely.

Preparing for shipping

Most of products are packed and prepared for delivery manually, which is generally better for everyone. Human eye is way more efficient in detecting structural or appearance imperfections while sorting and packing the products. Technologies develop quickly, yet current capabilities of equipment are still too far from replacing the human.

Designing the product in cooperation

A slight modification of the design project may turn the entire process upside down. And reverse, assumingly huge changes turn on to be easily achievable. Anyway, the key consideration is AQL (acceptable quality level) – the acceptable amount of rejections for each batch. Not only price depends on this, but the whole project’s feasibility determining whether the manufacturer has all the required equipment and technology. Factors influencing the quality include weight, shape, color, neck and sides of the bottle, coverage, coating, or production volume. The more detailed the project and the more thoroughly the details are described, the more chance to achieve the desired outcome.

Finally, the more familiar with the production process the client is, the more effective gets the cooperation with the manufacturer. Glass manufacturing is an intricate process rarely giving perfect results. Though it’s a gigantic industry with enormous resources and advanced technology, the forces of nature and limitations they provide are just inevitable. The best way to avoid misconceptions and failure is to dig into the specificity as much as possible and build viable expectations. Or chose the easier path and work with an experienced distributor instead of reaching out for the manufacturer directly. The price in this case gets a bit higher, but allows to cut off most of the risks.