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  1. How to Automate Your Packaging Processes

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    TPC Packaging Solutions is an industry leader in superior automated packaging products and services. We’ve seen firsthand that companies have major incentives to learn how to automate packaging, but initially approach it solely as a matter of purchasing select equipment or adopting new processes.

    The reality can be far more complex, and for the most complex packaging, it may not be an option. The simpler your packaging needs are, the more likely it can be automated without exceeding your budget. If you’re wondering how to automate your packaging process, what exactly do you need to know?

    What To Consider When Automating Your Packaging Process

    Repetition, precision, cost, and space are all core considerations when exploring how to automate packaging. First, you must determine whether it can, or should, be done according to your specific packaging needs and processes.

    • Repetition: Simpler packaging procedures involve high amounts of repetition, but fewer intricate tasks. Determining which actions predominate your manual packaging procedures is the first step to identifying which packaging processes will have the greatest impact when automated.
    • Precision: Similarly, look at how exact the automated processes must be. More precise packaging functions with tighter tolerance ranges will require precision instruments to match. If a packaging process is difficult for manual laborers, robotics will probably not be able to perform the task more effectively.
    • Cost-effectiveness: What is your ROI threshold for automation equipment and related expenses? Packaging automation systems can cost upwards of $1 million. Determine how much time and cost savings you stand to gain, taking into account labor, materials, and equipment costs.
    • Space: How packaging automation will impact your facility is equally important. Consider the new equipment’s footprint and how it will alter the layout of your facility.

    Ways To Automate Your Packaging Process

    Robots are now affordable enough that mid-market companies in a multitude of industries have adopted them. Still, robotic automation is often only applied to manufacturing and distribution. Packaging automation is the next logical step in streamlining operations and reducing costs. It’s an investment that requires system-wide changes beyond the one-time purchase of new equipment. Those learning how to automate packaging should consider it an investment that goes beyond equipment, encompassing an entirely new system, workflow, and learning curve.

    Automation packaging systems require numerous components to be synchronized correctly for reliable functioning. Depending on your packaging needs, this could include any combination of the following:

    • Robotic Packing Systems: A robotic packing system can facilitate many distinct functions at once. Labeling and coding products, inspecting containers and shelves, accurately identifying your specific range of products, and self-timing and -adjusting with the other automated packaging components are just several important factors.
    • Motion Control & Synchronization: Motion control involves managing the flow of goods through the automated packaging process. This is most easily applied to pharmaceutical products, food, drinks, and related items. Palletizing cases and boxes is one application that remains challenging for motion control and process synchronization, as boxes or cartons must be placed in a stable configuration to prevent tipping.
    • Semi-Automated Pallet Wrappers: Though palletized items often vary in size, shape, and weight, partial automation is still possible — particularly in pre-stretching and -positioning wrapping materials for easier application. They also reduce material waste, cutting costs and operating expenses.
    • Form Fill Seal Machine: Packaged food and other perishable products particularly benefit from automated sealing, filling, and forming packages, which become more durable. Modern form-fill-seal machines automatically notify operators when an improper seal is detected, reducing waste and liability.
    • Smart Equipment Sensors: Tracking and tracing products is very important, especially when perishable items are involved. Along with expiration or best-by dates, batch and lot codes can easily be indexed for superior reviewing purposes and granular control of the movement of packaged goods. Additionally, sensors streamline products and container counting. This further assists in any sanitization processes, where accurate accounting of individual containers and various container properties is essential.

    Need Help Automating Your Packaging Process? Call TPC Packaging Solutions

    Learning how to automate packaging is far from a one-size-fits-all process. It can challenge the way you manage your entire packaging process, and the type of equipment, materials, and procedures it requires fully depends on your exact packaging needs.

    After considering process repetition, accuracy, and tolerance windows, profit thresholds, and required facility alterations, it’s necessary to compare the different packaging automation components and consider how they fit into the overall packaging process.

    If you need help learning how to automate your packaging process and selecting the right equipment for your company, contact TPC Packaging Solutions. For over 50 years, we’ve helped businesses across numerous industries to harness the latest advances in automated packaging technologies — and we’re dedicated to your success through optimized packaging services.

