Select Page
Consolidating Design for Greener Packaging

Consolidating Design for Greener Packaging

Product manufacturers are always looking for ways to make their packaging greener, more efficient, and less costly.

Greener packaging is an important goal in all aspects of product creation, from how you receive parts from your vendors to how you package and ship to the store or consumer.  Finding ways to consolidate and streamline your packaging is a smart and effective means to accomplish this goal.

Green Packaging

More for Less

One aspect of consolidation involves being more efficient and strategic with the materials you have to use and eliminating the rest.

Atlantic’s protective packaging specialist, Norm Samuelson, is continually faced with challenges where a customer wants to reduce packing materials and possibly even reduce the total number of packages while still protecting the product. Norm calls on his creativity and engineering mind to come up with custom packaging designs that can accomplish this goal.

Here's Norm, our protective packaging specialist

Here’s Norm, our protective packaging specialist

When a customer is shipping a large volume of parts to a manufacturer, Norm always looks for opportunities for consolidation. Using strategically placed supports, he may be able to fit more products into one single package. He’ll use ship tests to ensure that the products are safe and secure even without the extra padding and material.

If he can successfully consolidate the products, this would not only cut down on material costs but it would also pack more products into fewer cases. The customer can either transport a greater quantity in a single load if that’s their goal or they can cut down on shipping costs by reducing the overall size of the load while still getting the right number of products to their customer.

In essence, consolidation packs more product using fewer materials for lesser cost. This benefits the builder,  the manufacturer, and our environment.

Package Consolidation

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Another aspect of consolidation refers to the variety of materials we’re using.  If we have a pack that includes corrugated, foam, plastic, and metal staples or nails, this is going to be much more difficult to break down and send out for recycling.  Foam glued to corrugated can also be problematic for recycling.

If we can reduce the variety of materials used and be creative in how we separate parts while still ensuring their protection, we can positively impact the recyclability of the packaging.

In some cases, we have customers who want to reuse their packaging. For these cases, Norm will create a collapsible design that breaks down to a smaller, more efficient pack that’s easier and less expensive to transport back to the point of origin.  This cuts down on transportation costs and material costs for the customer while creating a more sustainable supply chain.

Retail Consolidation

Retail packaging has some heavy lifting to do.  It has to protect the product, act as a billboard for the brand, and get your attention above all the competition on the shelf. If it can also be environmentally friendly, then that’s a bonus for everybody.

One way that Norm has helped clients achieve a more sustainable model for retail packaging is to use the same exterior box or container while redesigning the internal profile to accommodate a variety of items. This way, we’re achieving consistency in the outer layer to reduce production and supply costs and ensure that the cases can always be cubed on a pallet for efficient shipping.  It’s a subtle but effective way to consolidate packaging materials headed for retail stores.

This type of consolidation is also a great strategy to apply in the beverage and health & beauty industries.  Using labels or shrink sleeves for bottling and canning allows companies to buy in bulk and use only the materials needed for each variety.  This cuts down supply costs and provides more flexibility in the production line.

Packaging Inserts

Filling the Void

While bubble wrap, air pillows, and other void fill products are still essential protective components for many packagers, Norm and his team enjoy the challenge of designing elegant, efficient, environmentally-friendly packaging for customers shipping mass quantities or particularly unwieldy or sensitive products.  He’s created packaging for windshields, windshield wipers, car bumpers, stainless steel counters, and engines among other things.

In all the challenges he’s faced with, there are four goals consistent with each: efficiency, sustainability, reduced costs, and product protection.

If you find yourself needing a creative, resourceful, and effective custom packaging job that achieves all of these elements, then we’ve got you covered.

How to Save Money by Increasing Package Density

How to Save Money by Increasing Package Density

Maximizing package density for efficiency, ease of packing, and faster packing times.

Across the board, our customers care very much about two particular things when shipping their products:

1. Protecting the product from any damage during transit and storage, and
2. Minimizing shipping costs

One of the ways that we address both of these issues is by increasing package density whenever possible. This means that the customer is maximizing space usage both within the package and within the truck, shipping more product at a lower cost.

Efficiency, Protection, and Low Cost

Makers of mechanical parts for the automotive, aeronautical, and electronics industries are especially concerned with getting their parts to the manufacturers as efficiently as possible and at the lowest possible cost, all while protecting highly sensitive products such as engine turbos, drive train components or windshield wiper arms and blades.

At Atlantic, our packaging designer goes to great lengths to create custom package prototypes that will allow these customers to ship as many parts as possible toget her and in one truckload. He also takes into account the ease of packing and unpacking the product.

