verpakkingsspecialist aanbesteding defensie

Packaging specialist as partner in a Defence procurement process

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Bart Nijssen
Account Manager
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Is your company tendering for a Ministry of Defence contract? Then there is a good chance that the product you supply will have to make quite a journey to get to its final destination. An important part of your tender is therefore the right protection during transport: the packaging.

Faes has been a packaging partner for Defence for many years

Suppliers to the Ministry of Defence regularly knock on our door to ask us to help them think about the right packaging for their products. This means that we know the military packaging regulations like the back of our hand. I would like to tell you more about such a special project.

Defence imposes strict requirements on packaging

The product that you are going to deliver to Defence must be able to withstand transport over land, sea and air. This is why Defence sets strict packaging requirements. The packaging must sometimes comply with UN certifications, but also with NEN, EN and ISO quality classes, Mil-specs, Stanag and IP standards. The packaging requirements of the Ministry of Defence are so specialised that it is logical that suppliers themselves cannot cope with them.

The most appropriate solution, therefore, is to call on the knowledge, experience and resources of a specialised packaging supplier when tendering for a contract from the Ministry of Defence. A specialised packaging supplier knows the Ministry of Defence’s strict packaging requirements inside out. They will help you make an analysis of the entire transport and user process. And then develop the most optimal protection for your product. Which, of course, complies with the set packaging requirements down to the last detail.

The packaging requirements often depend on the journey that your product has to make

To get to its destination in one piece, your product needs to be protected against all kinds of climate conditions. Dust, sunlight, mould, salts, moisture, rain and so on. All these conditions affect the life of your product and its packaging.

And what about the resistance during transport to shocks and vibrations? Military products are often transported by road and air, which means they have to endure all kinds of vibrations. Conveyor belt on and off, aircraft in and out, on the forklift truck, on the pallet truck. The buffering of your package is then extremely important to get the product from A to B in good condition. A specialised packaging supplier can advise you on this like no other.

The package of requirements also describes what the packaging must comply with

When the Ministry of Defence invites tenders, a package of requirements (PoR) or a technical specification is included. If it concerns a new product to be developed, this will state what the product must look like in functional terms and what it must be able to do.

But the PoR is not just about the product. It also states the functional specifications that the packaging must meet. And that is what the packaging specialist starts working on. Sometimes there is already packaging in the range that meets all the specs. But often a new packaging needs to be developed. Your packaging specialist makes a technical and budgetary proposal. So that you know exactly where you stand.

A certificate confirms that the packaging meets the requirements

In the compliance list you attach to your offer, you declare that you can meet all the specifications and requirements set by the Ministry of Defence. Is your company receiving the assignment from Defence? Then you are expected to actually demonstrate this. Because Defence wants to be sure that the packaging also meets all requirements, they usually ask for a test report or a certificate. In the case of existing packaging, the certification already issued is often sufficient. Sometimes this certification is additionally verified by a test. For newly developed packaging, the certificates or test reports have yet to be issued.

A certification agency tests the new packaging

If a new packaging is developed for your product, the packaging specialist will start a certification procedure. The test plan is drawn up together with you. The packaging specialist delivers the prototype of the packaging together with a prototype or dummy of your product to an independent certification agency. This agency tests whether the packaging meets the standards and specifications set by the Ministry of Defence.

By the way, did you know that every certification agency has its own specialisation? For example, one certification agency issues certificates for electromagnetic radiation and another for vibrations and shocks or scratch resistance of the paint. So with certification you also make good use of the knowledge and skills of your packaging specialist.

Interim checks during series production

Once the certification process has been successfully completed, series production starts. During that process, the packaging specialist may receive regular visits from quality managers of the Defence Suppliers Supervision Department (TDL). They check the quality of the packaging both during and at the end of the production process. And they sign the CoC (Certificate of Conformity) or KenO (Inspection and Receipt Report) on behalf of the Ministry of Defence. In this way, one knows for sure that the packaging meets all the requirements to protect the product during transport.

Want to know more about packaging?

With this article we introduced you to the often complex packaging demands of Defence. Faes has a solution for every packaging question. Follow us on LinkedIn. It gives you a look behind the scenes of the projects we carry out for our customers. We share innovative packaging solutions with you and keep you informed of the latest trends and developments in our field.

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        Mandy van Alebeek
        Relations manager