  2. 5 Ways to Improve Your Ecommerce Packaging Design and Style

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    5 Ways to Improve Your Ecommerce Packaging Design and Style

    Online shopping is continuously growing in popularity, which means many consumers will encounter your product for the first time through a website purchase. They don’t get the opportunity to touch it and see it up close, so having the best ecommerce packaging is your most powerful tool for influencing buying decisions and attracting loyal customers.

    In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at some ecommerce packaging ideas and design best practices.

    1. Fit the Packaging to Your Product

    The smaller the package, the lower your carbon footprint and the less you have to spend on it, making it a good idea to fit your packaging as closely to the product as possible, preferably with a bit of space to add padding and protection. This also helps to prevent damage to your product during transit, as it will not jostle around in your packaging.

    2. Consider Protective Packaging Materials

    Balancing a close fit with practical packaging solutions means there will still be a little space between your product and the package. This gap will need to be filled with something, depending on your particular product and how fragile it is. You have many options to choose from for protective packaging, including:

    • Bubble Wrap
    • Packing Paper or Foam
    • Air Pillows
    • Packaging Paper (HexcelWrap™is an excellent curbside recyclable and repulpable choice)

    3. Using Reusable or Recyclable Packaging

    Reusable and recyclable packaging reduces waste while improving your company’s image as a sustainable and responsible one. Consumers feel better about their purchase, as they will be aware that they are not contributing to waste, and they may be more likely to purchase from you again in the future based on this value. Today’s recyclable options are just as durable as non-recyclable choices, ensuring your products will arrive safely.

    An alternative (or addition) to recyclable packaging is reusable packaging. Creative reversible mailers, for one example, allow customers to return merchandise. Boxes can be reused as a gift wrap alternative.

    4. Know Your Printed Materials

    Printed materials give you a wide variety of options for reaching your customers. These are especially important for ecommerce packaging:

    • Printed Tape: Custom printed tape can be less expensive than a printed box while allowing you to maintain your branding.
    • Bubble Mailers: With a durable poly exterior and bubble wrap on the inside, bubble mailers are great for mailing small items. You can keep printing simple on poly mailers, or you may choose to add more complex designs or information via stickers.
    • Flat Mailers: Flat mailers are typically made of paper, poly, or cardboard, which are easily printed with your branding or product information.
    • PACjacket: When you require a high volume of high-quality sealed bags, the PACjacket can produce 15-20 of them every minute. It is an automatic system where you can make your own mailer that can increase your fulfillment efficiency by up to 500%.
    • Custom Mailers: Customized branded mailers allow you to create one that fits your product, rather than trying to make a standard mailer work for your unique item.

    5. Keep Your Packaging Choices Consistent & Unique

    Your packaging becomes a part of your brand as return customers know what to expect when they receive a package from you. Your customers will be able to identify your distinct bags and boxes, and you will ultimately save money from not constantly reinventing the packaging style.

    Unique, attractive packaging increases the chances of it being shared with others, too: unboxing videos on YouTube and features on other social media channels have notably been on the rise in recent years. Companies may encourage this sharing by offering giveaways and perks for those who create this content, further helping to spread brand awareness.

    Ecommerce Packaging at TPC Packaging Solutions

    From tapes and labels to mailers, packaging equipment, and protective packaging, TPC Packaging Solutions has everything you need for effective ecommerce-ready packaging. With more than 50 years of experience across industries, we stand ready to help fulfill your needs and build long-lasting relationships with our clients. We take an innovative approach to everything we do, investing in the latest technology and top education and training for our team, so we can deliver the best ecommerce packaging solutions for you.

    Contact us to learn more about our unique packaging ideas for shipping your products safely and in a way that brings your brand home to your customers.

  3. What is Sustainable Packaging?

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    Sustainable packaging uses environmentally friendly material in packaging needed for wrapping, shipping, or storing items. It’s an increasingly popular option for protecting products with minimal negative impacts on the environment, and almost any industry can make the switch with customized sustainable material converting services.

    TPC has been at the forefront of specialty packaging solutions for over half a decade — and we’ve spearheaded sustainable packaging designs utilizing biodegradable and post-consumer materials that numerous industries rely on. Read on to learn how sustainable packaging is transforming businesses by prioritizing the health of consumers and the environment.

    Sustainable Packaging Overview

    What does sustainable packaging mean? Sustainable packaging is rapidly aligning numerous business, industry, and public interests toward mutually beneficial and sustainable outcomes for the environment.

