Among the changes that have affected manufacturing in the past couple of years have been a surge in automation and supply chain upheavals. But a less obvious change in our culture has also had consequences for manufacturing: an increased awareness of diversity and commitment to inclusion.
One of the areas where we see this most clearly is in packaging. Iconic brands like Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben changed their brands’ looks, removing both Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben from their logos. The Eskimo Pie is now Edie’s Pie, and Land o’ Lakes has removed their “butter maiden.”
Kellogg’s created packaging with QR codes designed to provide information to blind consumers. An iPhone app lets shoppers snap in the general direction of packaging and get information read to them, while packages have basic product info embossed on them in Braille. The graphics on the CocoPops package is also simpler and bigger to help people with limited vision recognize their cereal of choice.
Herbal Essences laser etched their bottles to make it easier for people with limited vision to distinguish between shampoo and conditioner bottles. The shampoo has stripes people can feel, while the conditioner has dots. This has the advantage of being accessible to people who cannot read Braille but who still may have trouble reading labels when they’re in the shower without their glasses.
Changes for printers
Changing out a logo can be a marketing nightmare, causing fast-moving shoppers to miss their favorite brands on the shelves, but it’s not much of a challenge to manufacturers and printers.
Braille and laser-etched tactile packaging — that’s another story. Not only does Braille embossing have to be clear for blind consumers, it can’t interfere with the print for sighted consumers. With very little blank space on a typical package, that can require a very high level of precision.
Braille has been required for pharmaceuticals packaging in the EU since 2005, so packaging printers in the U.S. aren’t breaking new ground as they try to meet new requirements, but it can certainly demand retrofitting.
Fortunately, your Rexroth motion control systems are built for power and precision. When you need support or service for your Rexroth driven control systems, come to us first. We specialize in Rexroth electric industrial motion control.