Air pillow solution eliminates damage, reduces material cost by 10%, improves packing efficiency by 10%

Pregis was called in by its distributor to solve an ongoing damage problem for a southern California manufacturer of nutritional supplements. The company recently purchased a small scrapbooking firm and moved fulfillment to its existing warehouse. There were 10 Ranpak TT paper machines in place to provide cushioning and void fill for its nutritional shipments, so the customer decided to use the same system for scrapbook fulfillment.

GreenAirPillowsHowever, it quickly discovered that paper dunnage could not effectively protect the delicate scrapbooking sheets. The company started receiving damaged returns from consumers. When the returns reached a significant 20%, the company realized it needed to do something quickly to address the problem before brand equity/consumer perception was further impacted.

After an audit of the existing packing environment, Pregis presented its AirSpeed Smart table‐top air pillow system, coupled with EP‐Flex Renew film solution. The company ran some tests and was pleased with the performance and positive feedback from its packers.

Although there were no damage problems occurring on its nutritional supplement packing lines (which comprise the vast majority of the company’s business), it decided to replace all Ranpak paper machines with the AirSpeed Smart/EP Flex Renew solution for those products as well.

The company had multiple reasons for the complete conversion, including 10% raw material savings and 10% improvement in pack efficiency because packers no longer had to manually push the paper down and around the items to achieve the proper void fill. In addition to pack consistency, ease of use and cleanliness, Pregis’ ability to supply custom, printed air pillows to support the brand and improve employee comfort (paper negatively impacted packers’ hands) provided additional benefits.

EP‐Flex Renew film’s positive environmental positioning was also perceived as a plus.

Pregis continues to work with the customer to create a dedicated packing line for the scrapbook products. Overhead bins positioned at the “pinch point” will help address packaging bottleneck problems and further streamline the operation.

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