    It accomplishes this by fulfilling the needs of manufacturing, transportation, and waste management industries with a minimal negative impact on consumers and their natural resources. With sustainable packaging, everyone involved in modern trade can enjoy participating in their economy with confidence that product packaging isn’t harming the environment.

    This is because sustainable packaging reduces pollution, making it easier to safely reuse, recycle, or dispose of packaging materials. It also requires introducing fewer harmful chemicals into the environment, with more carefully chosen materials and packaging designs that take into account the source and destination of packaging materials.

    This is done via a full life cycle assessment of a product’s impact on the environment — from how the material is sourced to how it will be disposed of. After use, sustainable packaging companies can convert them into other useful resources or they can degrade into harmless substances more quickly than the standard packaging of yesterday.

    Sustainable Packaging Materials

    This term is broad, encompassing a variety of materials that reduce the negative impact on the environment. This can be done through more creative packaging designs that reduce packaging volume and/or use materials that have minimal impacts on natural resources.

    Examples of sustainable packaging materials include:

    • Air pillows made from recycled content
    • Biodegradable and recycled plastics
    • Corrugated bubble wrap
    • Recycled cardboard and paper
    • PCR (post-consumer recyclable material)

    What are The Benefits Of Sustainable Packaging

    How does sustainable packaging help the environment? By switching to sustainable packaging, the following benefits can be achieved, both immediately and long-term:

    • Reduced landfill waste & pollution
    • Biodegradable materials
    • Easier packaging disposal
    • Elimination of harmful toxins
    • Packaging can be easily reused or recycled
    • Eco-friendly packaging has versatile uses
    • Improved brand image
    • Reduced transportation costs

    Why Choose TPC Packaging Solutions

    Sustainable packaging dramatically reduces the impact packaging materials have on environmental resources, landfill size, and the health of people and ecosystems. Creative packaging solutions using ecologically friendly materials reduce the number of raw materials needed, and after use they can be reapplied in other useful ways or harmlessly disposed of. Businesses and the general public both benefit, as transportation and other costs become lower, along with reduced pollution and environmental toxins.

    TPC Packaging Solutions is proudly leading the way in ecologically safe packaging solutions. Our sustainable packaging converting services allow us to customize tapes, films, labels, and other materials for our clients’ unique packaging requirements. We leverage over 55 years of experience dedicated to resolving the most challenging packaging challenges — and we’re continually innovating eco-friendly packaging solutions for people, industry, and the planet.

    For assistance determining the best sustainable packaging solutions according to your specific applications, contact us today.

  4. Get to Know TPC Packaging Solutions

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    TPC Packaging Solutions delivers customized packaging solutions for several areas of business, ranging from manufacturing and assembly to maintenance and repair, shipping and receiving, facilities repair and maintenance, and many more. With over five decades of experience working with various industries and products, we strive to continuously provide innovative, effective, and efficient solutions for our partners.

    Industries TPC Packaging Solutions Serves

    At TPC Packaging Solutions, we serve a diverse range of industries with our packaging solutions. Key industries we provide for include:

    • Ecommerce. Pick and pack is a critical application of ecommerce packaging equipment and products. When you ship a premium product, your packaging should ensure that the product arrives in ideal conditions. To ensure this, our product line includes a range of dependable ecommerce solutions.
    • Food and Beverage. We specialize in high-quality packaging products that meet the unique needs of our food and beverage industry clients. Our customized solutions include specialized airtight products, tamper-evident packages, and other food-safe products that keep food fresh while protecting it from environmental and chemical contamination.
    • Contract Packaging. Contract packagers are third-party companies that take on all packaging operations for their clients, allowing them to focus on their core competencies. Because they handle all aspects of packaging, they require quality equipment such as our tamper-evident banding and sleeve labeling machines.

    Other industries we serve include:

    • Maintenance, Repair, & Operations (MRO)
    • Shipping & Receiving
    • Manufacturing & Assembly
    • Building & Construction
    • Temperature Controlled Packaging

    ISO-Certified Converting Services and Capabilities

    TPC Packaging Solutions offers ISO-certified converting services to turn raw goods into usable packaging products. Our products include custom equipment, labels, films, and standard tapes.

