packaging

The benefits of a foam-in-place system

Getting packaging decisions right is crucial for any company that has a need to ship products. If an order arrives broken at the buyer's door – whether the buyer is a consumer or another business – that relationship will also be damaged.

Depending on what a company regularly ships, packaging decisions can be relatively simple or complex. Shipping fairly durable items, such as books or clothing, minimizes the risk of damage. Boxes or even bags with minimal void fill should do the trick. In these instances, it's important to contain and protect, but there is little chance of breakage.

Other items are more sensitive to shock and motion during transport. Expensive electronic items, anything made of glass or ceramics and other delicate items require more forethought into the packaging decisions. If they have a unique shape, this could cause even more difficulty in deciding which protective packaging solution is best.

An all-inclusive solution
One popular type of packaging for these instances is foam-in-place. This is for good reason: Foam is incredibly shock-absorbent, and foam-in-place systems are highly versatile.


Foam-in-place systems involve two chemicals combining in real time to form a unique foam mold around the product itself. The mixture is collected in a polyethylene bag to protect the item itself, then rapidly expands, encapsulating the product in its own custom shell.

DoItYourself noted that the item is typically placed in the box or container in which it will be shipped first. Once the foam is applied, the package is ready to go. However, a company can also create a wooden mold for an item so the foam protection can be created without the item actually being present.

Storage ease
When making packaging decisions, there are more factors at play than effectiveness and consumer satisfaction, though these are two of the most important ones. Beyond them, however, businesses must think about ease of use, the ability to stock up on an item and cost-effectiveness.

In each of these aspects, foam-in-place systems have an advantage.

When the two chemicals come in contact, they rapidly expand as much as 200 times in size. This makes for thick and sturdy packaging around the item, but it also demonstrates how little room the pre-combined liquids take up. They can be stored away easily without getting in the way of other tasks that need to be accomplished or other materials and goods that need to be stored in the same location.

A foam-in-place system can keep motors safe during transport.
It's important to keep motors safe during transport. A foam-in-place system can absorb shock and vibrations during transport.


Learning curve
Using foam-in-place systems can also be very easy to learn for packers. According to Packaging World, Pregis' foam-in-place system, Maxwell, accomplishes this effectively. The system comes complete with an interface that allows the owner to provide instructional videos or photos to help packers understand how to operate the device. This is important considering the versatility of foam-in-place systems typically leads to many different items being packaged with it.

"In packaging operations which rely on FIP, workers are typically asked to package many different types of products," John Gee, IntelliPack Systems' national sales manager, explained. "Maxwell is capable of providing specific instructions regarding both material usage and bag placement for optimum protection. The operator can look at the screen to follow easy-to-understand photos or videos. These are also ideal for training and troubleshooting. Maxwell takes the guesswork out of the FIP packaging operation."

This also allows for a package to have great protection without excess packaging materials. In today's world where dimensional weight is a concern for businesses trying to keep shipping costs down, this is essential. Packers can also control how much foam is used for an item, giving them the ability to ensure the result isn't wasteful yet the package arrives perfectly intact.

Custom casing
Since the product forms the protective casing around the item quickly, production can be sped up. Packers won't need to strategize wrapping techniques or carefully-placed void fill materials because the foam creates a shell as unique as the shape and size of the item.

For those businesses shipping delicate or irregularly-shaped items, a foam-in-place system could be the best way to ensure packages are delivered with care.

Taylor Swift fragrance carton wins award for Diamond Packaging

Elizabeth Arden’s Taylor Swift Incredible Things carton uses a textured, felt paperboard and rich palette of watercolors that transform inspired graphics into a work of art that beautifully complements the primary container inside—an opaque white bottle, decorated with a watercolor print of Taylor Swift’s silhouette profile.

The colorful carton earned a Silver Award in the “Folding Cartons” category for Diamond Packaging at the 28th annual Gold Ink Awards competition, produced by Printing Impressions magazine.

Winners were chosen from more than 1,000 entries submitted in 50 different categories. Entries were judged on print quality, technical difficulty, and overall visual effect.

The carton was converted utilizing Neenah Paper Royal Sundance Brilliant White Felt paperboard. It is offset-printed with seven colors in-line with UV matte coating. The matte coating conveys the soft, natural aesthetic of the design.

A gold foil-stamped and multi-level embossed “13” medallion on the top panel reflects the significance of the lucky number to the music star and matches the fragrance bottle’s finely crafted gold cap, which is also embossed with her signature “13.”

The combination of colors and textures create an irresistible sensory presentation that stands out in the retail environment and captures the feminine, youthful vibe of Taylor Swift and her international fan base.

Design Gear: Click And Grow Smartpot

 

Click and Grow is a small company that started in 2009.  Founder Mattias Lepp drew inspiration from NASA's aeroponics technology, that ultimately fueled his desire to change the way people grew plants. After some experimentation, the Smartpot was created, a self-sufficient plant growing system that operates with just a click of a button. The Smartpot made its first debut in 2011 and its product line has been expanding ever since. 

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The Packaging

A simple cardboard-folded box, designed by AKU, is outlined 360 degrees with the product's minimalist silhouette and slipped in a white paper garment. An already fully ripened Smartpot is shown front and center with simplistic instructions transcribed on the back.

 

What's In The Box?

The pot, the "grow light", and the specified seeds which are already inserted into the plant cartridge. In addition, the box includes two complementary power adaptors, one for the UK and the other US. 

Upon opening, you will discover the pot on the bottom tray surround by an easy 5-step instruction manual and below, a user guide for further instructions on the do's and don'ts when using the product as well as how to clean it properly.

 

The Product

If you're looking to start this year right and eating healthy is a resolution of yours or you are like me and you have trouble growing any form of vegetation let alone maintain is longevity, then this is a fun and foul proof product to test out. Whether you are seeking to grow some aromatic herbs such as lemongrass, thyme or basil or you are more in favor of sweet summer fruit, with the Smartpot, you will have these desired fresh ingredients growing in your own home in less than 2 months. 

 

With an easy setup that takes less than 5 minutes, the product is sleek in design and can compliment any part of the house. Once plugged in and filled with water, a green light appears indicating that the growth process has begun. As water levels plummet, a red light will flash letting you know it is time to refill the pot. To exponentiate the sprouting, a "grow light" is hooked on the back of the system allowing a maximum amount of "sunlight" to reach the crop. Unlike traditional gardening, the Smartpot does not require professional experience or knowledge of what soil is best for what plant, when to water it or climate control. You can literally place this product in a dark room and with the help of its own "grow light", it will transform into a magical garden.