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Packaging Solution Center Featured in Walls & Ceilings Magazine

Packaging Solution Center Featured in Walls & Ceilings Magazine

Built in 2017, our Packaging Solution Center was designed with a balance of form and function.

We wanted the Center to reflect our investment in advanced technology and our modern, technical approach to packaging.  It was built functionally to house our TruMotion testing equipment as well as our MUST stretch wrapper, Film Lab, E-Commerce Fulfillment Line, automated end-of-line packaging integrations, and other equipment including shrink tunnels and a horizontal ring wrapper.

But it was also built to be a Center where customers, vendors, researchers, and others in the industry could gather to learn, share ideas, see results, and make real changes that impact the way we approach packaging in today’s complex landscape.

We are proud to see this vision come to light every time we start a new tour, bring a customer in to view new test results (See: Kitchen Cabinet Distributors), or host partners and customers as a central meeting and learning space (See: Coke Consolidated Quality Team Meeting).

As a matter of form, we put a lot of thought and planning into how the space would look and feel, how it would flow, and how it would visually and stylistically match our vision.  As a result of this thought and planning, the Solution Center won the Eagle Award for the Top Interior Project $5-$10M  by the American Builders and Contractors for the Carolinas.

And now, we’re excited to see the Solution Center featured in Walls & Ceilings Magazine for the very special ceiling we designed and installed in the showroom.

Undulating Ceiling Adds Aesthetics and Acoustics
Ceiling Provides Visual Impact and Sound Absorption While Maintaining Look of Existing Exposed Structure

This feature discusses the importance of the ceiling in providing proper acoustics so we can easily communicate with customers while in the facility. It also discusses its role in creating a space that feels clean and bright while remaining open, industrial and visually and thematically interesting.

Thank you to Walls & Ceilings Magazine for featuring the Packaging Solution Center and for bringing attention to the level of detail and strategy that went into our ceiling design.

Questions?  Want to see it for yourself?  Schedule a tour of the Packaging Solution Center in Charlotte, NC today!

Atlantic Earns Sealed Air Top Sales Award

Atlantic Earns Sealed Air Top Sales Award

We’re proud to announce that Sealed Air awarded Atlantic the Top Sales Award for 2019, their highest honor for the Product Care category.

Sealed Air Product Care is dedicated to packaging that eliminates damage, reduces wasted material and saves energy, space, time, labor, and money.  They do this through specially engineered void fill products proven for performance and backed by scientific data along with automated equipment for speed and consistency and attractive packaging for a positive customer experience.

Atlantic is a proud partner with Sealed Air.  At our Packaging Solution Center in Charlotte, NC, you can demo their Fill Air machines and experiment with air pillows and inflatable packaging.  You can also test their I-Pack and FloWrap machines for right-sized, optimized, and customized protective packaging.

Thank you to Sealed Air for trusting Atlantic to represent your products, equipment, and your brand.  We’re excited about the success of this partnership and look forward to many more years of success!

See more: Packaging Solution Center | E-Commerce

Coke Consolidated Quality Team at the Packaging Solution Center

Coke Consolidated Quality Team at the Packaging Solution Center

We were proud to host the Coke Consolidated Quality Team recently at our Packaging Solution Center for the team’s bi-annual meeting.

Coke Consolidated is a valued customer and is headquartered right here in Charlotte, NC. They are the largest independent Coca-Cola bottler in the U.S. and the Quality Team is responsible for overseeing quality and food safety for their products and operation.

Preventing Damage

Coke Consolidated has been a customer of our MUST Stretch Management Program to help ensure that full pallets of product leaving the plants arrive safely and intact at their destination.  With the investment that the Quality Team puts into their product and their process, it’s critical that they prevent damage from occurring once the product leaves the plant.  Damage during transit and storage is preventable with the right stretch wrapping film, application, equipment, and monitoring. That’s exactly what our MUST Program helps achieve.

Atlantic’s experts work closely with Coke Consolidated using the MUST Method to audit existing conditions; test for potential improvements; optimize equipment, process, and application; and then monitor for sustained optimization.

Testing & Monitoring

Every step of the MUST Method is important to the success of the overall stretch wrapping operation. When the Coke Consolidated Quality Team met at the Solution Center, they all got to see our TruMotion testing equipment up-close to get a better understanding of the insights we can gather and share about their stretch wrapping performance.

They also took a deep dive into the functionality of the MUST Monitoring software they have access to as part of this program.  By monitoring the activity of their stretch wrappers, they can see the overall health of their systems as well as where and how any activity is out of spec.

