Testing and End-of-Line Automation in Action
Packaging Solution Center
The Packaging Solution Center in Charlotte, N.C. is the culmination of the vision, passion, and foresight of many people within Atlantic and our close associates. We’ve come together to showcase technology and solutions never before seen in the packaging industry.
Our goal is to expose the science behind packaging and use this knowledge and data to create proven solutions for our customers. The centerpiece of the facility is the TruMotion Transportation Simulator and Braking & Impact Test Sled, two pieces built by Lansmont and TEAM Corporation, leaders in vibration testing and engineers of equipment that measures and simulates real-world transit dynamics.
The Center also features integrated machines in end-of-line packaging automation; a full e-commerce fulfillment station with options for protective packaging and right-size boxing; and our high-performance Film Lab and MUST programs.
MULTI AXIS TRANSPORTATION SIMULATOR
Atlantic is home to the packaging industry’s only Multi-Axis Transportation Simulator, a machine designed to simulate real-world transit conditions.
BRAKING & IMPACT TEST SLED
Acceleration and deceleration sled that controls speed and impact to test the effects of acceleration and braking on wrapped loads during transit.
HORIZONTAL RING WRAPPER
Ideal for flooring, lumber, piping, doors, windows and more, the orbital ring wrapper protects your products before, during, and after wrapping.
END-OF-LINE PACKAGING AUTOMATION
From case erecting to case packing, sealing, palletizing, and wrapping Atlantic showcases end-of-line packaging automation.
Using pack stations and automated fulfillment lines, we address many of the challenges facing the e-commerce industry today.
Our film lab features a powerful ESTL machine for testing properties of high-performance films to determine the correct balance for your products.
This patented system monitors the film application of every load wrapped on a given stretch wrapper and graphs this data in real time.
We train and educate our customers about the science of stretch packaging to help you make more informed decisions about your process.
What We Offer
Testing & End-of-Line Automation
TRUMOTION TRANSPORTATION SIMULATOR
Damage from load failure is costing the US food and beverage industry $7.2 billion every year.
With the Solution Center, Atlantic has taken great strides towards progress in packaging by devising a system to collect accurate transport data, test performance, and refine packaging that prevents damage caused by load failure.
To do this, we teamed up with Lansmont, the leading company in multi-degree of freedom vibration testing systems typically used for NASA and the military or the aerospace and automobile industries. They are the leaders in technology that simulates real-world transit conditions.
Atlantic’s table was designed to simulate over the road trucking routes as well as transit via ships and trains and airplanes. It moves in 6 different directions (up and down, side-to-side, and various combinations of these) to simulate roll, pitch, and yaw.
This design sets it apart from existing vibration testing tables in the packaging industry that only move up and down. The multi axis design is exponentially more accurate, allowing us to see what’s happening with unit loads as they move from one facility to the next.
HOW IT WORKS
To recreate a particular transit route on the vibration table, we install a field data recorder on the actual truck bed that travels that route. This recorder has an internal triaxial accelerometer and sensors that let us analyze the effects of motion, impact, and vibration. Once the data is collected on the recorder, we replicate the exact conditions on our Multi-Axis Transportation Simulator inside the Packaging Solution Center.
Our goal is to scientifically test, refine, and validate that the stretch wrapping solutions we design at the Packaging Solution Center result in proper load containment, stability, and endurance.
Whether your products are traveling 100 or 1,000 miles, trust Atlantic and be confident that your loads are Fit2Ship.
TRUMOTION BRAKING & IMPACT SLED
This system simulates dynamic braking as well as rail car coupling. This machine, along with the Multi Axis Transportation Simulator, gives us the ability to replicate better than any other facility in the world how packages and goods travel through the supply chain.
How stable is your load as it travels from one facility to the next? The Braking and Impact Test Sled applies acceleration and deceleration forces to a unit load to replicate how it will react when these dynamic forces are applied in real life.
Using cameras to capture the motion, we can slow it down and analyze the point of load shifting to understand where that shift is occurring and where the loads are failing.
A sensor installed on the sled allows us to quantify the distance at which loads are shifting.
With this technology, we can wrap a load, apply impact, and measure the amount of shift as well as the placement of that shift in the layers of the load. Then we can use the resources in our Film Lab and with our stretch wrappers find the optimal wrap pattern to protect the load.
The Braking & Impact Test Sled gives us the ability to test, refine, and test again to validate Fit2Ship solutions for our customers.
When it comes to e-commerce, packaging is not just a commodity. It’s part of the entire experience. It affects damage control, brand awareness, and the unboxing experience at home.
Atlantic has developed strategic partnerships with the best-in-class companies in protective packaging for our e-commerce customers. When you come to the Packaging Solution Center, you’ll find the latest in equipment and materials from a variety of vendors. You can test and verify protective solutions for your products right here on site.
HORIZONTAL RING WRAPPER
At the Packaging Solution Center, we can demonstrate successful stretch wrapping and product protection for more challenging loads. The Wulftec WRWA horizontal (or orbital) ring wrapper is built for products being wrapped and shipped for the building industry, particularly carpets, hardwoods, lumber, windows, doors, and piping.
The fully automatic wrapper can be programmed to wrap along the long edge of horizontally stacked loads and then turned to wrap around the short edge . You have the ability to set the amount of prestretch for the film up to 250% as well as the tension – or how tightly the film gets applied. You can also control the compression force applied from the top as the load is being wrapped.
