Interview I Dikshita Chander, the life of a packaging technician
We’re speaking to packaging professionals to give us their vision on the future of packaging, and their experience at ADF&PCD and PLD Paris. First up, Dikshita Chander tells us more about her life as a packaging technician in a renowned luxury perfume and cosmetic company.
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
After a science bachelor degree, I wanted to study in the medical sector. So I did a BTS in Medical Biology Analysis as a sandwich course. During these two years, I was able to work in a laboratory with a microscope but also on different equipment as well. The experience was enriching but I realised that I didn’t want to continue in this sector. I was very attracted to science, but I didn’t see myself working all my life on blood, bacteria and other things.
So I went to university to study a more general degree in industrial production, which opened the doors to pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and cosmetics. I prepared for this diploma with the CNAM Paris in evening classes, during the weekends. I then continued to work at Laboratoire Cerba in parallel with my studies. By talking to several people in my class, I finally came to the decision to work in the cosmetics sector.
Entering the cosmetics sector was not easy because I had no experience in this field. After sending several CVs out, I saw an opportunity for a one month temporary job and without hesitation I decided to apply. It was risky but I knew what I wanted and I didn’t want to miss out on this great opportunity. After applying and getting the job, the experience opened several doors for me in the cosmetics sector. Which brings me to where I am now, working for a global perfume and cosmetics brand as a Packaging Technician!
What is a typical day for a packaging technician?
A typical day for me starts with testing and compatibility testing for the development of new packs or optimisation of existing packs.
This is done in several stages:
- Preparation stage: getting to know the project and the objectives of the study, preparing the number of parts, quantity of formula or any other material needed for the tests, and labelling of the samples.
- Production stage: weighing and filling, taking into account the density of the formula to be filled and the capacity of my packaging (bottle, tube, etc.). I may have to carry out various tests such as water tightness, compatibility, resistance of the packaging, its functionality and so on.
- Observation/analysis stage: Some tests take longer than others and require follow-up over time. I note my results at each observation. And at the end of the study, I must not only transmit my raw results but also make an analysis of the wider project in order to provide a conclusion that meets the objective of the study.
The tests take up three quarters of my time and the rest of the day is devoted to updating documents and reports, interpreting the results obtained, writing technical reports on the tests carried out and meeting with the various players in my field on current and/or future projects.
I really enjoy working on projects because I can see the evolution of a product from the beginning of its conception to the end.
What is the validation process for a pack?
The pack is validated when we have proven through tests that it passes all the criteria of waterproofness, compatibility of the materials of the pack with the cosmetic product, functionality during its use and durability of the decoration.
How would you describe your job in 3 words?
Indispensable, fascinating and analytical.
What is your relationship with packaging development?
We work closely with them to pass on all the technical data and analysis results from our tests to find the most suitable packaging for a given product.
What is the pack of the future for you?
A fully recyclable and recycled pack.
And what was your experience like at PCD Paris?
For me, PCD Paris is one of the most important trade shows for all packaging players.
You can meet suppliers but also take part in very technical conferences and it is very enriching on a professional and personal level.
Where do you see yourself in three to five years time?
I would like to be a packaging expert. I’m passionate about this job and the more I learn, the more I realise that there are still many things to discover. I see myself with more responsibilities and with a team to manage.
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