    Our converting services include:

    • Spooling and Rewind Finishing: We can customize spool-wound products to suit automatic applications. 
    • Precision Cutting. Our precision cutting capabilities rely on advanced technologies to cut precise shapes and dimensions from various materials.
    • Die-Cutting. Die-cutting uses a die and press to cut a range of shapes from a roll or sheet. We offer flatbed die-cutting, rotary die-cutting, and specialized die-cutting services.
    • Printing. We offer foil stamping, thermal printing, inkjet printing, and flexographic printing services.
    • Slitting. We can cut a master roll to your precise dimensions in narrow or specialized sizes for easier distribution and handling.
    • Adhesive Coating and Lamination. Our coating and lamination services allow us to make almost any substrate adhesive. We work with various materials and can manufacture custom adhesives to suit any application.
    • Value-Added Services. To further streamline the process for our customers, we offer value-added services including inventory management, prototyping, and consulting.

    Semi- and Fully-Automated Packaging Equipment

    At TPC Packaging Solutions, we specialize in semi-automated and fully-automated systems for packaging. Packaging equipment can help optimize your packing operations, reducing labor while increasing productivity. Automation allows you to consolidate personnel to areas where they are most effective, providing improved efficiency without sacrificing product quality. 

    Semi-Automated Packaging Equipment

    Semi-automated packaging equipment requires an operator to complete tasks. This usually means that the operator initiates the process and the machine finishes it. For example, a semi-automated bottle labeler requires an operator to load the blank bottle into the machine and press a switch so that the machine precisely applies the label. This reduces the labor and time involved while delivering accurate results.

    Fully Automated Packaging Equipment

    Fully automated packaging equipment relies on the machine to start and finish the task and requires minimal operator intervention. For example, a palletized load can be automatically conveyed through a facility until it arrives at its wrapping station where sensors will tell it to stop. The wrapping station applies the correct amount of wrap along with a tracking label. The system will transport the pallet to storage, where it can be picked up by a forklift operator and moved to its next destination.

    Packaging Careers at TPC Packaging Solutions

    We’re Hiring! See our frequently updated list of packaging industry positions, and step into an exciting and rewarding career. We seek motivated people to deliver exceptional customer care with our superior quality products and solutions. If you want to build your career with a leader in the packaging industry, please apply for one of our available positions.

  5. Why Choose a Packaging Industry Career?

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    The packaging industry offers a surprising number of opportunities for job seekers at virtually every level of skill and experience. Packaging is an industry rapidly moving towards a trillion-dollar market, and industry reports indicate there is no sign of slowing. 

    Choosing a career in the packaging industry is a wise move for applicants seeking job stability, as the need for packaging is unlikely to go away anytime soon. With more than 100,000 open jobs available, there are opportunities for applicants with wide-ranging experience, including marketing, engineering, food science, and much more.

    About Jobs in The Packaging Industry

    There may be a perception that jobs in the packaging industry are mostly production and design-focused, but packaging is a full-fledged industry with plentiful opportunities ranging from fabrication and design to digital marketing and project management.

    The packaging industry services nearly all production and manufacturing industries in America and across the globe, making it one of the largest industries in existence. The increasing sophistication and technological developments in the field have likewise increased the demand for packaging professionals.

    There are countless reasons to consider making a career in the packaging industry, including:

    • Career growth potential: Career advancement opportunities in this dynamic industry is virtually limitless. With a heavy reliance on technology, the packaging industry values promoting from within to retain in-house knowledge.
    • Creative opportunities: Marketing and design have become increasingly important to brands in every industry, and packaging is one of the primary platforms used for brand identification. With such a heavy emphasis on branding, the packaging industry is in high demand for graphic designers, marketers, packaging engineers, and much more.
    • Stability: Even through economic downturns, the need for packaging is constant. The rapid growth of the e-commerce industry has further solidified the need for protective packaging. Packaging needs are constantly evolving. From convenience in the food and beverage industry to theft prevention in the retail sector, these fluctuating needs provided added stability for professionals in the packaging industry.
    • Accessibility: The packaging industry needs workers from a huge spectrum of backgrounds and industries. Packaging requires the expertise of creatives, engineers, assembly workers, information technology professionals, human resources, legal experts, scientists, and many more.