Packaging Sustainability

In addition to all this data on their stretch wrapping operation, the Quality Team at Coke Consolidated also got to see how their actions are impacting their sustainability goals.  The experts with our MUST Stretch Management Program advocate for using high performance stretch film with the optimal application so, in effect, they are using less stretch film while also preventing product damage.

Both of these factors have a significant positive impact on packaging sustainability and move them closer to their goals as part of Coca-Cola’s World Without Waste Initiative for packaging sustainability.

See: How to Use Less Stretch Film for Better Sustainability

Thank you to Coke Consolidated for trusting Atlantic to host your Quality Team meeting at the Packaging Solution Center.  We enjoyed having you for the day and we’re excited to continue working with you for a highly successful packaging operation.

Solution Center Stories – Kitchen Cabinet Distributors

Solution Center Stories – Kitchen Cabinet Distributors

We all know that product damage during transit can wreak havoc on your operations, on your budget, and on your brand reputation.

Sometimes, even when you have the best quality control processes with tracking, transparency, and inspections throughout your operations, you may still experience claims of damage to your product during shipping.  And this can be detrimental to your brand for a number of reasons.  It costs critical time on the project; it costs a significant amount of money; and it can negatively affect your reputation.

Prevent Damage Before It Starts

This is what our customer, Kitchen Cabinet Distributors (KCD), was trying to prevent as their company was growing and they were shipping more products further distances using LTL transit.

KCD is a long-time Atlantic customer, relying on us for day-to-day supply solutions, excellent customer service, and reliability in getting what they need, when they need it.  As their customer-base continued to grow and expand to further locations, they knew they had to evaluate their packaging process to ensure that their cabinets would survive the rigors of LTL transit.

The top priority for KCD is to deliver on the excitement and joy that a new kitchen brings to a home. Their end customers invest a great deal of time and money in getting a new kitchen. KCD wants to come through with a flawless product, on time and as expected.  Any issues with damage could delay the project and cost additional time and money.  It could even cost them the customer if the contractor decided to skip the returns and just buy from someone else.

Evaluate to Improve the Process

With the goal of continuously improving their packaging operation, KCD turned to Atlantic and the testing capabilities at the Packaging Solution Center to help evaluate and improve their process. We came in with a consultative approach to their current operation.  Our packaging engineers visited the KCD facility to see their process firsthand, to learn about their existing capabilities, and to understand the why and how of what they were doing.  It’s critical that any solution we come up with at the Solution Center can be replicated in the customer’s facility.

In this particular case, our engineers saw that KCD was using recycled and re-purposed pallets. These were presenting issues with inconsistent load stability and flaws such as nails poking through, threatening to harm the product.  They also saw that they were wrapping with hand film which adds another element of inconsistency.

Test & Quantify to Find the Solution

At the Solution Center, we set out to replicate their current conditions and quantify how much – and exactly what – damage was occurring in transit.  LTL can present extreme challenges with various handlers and transfers, loading and unloading, where product damage can occur at any stage.  We used the TruMotion Impact Sled to replicate handling with forklifts and the TruMotion Transportation Simulator to see what was happening to the loads out on the road.  We invited Glen Wegel, VP of Operations at KCD, and Seth Hayes, KCD Director of Operations, to the Solution Center during testing so they could watch up close how their loads were responding.

“Seeing our loads on the vibration table has been a game changer for us,” remarked Seth. “It allows us to really see what our pallets go through while in transit.”

The solutions in this case were to introduce a hexcomb sheet over the pallet to provide a stable and more consistent surface to support the load. We also showed how using a stretch wrap machine to wrap the unit loads, as opposed to hand wrapping, was more effective in stabilizing the load and keeping it secured and in place on the pallet.

Strive for Continuous Improvement

KCD, always striving for improvement and excellence in their operations, has strict quality control processes in place at all stages of their operations. They can now add this advanced level of testing, monitoring, and validating results to show their customers just how committed they are to quality and service.

“In a competitive market space with something as delicate and expensive as cabinetry, contractors won’t even tell me that they don’t want to buy my cabinets anymore if they can’t get them damage- and defect-free,” says Glen. “They’ll just buy them from somebody else. So I can’t afford to have a misstep in my business where my cabinets arrive damaged.  This is where it’s important to ensure that we’re not only using the best in class packaging, but we’re monitoring it and we’re continuing to improve our processes by testing the way that we ship.  Bringing our product into Atlantic’s Solution Center not only validated what we were doing, but it helped give us new ideas to make it even better.”

