Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

First Advisor

Richard Stone


The primary function of consumer packaging, specifically pop top cans, is to protect the contents of the container and ensure it is safe and functional for the buyer to use. As packaging has evolved, greater focus is placed on increasing the convenience of products. Pop-top cans are simpler to use because they do not require tools but bring inherent problems with opening primarily for the older population. The development of different opening devices aims to improve accessibility for the older population by reducing the frustrations and discomforts associated with this style of packaging. A study of 24 individuals, showed different preferences in opening methods between older and younger individuals. Furthermore, determining time to open, EMG muscle activation, and wrist angle revealed that some objective measures related the subjective preferences. Younger individuals believed that the increased convenience of a pop top, greatly outweighed any pain they had to endure. The elderly however, preferred to use a simple opening device to transfer the movement away from the fingers to the wrist. Because of the reduction of precision movements, the elderly preferred to use the J-popper opening device. The difference in preferred opening methods between age groups shows that packaging designers must consider the needs of all members of the population when designing products to insure accessibility to all consumers.


Copyright Owner

Zachary Scott Sobczak



Date Available


File Format


File Size

44 pages