Foam-in-place: How “smart” is your packaging?

In the face of increasing shipping rates and reports of product damage, some things are clear:

  • Attentive packaging pleases shoppers, lowers shipping costs, and reduces returns of damaged purchases.
  • Containers should be rigid and large enough to allow room for adequate cushioning material on all sides of the contents.
  • Fragile articles should be wrapped separately. Each piece needs proper separation from each other and clearance from the corners and sides of the box.
  • Impressive packaging will differentiate retailers who want to create loyal brand advocates, thus offering an overwhelming advantage to retailers.

To keep it simple, as logistics shippers switch to density-pricing, retailers are best advised to select quality containers sized to pricing. They are smart to insulate and protect contents in the most cost efficient and secure way. If less is more, then foam-in-place makes the most sense.

Foam-in-place provides unique customized cushioning properties.

Foam-in-place provides unique customized cushioning properties.

Where foam-in-place makes sense

Products need snug and light-weight protection to assure customer satisfaction and cost effective shipping:

  • Home-based businesses are especially cost-bound to package and ship safely and efficiently.
  • Furniture and appliances are heavily discounted by surface scratches.
  • Shipping stores and business mailrooms ship with various options, but they rely on the low cost, speed, and minimal space of shipping equipment and supplies.
  • Retail and e-commerce have new reasons to consider the efficacy of “free” shipping offers.
  • Museums and antiques need protection for sensitive and fragile materials.
  • Medical products should arrive cleanly as well as safely.
  • Electronics include sensitive parts and glass requiring protection and separation.

How foam-in-place works

Foam-in-place provides unique customized cushioning properties. It is very versatile in that it “molds” around the product being packaged. Foam-in-place is actually made from chemicals injected into a high density polyethylene “bag.” Mixed together, they begin to “foam up” and expand to surround the item and fill the outer container. Foam-in-place is an ideal material for companies shipping many different configurations of fragile products.

And, it may be the best solution for creating dense packaging within dimension parameters. The Pregis® Intellipack’s systems lead and define the field:

  • SmartMold™ – In pre-mold applications, foam is dispensed into a bag molded over a wooden custom form. This creates a shaped cushion for use with specific products.
  • SmartBagger™ – The operator creates a foam cushion for the bottom of the container. The product is laid on the cushion before a second cushion is placed on top, filled with foam, and sealed, making a “sandwich” with the product secured in the middle.
  • SmartShot™ – The operator lines a box with film, fills the box with foam, and wraps the film over the product like a blanket.
  • SmartShot-Hybrid™ – The machinist fills a bag with foam and places product on top. Once it expands, a second bag forms a custom lid.

Smart shoppers spend where they trust performance. Trust builds when orders are fulfilled quickly and solidly. When undamaged packaging means undamaged goods, customers have a reasonable expectation for quality packing and shipping.

The promise

IPS Packaging can confidently offers smart technological solutions for smart business needs with program benefits such as:

  • custom programs designed to customer-specific needs
  • installation, training, and sustaining support
  • all parts and labor required
  • telemetry preventive maintenance and bar coding
  • automatic upgrades on mechanic and software
  • continuing expert consultation on changing packaging needs
  • lifetime warranty on all parts and equipment

We offer state-of-the-art equipment and advice for design and testing of density, compression, tensile strength, and more.

  • No up-front capital investment and minimal installation impact.
  • Cellular telemetry lets the application systems monitor their own performance, tracking the use of consumables, and automatically reordering supplies to avoid costly downtime.
  • Bar-coding lets operators deliver consistent packaging protection, even on diverse product lines, ensuring protection with the right amount of film and foam each application.
  • User-friendly control panels, on-site training, and responsive customer service keep operation simple and learning curve short.
  • System footprint and energy usage are low, and supplies can be stored simply and ordered automatically to limit storage space.
  • IntelliPack systems are created with ergonomic sensibility, concerned for the operator’s well-being and the quality of supplies with SmartFoam™, SmartLube™, and SmartFilm™.

The smart foam-in-place shipping price solution

Smart shoppers spend where they trust performance. Trust builds when orders are fulfilled quickly and solidly. When undamaged packaging means undamaged goods, customers have a reasonable expectation for quality packing and shipping.

When the cost of shipping increases, e-commerce retailers have to consider their options to salvage their profit margins, especially when offering “free” shipping. Foam-in-place systems promise package density within controlled container dimensions. With the additional promised benefits, it remains the first choice in smart packaging alternatives.


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