Safety products distributor switches from competitive paper and air pillow systems

For approximately a year, a distributor of safety products and industrial equipment had been using two different systems to create void‐fill at 14 packaging stations in their southeast distribution center. One was Storopack’s PaperPlus paper system; the other was Automated Packaging Systems AirPouch Express 3 void‐fill air pillow system. It was left up to the individual packer to determine which method(s) were used to protect each shipment.

The company was in the process of moving the distribution center to a new location. As part of the evaluation, it was decided that utilizing two void‐fill systems was not an efficient use of floor space or resources. Additionally, there were specific issues with both of its existing systems:

  1. The inability of Automated Packaging’s air pillows to conform around the product limited the use
  2. The two‐ply paper used with the Storopack system was overkill

The company wanted to consolidate to one void‐fill type and felt that a paper‐based system would lend itself better to protecting its products. Further, paper was preferred by the packers. In evaluating the Storopack machine, the table top was an integral part of the operation since the crumpled paper was fed up to the packer through a rectangular opening on the table’s surface. The paper roll and mechanical components are mounted underneath which required the employees to get on their hands and knees to replace heavy rolls of paper and in the process, come in close proximity to potentially dangerous moving mechanical parts. The paper used with this system was 29.5‐inches wide, double‐ply (30 pounds for each layer).

The customer also tested a unit from Ranpak for a couple of days. It found the Ranpak machine too cumbersome to load, so it was rejected. After a positive initial experience with the Quantum, the customer agreed to a trial which lasted approximately a month.

The Quantum was able to meet all of the customer’s criteria. It was simple and safe to load and operate, and it had a very small footprint. Plus, it was easy to relocate to the new facility. The performance benefits and the cost neutral position of the conversion prompted the customer to commit to replacing both the Storopack and Automated Packaging systems with 14 Quantum units. (The reduction in paper usage improved the company’s environmental footprint.)

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