If you’re experiencing product damage in transit – or if you want to ensure that you won’t experience damage – contact us to schedule a visit to the Packaging Solution Center today and see how we can help improve and validate your packaging process.

How Stack Patterns Affect Unit Load Stability

How Stack Patterns Affect Unit Load Stability

While pallets used in shipping and warehousing have become standardized in terms of size and structure, the products and packages stacked on top of them are ever-changing.  

In an ideal unit load, the products stacked on the pallet come to the very edges of the pallet and form a stable, symmetrical unit protected and bound with stretch wrap. 

In real life, however, we may be dealing with a variety of products stacked together. This variety may not present a uniform stack pattern and may result in inboard conditions where the products don’t come to the edge, or overhang on the pallet.  Or we have a product that once formed a stable unit load but now has a newly designed package and the cases don’t fit on the pallet the same way.

This kind of change and variety affects the stack pattern of the load –  how the products are arranged together – and the load may go from something that was stable and protected during transit to something that is inherently less stable and is at risk of damage during transit.

In the testing we’ve done at the Packaging Solution Center, we’ve found that the stack pattern is a critical factor in unit load stability.

Because the surface area of the standard pallet is a known factor, the size, shape, and arrangement of the cases can – and should – be considered during the package design process.  In the design phase, you can decide how many cases you can put per layer or determine if you’re looking at overhang or inboard conditions.  The decisions made at this stage will affect the success in getting your products shipped out to your customers at your target cost and without damage (see: The Load Damage Domino Effect).

To get this conversation started now, schedule a visit to the Packaging Solution Center.

Top 3 Reasons Package Testing Should be Part of Your Process

Top 3 Reasons Package Testing Should be Part of Your Process

Since we introduced the TruMotion testing equipment at the Packaging Solution Center, we’ve had customers from a wide range of industries come in to test with us, many with different reasons for why they needed testing.

CURRENT PACKAGING FAILS

Some customers are having issues with the current state of their packaging. They want to resolve those issues and fix the problems they’re facing, whether that’s load damage, rejection of loads due to leaning, safety issues, or brand perception issues.

Without the level of data collection and lab testing available before we brought TruMotion Load Containment Testing to Charlotte, these customers weren’t able to successfully zero in on the root cause of their issues and have been dealing with load damage and failure simply as a course of doing business.

After working with the team at Atlantic and employing the unit load testing available with the TruMotion Multi-Axis Transportation Simulator and the Braking & Impact Test Sled, customers were able to pinpoint the cause of the issues they’d been having, fix the problems by coming up with proper stretch wrap application, and eliminate future load damage and failure.

Problems they thought were inevitable turned out to be preventable.  Our ability to correct current packaging fails is one of the primary reasons that customers come to see us at the Packaging Solution Center.

CHANGES IN PACKAGING

We also have some customers use TruMotion testing because they are making a change to their product and are predicting that they’ll need to adjust or change their packaging to properly protect their new unit loads.

They may be changing bottle size, transitioning to a pouch or carton, or maybe introducing a new product altogether. These customers are trying to get ahead of the game and do the transit testing before they put product into the marketplace.

We embrace the challenge of starting from scratch to find the right stretch wrap application that will work for these changes. There are a lot of factors to consider, including stack patterns, wrap patterns, type of film being used, and equipment settings.  We can devise a new packaging strategy from start to finish right here in the Solution Center.

REDUCTIONS IN PACKAGING

Another reason our customers come to us for TruMotion Testing is to find out how they can achieve reduction in packaging while still maintaining unit load integrity. The product and the primary package may be staying the same, but there is a desire to reduce the cost of that total package as well as the packaging footprint. That can mean eliminating cornerboard, strapping, trays, or slip sheets.

The TruMotion testing equipment allows us to test the reduced packaging system in a controlled lab environment.  With the results from initial trials and tests, we can then refine, and test again until we verify that the packaging will perform as needed. 

Using this system, we’ve had success in reducing the amount of packaging while continuing to deliver unit loads intact and without damage.

Fit2Ship

The team of engineers and technicians we have here at Atlantic along with the TruMotion equipment and the tests that we have in place all help to validate the solutions proposed for each of the packaging scenarios we’ve described here.

If you find yourself with packaging that’s failing, a new product coming down the line, or a challenge to improve the sustainability impact at your company, contact us to schedule a visit to the Packaging Solution Center and see the TruMotion Testing equipment in action.