    Types of Packaging Industry Jobs

    The packaging industry has much to offer in terms of opportunity and growth. To delve into more detail on the specific jobs that can be found in the industry, here are a few examples of open packaging career positions at TPC Packaging Solutions:

    • Machine Operator Jobs: Responsible for operating various types of machinery, machine operators facilitate the production of industrial packaging materials. They oversee the entire production process from reviewing work orders and determining required materials to quality checking finished products and final packaging. Ideal candidates will be highly organized and have the ability to perform physically demanding tasks.
    • Territory Sales Manager Jobs: Territory sales managers are responsible for the overall sales and marketing strategies for their assigned territory. This includes researching, making contact with, and developing relationships with sales leads. Territory managers must familiarize themselves with TPC’s entire catalog of products and services. Ideal candidates will have excellent interpersonal skills, a high capacity for leadership, and the ability to interpret sales data and analytics.
    • Field Service Technician Jobs: Field service technicians interface with customers to instruct them on proper equipment usage to increase productivity. Technicians provide on-site maintenance and repair services and identify additional sales opportunities. Field technicians should be able to use diagrams to perform repairs and have a basic understanding of electronics and computers.

    Key Packaging Industry Trends

    The packaging industry is burgeoning with innovative technologies to suit the evolving packaging needs of industries from electronics to food and beverage, making it an exciting time to enter the field. Artificial intelligence is an emerging technology in the production line that increases efficiency and reduces manufacturing costs.

    Sustainability is another important movement that countless companies are moving towards. The packaging industry needs personnel to engineer innovative solutions for sustainable packaging as it becomes more prevalent.

    Packaging manufacturers are implementing real-time analytics to quickly identify abnormalities, allowing maintenance crews and engineers to make repairs, reducing downtime and increasing efficiency. These analytics will provide useful information to optimize productivity.

    Packaging Career Opportunities at TPC Packaging Solutions

    Innovation abounds in the packaging industry, and with thousands of packaging jobs available, now is the perfect time to explore a career in the packaging industry. TPC Packaging has been an industry leader for over 50 years. Our commitment to advanced technology and emphasis on customer service put us at the forefront of this thriving industry. To learn more about careers in the packaging industry, take a look at our currently open positions or contact us today.

  6. What’s New at TPC Packaging Solutions? (October 2021 Updates)

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    There are many exciting things happening at TPC Packaging Solutions lately, and we wanted to share them with you. In this blog, we will highlight some of the biggest updates at TPC in recent months, including our converting and die cutting services, electric vehicle (EV) battery capabilities, and our online equipment catalog. 

    New Converting & Die Cutting Services

    Die cutting services at TPC Packaging Solutions

    TPC is proud to offer a superior selection of converting services for a wide range of materials. Our converting capabilities include: 

    • Precision cutting. We use the most advanced equipment available to perfectly cut even the most intricate designs within the tightest tolerances. 
    • Slitting. The TPC team can customize your master rolls into a variety of widths, including narrow and non-standard, based on the precise dimensional requirements of your application. 
    • Printing. TPC offers extensive printing capabilities for your packaging solutions, including flexographic, thermal, inkjet, and foil stamping.
    • Prototyping. We have the ability to create prototypes quickly and without tools.
    • Laminating adhesive substrates. We are able to laminate adhesives to one or both sides of a substrate.
    • Spooling and rewind finishing. TPC provides customized spool-wound products to suit the needs of each client and ensure fewer roll changes. 
    • Tool-less die cutting. At TPC, our laser gives us the ability to do tool-less die cutting, kiss cutting, perfing, and more without waiting for dies.

    We also provide several types of die cutting services and can advise you on the most cost-efficient and precise method for your purposes. We rely on die cutting to produce many types of products, including foam tapes and protective films. The die cutting process provides precise cuts, decreases scrap material, and maximizes productivity. TPC provides two types of in-house die cutting:

    • Rotary die cutting. This type of die cutting uses cylindrical dies attached to a rotary press to cut precise shapes. It also slits, laminates, and perforates materials. 
    • Flatbed die cutting. Also referred to as steel rule die cutting, this process cuts custom designs from materials using a flatbed die cutting press and steel rule dies. 

    At TPC, our in-house capabilities for die cutting are extensive. Our rotary die press can perform guillotine cutting, scoring, island placement, liner changes, pneumatic knock-out stations, and more. We also have a flashcut table that allows us to cut shapes, punch holes, score, and fold without using a cutting die, making it ideal for prototyping or sample runs. We regularly work with a diverse selection of materials, including rubber, plastic, abrasive materials, pressure-sensitive materials, and more.