As a load enters the machine, a bridge conveyor delivers the wrapped load from the infeed (upstream) to the exit. It brings the load across the wrap zone, ensures it’s centered correctly, and a leading edge wrap is applied to encapsulate this edge with a film overlap. Then the pre-programmed wrap pattern is applied as it moves through this zone, with a trailing wrap added at the end to fully encapsulate that edge.
Make an appointment to visit the Packaging Solution Center to see a demonstration of the horizontal ring wrapper. You can even ship us a sample load to see how it can wrap and protect your products.
Automation is the answer to high speed, efficient end-of-line packaging handled with minimal manual labor and with optimal consistency and quality.
To demonstrate successful automation, we’ve integrated a Pearson end-of-pack line with a robotic palletizer and Wulftec stretch wrapping system to handle everything from case erecting and taping, to product sleeving, top loading, carton sealing, palletizing, and stretch wrapping.
The system at the Packaging Solution Center includes the following equipment:
- Case Erecting
- Carton Sleever
- Robotic Top Loader
- Case Sealer
- Ring Stretch Wrapper
We invite you to make an appointment at the Center to see packaging automation in action and determine how these integrated systems can help your shipping process.
E-commerce is growing 23% year-over-year with 67% of Millennials and 56% of Gen Xers prefer to shop on online rather than in-store. With more and more retailers setting up shop online, more and different challenges are presenting themselves (source).
At the Packaging Solution Center, we’ve brought together a variety of solutions to help meet these challenges.
RIGHT SIZE BOXING
A big challenge in e-commerce fulfillment is choosing the right box to accommodate a vast variety of product combinations being packed and shipped at any given time. If a box is too big, you end up using too much void fill material, adding to both cost and waste, and you increase the dimensional weight of the package, increasing shipping costs.
If you leave it up to the packer to choose the right size box, you’re adding time and human error to the equation.
We can demonstrate solutions that not only address the issue of right size boxing, but also automates the packaging process to reduce the time down from 3-5 minutes when done manually.
The basic assumption when consumers shop using e-commerce is that their products will arrive safely and intact. It’s critical for brand owners to get this right because studies have shown that consumers will associate a damaged product with the brand, not with the carrier.
Our e-commerce showroom offers the latest in protective packaging materials and equipment from both Sealed Air and Ranpak to help you choose the solution that will best protect your products.
Brands invest an incredible amount of time, money, and energy into crafting their retail store experience for customers. A big challenge here is how to translate this store experience into the e-commerce experience at the doorstep.
We can show you options in branded and customized packaging materials that can help deliver an intimate and memorable customer experience in a box.
Atlantic’s Film Lab is headed by John Cook and features his expertise combined with cutting edge film testing equipment. Our goal is to study film properties closely to see how we can improve performance in a way that will best protect the product using the minimal amount of film.
We acquired the FPT-750 testing tool from Belgian company, ESTL, and it’s only the second one in the United States. This is the most sophisticated piece equipment of its kind that exists. It measures unwind, wind, peel off and stretch force in each state of pre-stretch. It measures consistency at a set pre-stretch level as well as the breaking point of pre-stretch, puncture resistance, relaxation after pre-stretch and tension have been applied, and cling.
Highlight is a leader in stretch film testing equipment and monitoring technology. Our test box measures pre-stretch levels, turntable speed, film tension, load compression, puncture resistance, and load containment.
Using this testing equipment, we can measure, test, and validate the best performing films for any application. It allows us to work directly with film manufacturers to make improvements and formulations that work best for our customers.
MUST Monitoring is Atlantic’s patented hardware and software data recording system that monitors every load wrapped on a given stretch wrapper. It records the amount of film that’s applied and graphs this data in real time.
If a load is wrapped out of the engineered benchmark, we’ll know immediately. MUST Monitoring gives our experts the necessary tool to communicate with customers and ensure that no load ever leaves their facility with improper stretch film application.
MUST Monitoring begins with hardware installation, retrofitted for almost any brand of stretch wrapper.
Components include a PLC box mounted to the exterior of each wrapper cabinet to display current and historical wrap data as well as various sensors and transmitters to send the data to our patented software. These components will not interfere with the wrapper functionality.
MUST Monitoring software lets both the customer and Atlantic’s experts view current and historical data on every load wrapped from every wrapper monitored.
We’ll alert you when we detect severe deviations from your benchmark standards and work with you to identify and fix the issue. MUST Software lets you see a snapshot of the overall performance of your stretch wrapping operation based on benchmarks set during testing.
The ability to monitor your stretch wrapping to maintain optimal standards is the key piece to our MUST Method. During the audit and testing, we set the standards that will maintain load unitization and prevent damage during shipping.
Measurement and monitoring in real-time over the long term has the greatest impact on performance, damage prevention, and cost savings.
Stretch University is our chance to share knowledge with our customers about the science of stretch packaging. The session is designed to help you make more informed decisions about your materials, equipment, and process to ultimately cut costs, reduce damage, and improve efficiency.
This comprehensive training session is ideal for engineers, operators, procurement specialists, and management and can be tailored to meet your specific needs and interest level.
Every Stretch University session is custom tailored so you walk away more knowledgeable about your own stretch wrapping and film application process than ever before.
“If one of our customers is experiencing damage in transit, we can re-create that specific route in our center to see where and how their products are failing. This allows us to create customized packaging solutions based on scientific data, virtually eliminating shipping damage and reducing overall packaging costs. ”Wes Carter