Testing for the Best Outcome

Using a CAD table and specialized software, our designer searches for ways to arrange the parts inside the package to allow more parts to fit while still being protected. These techniques include re-orienting the parts by interweaving, stacking, facing one up and one down, or using a different packing material. Ultimately, he is looking to reduce empty space in the packaging so a customer’s shipping costs are tied directly to parts, not air.

Maximizing package density can have a significant positive impact on shipping costs, productivity, and efficiency. In addition to packing more parts together, we are also creating a design that is easy to pack on the line and easy to unpack at the destination. Customer guidelines for proper presentation and visibility are followed as well so that the product is easy to inventory and verify at its destination.

We invite you to contact Atlantic today to see how we can help create better efficiency in your packaging design.

See Related Posts:
Without a Scratch – Protective Packaging for Automotive Manufacturing
Custom Package Assembly at Atlantic Packaging

Modern Packaging Challenges in the Beverage Industry

Modern Packaging Challenges in the Beverage Industry

Have you noticed changes in plastic water bottles over the last several years? Smaller caps, smaller printed labels, and lighter plastic are a few of the ways that beverage companies are reducing waste in their packaging.  They are also bundling their cases without the use of corrugated trays.

And these changes are making a difference.

Nestle Waters states that by reducing weight in their half-liter bottle, they are using an average of 37% less plastic than their original half-liter and have saved 65 million pounds of PET plastic resin.  And by reducing the label size on the bottle by 35%, they have saved almost 10 million pounds of paper annually (source: Packaging Innovation – Nestle Waters, link here).

Ice River Springs makes their bottles out of 100% recycled green plastic for closed loop recycling. This means that they’re making no new plastic for their bottled water (see: Ice River Green, link here).

As more and more beverage companies make moves to become environmentally friendly and adopt changes to their primary packaging, bulk shipments of the product from the bottling facility to distributors and retailers are in danger of being less stable and more susceptible to damage during transit.  Companies have to rely increasingly on their pallet wrapping operation to keep the product safe and contained during shipping and storage.

Beverage Industry Pallet Wrapping

At Atlantic, we have stretch packaging engineers and film specialists dedicated to meeting the demands of these unique and ever-changing packaging challenges.  This team studies prestretch, secondary stretch, wrap patterns, and overlap.  They analyze how these elements need to interact on the pallet in order to achieve the desired containment force that will protect the product in every individual case.

We share the results of our data and analysis in Stretch University, a program aimed at educating our customers on all the elements of a properly wrapped pallet.  Through hands-on demonstrations, we show the best practices and common pitfalls of film being applied to a pallet. Stretch University demonstrates that simply applying more film or increasing tension will not protect product from damage.  The right film matched with the proper equipment settings together with the appropriate prestretch, secondary stretch, and wrap patterns all collaborate on creating an effectively wrapped pallet.

Beyond analysis, training, education, and the technical service required to get all of these elements just right for our customers, Atlantic has also developed a monitoring system called Materials Usage Standards Tracking (MUST) to ensure that the proper benchmark settings are maintained over time.

It is inspiring to see so many companies evolving their products and processes to be more environmentally mindful.  Matching that evolution with a packaging process that results in less wasted film and less damaged product is not only possible, it is a fundamental part of Atlantic’s commitment to sustainable packaging.

Contact us to learn more about stretch packaging, Stretch University, or the MUST monitoring program.

Atlantic’s Protective Packaging Solutions

Good design is simple, elegant, and efficient.

Here at Atlantic Packaging, we believe that great products deserve great packaging. This is why we have a dedicated custom packaging design lab in our Youngsville, North Carolina facility. We develop packaging designs that are engineered to maximize product protection, minimize packing material, and reduce production floor assembly time to bring our customers significant savings.

Our inital step is to evaluate the product’s shape, establish appropriate support points, and create 3D custom packaging design in CAD. Basic packaging elements such as foam, corrugated, SBS, and other materials are strategically cut and assembled during this in-house sample creation process.

Small runs of samples can be used for shipping minimal quantities of high-end products that do not justify tooling. We can also run ship tests from individual packs up to full pallets, including sending them to licensed labs for fully instrumented drop tests and assembly time studies.

Our production facility includes foam die cutting, slitting, perfing, saw-cutting equipment and, of course, our design lab.

The goal of our custom packaging design lab is to achieve the best product protection at the lowest cost for our customers.

Call our experts today to learn how our protective packaging solutions can benefit your product and your business: 800-722-5841