    EV Battery Capabilities

    EV battery solutions at TPC Packaging Solutions

    As electric vehicles become more prevalent in the automotive industry, EV batteries become an area of critical importance. TPC offers high-quality adhesives, tapes, and encapsulation materials to hold and protect electric car batteries. Our EV battery solutions include:

    • Cell-to-cell bonding
    • Compression pads
    • Thermal runaway protection
    • Thermal interface materials (TIMs)
    • Pack seal and gasketing
    • Flexible busbar adhesives
    • Electrical insulation
    • Cell wrapping

    Choosing the right type of tape and adhesive is critical in EV battery applications. At TPC, all our products for EV batteries have been specially designed for optimal performance in the specific challenges of electric vehicle operating environments.

    Online Packaging Equipment Catalog

    TPC Equipment Catalog

    Investing in the right packaging equipment can dramatically increase your company’s productivity. Automated and semi-automated packaging solutions enhance your staff and free up time to focus on other important tasks. 

    TPC provides customized packaging solutions and stocks a wide range of equipment. Our packaging equipment portfolio can be seen in our online catalog, where you will find all the details on our equipment’s features and specifications. If you see something you’re interested in, you can request more information directly from the catalog. 

    Packaging Equipment & Services at TPC Packaging Solutions

    If you’re looking for a reliable provider of customized packaging solutions, TPC has over 50 years of experience and a broad portfolio of services and equipment to meet your needs. Our team works closely with you to choose the perfect processes, adhesives, and other solutions, enabling you to streamline processes and budgets. If you’re looking for packaging equipment, EV battery solutions, converting, or die cutting services, please contact us to get started on your customized solution.

  7. Crucial Considerations for E-commerce Packaging

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    Packaging is not only a necessary part of shipping and transport, it is also one of the most effective ways for a business to provide online customers with a personal touch and a positive first impression. Everything about e-commerce packaging, from its size to its coloring and aesthetic design, serves to establish a brand identity while improving the profitability of your business. Memorable, attractive e-commerce packaging designed with the following factors in mind increases brand recognition, improves overall efficiency, and reduces costs.

    Consider the Box/Package Size

    Compared to standard packaging, e-commerce packaging can often be smaller and softer, eliminating the need for many features such as hanging tabs. This means that you can design your box and packaging to be optimized for shipping. Even light items can be heavy and bulky if packaged improperly, making them expensive to ship. Many items that are not delicate or fragile can be shipped in a padded mailer, unprinted or printed. This reduces shipping material costs and shipping costs.

    To reduce costs, it is vital to consider the size of the product, as well as how many products will need to fit into one box. By choosing lightweight packaging that perfectly fits the product, you will be able to reduce the size of your boxes. This helps protect the product, as there is less space for it to slide around. Additionally, by reducing the need for void fill, your company will be more eco-friendly and save money on unnecessary materials.

    Consider the Box/Package Material

    In addition to the size of the packaging, the material itself plays an important role in the durability and weight of the final product. Although always an important consideration, durability is particularly essential for e-commerce packaging, as the product must uphold during shipping and arrive to the customer in pristine condition. Packaging that fails to protect the product during transit will result in dissatisfied customers and higher return rates (and likely, negative reviews).

    Wherever possible, choosing flexible packaging over rigid packaging is optimal. Flexible packaging is easier to fit into compact boxes or envelopes, reducing weight and making it easier to ship items without unnecessary amounts of negative space. This also helps reduce waste, lessening your impact on the environment and improving your brand image. 

    However, more fragile items may require stiffer packaging for protection. In these cases, double-walled cardboard boxes and the proper void fill or product cushioning are often a good way to ensure the product reaches its final destination without damage.

    Tape Selection

    Although packing tape may seem to be a straightforward, set-in-stone aspect of the packaging process, it can actually serve several important purposes at once, including:

    • Sealing the box
    • Providing a marketing message
    • Improving brand recognition

    Tape can also serve as additional advertising on every box. If you choose to print your logo on packing tape, it will help your packaging stand out to customers from the moment it lands on their doorstep. It will also be recognizable to anyone else around who may see the box, driving new customers to your business.

    Void Fill, Packaging Cushioning, Make-Your-Own Mailers, and Automated Packaging Systems

    Ecommerce manufacturers looking to optimize the safety and protection of their products throughout the shipping process should explore the various void fill packaging, packaging cushioning, and custom mailer solutions available to them – as well as packaging automation systems to make dispensing these products much more efficient.

