Packnomics, LLC
Kevin Howard
Consultant

Packnomics, LLC
16915 SE Fisher Drive
Vancouver, WA 98683

cell: 360-606-0235
kevin.howard@packnomics.com
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Strategic packaging goes beyond tactical design


 

How To Become a Transport Packaging Expert:  Excellent packaging education and great job experience 

 

                                         Kevin Howard

SUMMARY
Senior packaging engineer and consultant with diverse technical knowledge in developing strategies to minimize the overall landed costs of products through better packaging designs, appropriate test methods, designing products and components with logistics costs in mind, and influencing material handling methods. Expertise in dynamics testing, supply chain mapping, design, and procurement engineering. Significant international experience in Asia, India, and Europe.
 
PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY
Packnomics
, a Limited Liability Corporation, was formed on December 19, 2005.  The first consulting job was February 2006, working with Adalis Packaging Solutions Group for a $10 billion electronics company.  Since that first job, Kevin has consulted to other high tech companies, two of the largest appliance manufacturers in the world, some of the largest retailers and shippers in the world, a variety of smaller companies (all greater than $500 million sales), and has acted as an expert witness.

Senior Packaging Engineer, Hewlett-Packard Co., Vancouver, WA 1988 – 2005 , Consumer Inkjet Printers
• Conceived HP’s first use of packaging postponement strategy, resulting in the largest documented cost savings in the history of packaging (according to Packaging Technology and Science Magazine, summer 2000).
• Developed HP’s first use of slip sheets, thus replacing wood pallets for overseas shipments, resulting in a 25% reduction in distribution costs of their largest volume printers.
• Initiated the first replacement of resilient foam cushions within HP to molded EPS (expanded polystyrene foam), resulting in reduced packaging costs of 66%.
• Conducted an in-depth analysis that proved laboratory tests were too severe relative to actual distribution hazards for most regions of the world. Reducing the drop-test heights led to smaller packages, thus reducing costs 20% with no increase in field failures.
• Led a group of cross-functional engineers to compose a new test manual for HP’s largest product line in an attempt to better replicate the true hazards found in distribution.
• Initiated a strong environmental policy for the product line, resulting in complete elimination of PVC plastic packaging, complete elimination of chlorine bleached corrugated, and the use of soy based inks. Implemented the use of molded pulp cushions for the heaviest printer ever at HP, without increasing the box size over an EPS foam solution, resulting in significant cost savings.
• Extensive experience with outsourcing packaging designs, product manufacturing and distribution. Procurement engineering expertise in foam tooling and molding, and zero based pricing techniques.

Packaging Consultant 1987 – 1988
• Solved packaging and distribution issues for a variety of companies/industries, including TRW, AT&G, and Shepherd Products.
• Hired by the government of The People’s Republic of China for seven months to teach distribution packaging and testing at its first school of packaging, The Northwest Institute of Light Industry in Xianyang, Shaanxi.
• While employed by the PRC, provided lectures at a variety of Chinese universities and test laboratories and consulted to Chinese companies on various damage issues.

Packaging Engineer, Whirlpool Corporation 1984 - 1987
• Responsible for developing packaging designs for major home appliances, such as washing machines and dishwashers.
• Assisted in developing Whirlpool’s first modern shock and vibration laboratory.
• Initiated $2 million cost savings by decreasing package size of one product. This single project represented more than 10 times the department’s annual cost savings goal.

Packaging Research Assistant, M.S.U. School of Packaging Spring, 1983
• Developed and conducted vibration tests on filled retort pouches to determine effects of oxygen permeability on laminate bags of various materials and thickness. 

Graduate Teaching Assistant, M.S.U. School of Packaging 1980 – 1982
• Instructed senior level undergraduate students shock and vibration theory and testing techniques and how best to design packages and products to not fail from such hazards.
• Though primarily responsible for the laboratory section of the class, also regularly presented lectures.

Packaging Engineer Internship, MTS Systems Summer, 1981
• Using the latest shock and vibration testing technology, this laboratory tested computers, frozen pizza, cans of beer, appliances, pace makers, large bags of dog food, institutional sized food jars, and more.
• Developed test methods to replicate field failures found on the above products.
• Reported test results and recommended test procedures and possible product or package re-designs to mitigate the damages.

Packaging Engineer Internship, IBM Boulder Summer and Fall, 1978
• Assured vendor compliance to corporate specifications.
• Conducted a cost analysis study of corrugated boxes.
• Developed and presented a packaging education course for plant personnel.

HONORS AND ACTIVITIES
• Four U.S. patents (two on expanded polystyrene foam recycling and two for a unique thermoform printer package).
• Two AmeriStar awards and the 3M Integrity Award for a clamshell printer package in 2002, as presented at PackExpo that year. This same package won international awards from iF Design (International Forum Design) and the Design and Engineering Showcase Award from 2003 International CES.
• Chairman of ASTM (American Society of Testing and Materials) task group on vertical vibration testing of packaged products, 1985 – 2005. In addition, was the chairperson for the subcommittee that contained all 13 task groups writing physical test methods for shock, vibration and compression procedures.
• Honored with National Public Radio’s E-Town Achievement Award during a live broadcast in recognition of environmentally responsible packaging designs and influencing a major corporation to lessen its impact on the planet.
• Presented with “Packaging Person of the Year” award from the Western Packaging Association in 2001.
• As profiled in university text books and multiple magazine articles describing breakthroughs in packaging postponement, testing methods, fast prototype tooling for molded foam, and resolving distribution damages.
• Member and frequent presenter to IoPP (Institute of Packaging Professionals), ISTA (International Safe Transit Association) and WPA (Western Packaging Association).
* Co-author of Product Protection Test Book , 2005, published by IoPP.
* Co-author of Measurement and Analysis of the Distribution Environment (also known as the MADE study), 1999, published by IoPP.

EDUCATION
Bachelor of Science degree, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan. Major: Packaging.
Master of Science degree, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan. Major: Packaging. Extensive studies in distribution-related problems of shock and vibration, material handling, cushion design, and transportation strategies.
 
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