While the difficulties of industrial packaging have stayed relatively the same for quite some time, new packaging solutions are evolving rapidly, leveraging technologies that are turning conventional forms of packaging on their head.
What makes a smart packaging solution? First and foremost product security. But there can be complications that come from focusing on strictly securing an item, as the most sturdy and safe products can cost a lot of money, making the cost of packaging far too high for the cost of producing the product itself.
While product security must be maintained, it needs to be done so in a cost-effective manner, meaning that packaging material needs to be carefully considered. Not simply what kind of material, but how much of it, which brings in the complications of having an effective packaging design. These competing factors make the shipping of a single product much more complicated than simply throwing a product in a box and sending it off, especially when a large number of these products are being packaged together on multiple moving pallets during delivery for example. For these reasons, businesses are realizing they can no longer ignore the negative impact poor packaging strategy is having on their bottom line. New packaging solutions are emerging and successful companies are seeking out new, insightful packaging engineering solutions to deliver a competitive edge with quick, reliable return on investment.
Exploring new packaging solutions
The food industry is one of the major places in which packaging innovations are taking place. Conventional methods of packaging in this food sector have been around for ages as Andy Warhol made certain generations would forever connect with familiar canned foods such as tomato soup. However, Packaging Digest explains that alternative methods of packaging such canned products are emerging.
With or without the help of popular pop culture, consumers continue growing more conscious of the environmental effects that the encasing of items can have as they begin to examine the materials used and the methods in which these goods are packaged. Again, in the example of canning soup, as more people are beginning to associate new packaging solutions and alternative engineering designs utilizing cartons as higher in quality, organic and more gourmet than canned soups, companies are taking notice and initiating packaging process evaluations with packaging engineers. This isn’t so much an issue of political pressure as it is simply smart business often reflected in immediate savings by eliminating waste due to inefficient packaging.
Another quick, yet critical example of new packaging solutions looks at the ways some sauces and salsas are packaged with new equipment catering to the food industry. By employing machines that can fill containers of different volumes from the same location, many companies are automating their packaging methods, while making the most of the available space in each unit.
Applying new packaging solutions and methods on industrial scales
While these new methods mentioned above are innovative in the packaging of smaller units, big business stands to gain as their products are most often shipped in huge quantities. This means that any optimization to the packaging process needs to scale to large quantity pallet packaging including the movement of large objects like machines. Of course, pallets are a very common way in which companies move large amounts of product, but the method has plenty of room to improve. For example, when palettes are created, there can be many elements of human error that factor into their construction. Frequently during packaging process reviews companies discover potential savings with custom, reusable pallet solutions that would otherwise not have been considered. In addition, often too much film is used, or the pallet is not properly wrapped, thus compromising the quality of the products. The real kicker is that shortcuts like this can lead to massive damage losses in the long run. If you’re part of a packaging process that’s attempting to save up front by quite literally stretching your film or wrap too far, work with your supplier as new packaging solutions are often as simple as matching your purpose with the proper supplies. Companies that take the time to research or work with their packaging partner to discuss their process often switch to new types of film that initially seem more costly but actually go much further and lower overall packaging costs.
Machines also address some of these critical packaging optimization issues. For example, one machine lowers production costs by being able to stack multiple units, while at the same time using a minimal amount of energy in the machine itself, according to Packaging World. The machine can also wrap using various methods that can optimize material efficiency or product security, offering options to those who are looking for solutions that can place certain emphasis on whatever aspect is most essential to the specific shipping unit. The machine also automates the movement of such units, thus improving consumer safety and increasing the amount of pallets that can be completed within a work day.
The emerging number of factors that go into packaging are giving pause to just how critical, and how helpful packaging can be to the bottom line. That being said, businesses can no longer risk losing earnings in the last place they tend to consider: Their packaging process.