    Void fill and cushioning products are types of packaging fillers, and they are excellent, protective means of bracing products from facility to destination. You have likely encountered EPS- or styrofoam-based void fill (the peanut-shaped, lightweight, and pourable variety). As sustainability is one of the biggest up-and-coming trends in the realm of packaging, the use of paper-based void fill has quickly become a popular packaging solution. Paper void fill is 100% biodegradable and a great way to immediately improve the sustainability of your packaging, and to resonate with eco-conscious customers.

    Foam and bubble cushioning offer high levels of protection, as well. Foam is an ideal option for those looking to protect products in transit from scratches (paper is not as effective for this case). Bubble cushioning is a reputable and sturdy protector, and it is a great option for high-shock, high-vibration conditions. A hot topic in the packaging industry is the use of on-demand inflatable systems over traditional bubble cushioning, as this can largely improve the speed, safety, and waste reduction of protective packaging. These systems are particularly worth considering if rapid production growth and space constraints are expected.

    Storopack PAPERplus® Chevron Pack Table

    The Storopack PAPERplus® Chevron Pack Table provides flexible and protective paper cushioning.

    Traditionally, customers have had to adapt existing mailers to their needs – today, make-your-own mailers make it possible to have these packaging solutions tailor-made to customers’ own specifications. For example, PAC offers build-your-own mailers to bring an exact mailer size and look to life.

    Automated packaging systems are an excellent way to significantly increase the speed and efficiency of dispensing void fill, cushioning, and custom mailers. Examples of automated equipment include the PACJacket, which can produce 15–20 bags per minute with quality, precision and speed, and the Polyair® X-Fill™ System, which features a rapid throughput speed of 335 ft/min and produces a higher yield. 

    Consider Branding and Unboxing

    When it comes to e-commerce packaging, the box is your customer’s first and main interaction with your business. While retail shops are able to create an in-person experience for the customer, e-commerce depends on packaging to connect with the customer and provide a memorable experience.

    Brand-specific colors and designs on the exterior of the box will improve brand visibility, but the interior of the packaging is equally important. Consider the customer’s unboxing experience: the box should be easy to open and aesthetically pleasing on the inside. Depending on the type of products you are shipping, you may opt for modular packaging to keep the products in place and avoid a disorganized appearance. 

    E-commerce Packaging at TPC Packaging Solutions 

    For over five decades, TPC Packaging Solutions has been working closely with companies in virtually every industry to provide expert packaging products, equipment, and services. We attend trade shows globally, and are continually expanding our knowledge on the latest trends and technologies to provide the most accurate guidance on e-commerce packaging. To work with us on your next project, contact us here and a TPC Packaging Solutions team member will reach out to help.

  8. The Benefits of Automated Packaging

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    Regardless of the product, the value of high-quality packaging is indisputable. Proper packaging offers better brand recognition and aesthetic appeal for consumers than inconsistent or low-quality packaging. Reliable packaging also provides better protection of products during transit and storage.

    Automating the packaging process ensures that the packaging process remains efficient and consistent during production. When considering costs, keep in mind that an automated system offers numerous benefits to your production line and will pay off in value in a very short time.

    If you are on the fence about automated packaging systems, we have compiled this list of benefits provided through optimizing your packaging process through automation.

    1. Efficiency

    Efficiency is the bread-and-butter of an automated packaging system. Whereas human operators are limited in the amount of work that can be completed in a specific time, an automated system works faster and for longer shifts without interruptions. Automated systems increase product throughput by combining multiple manual steps into a single task. For instance, automation solutions can carefully seal and label a product simultaneously, which would take a workforce more time and effort. By streamlining these packaging processes, companies can free up their workers to focus on more complex, higher level tasks. 

    Automated packaging systems also boost efficiency by providing a consistent output rate. Employees may get tired after several hours of repetitive tasks or experience occasional off days where efficiency is lower than average. Automated systems continue producing at a consistent rate, mitigating some of the common challenges that impact day-to-day efficiency. 

    2. Safety

    Automating your packaging system can make your operations exponentially safer and significantly improve ergonomics. Automated packaging systems mitigate the need for an employee presence on the production floor, where accidents are more likely to occur. Through automation, your staff can control the packaging process from a distance, away from the potential hazards of machinery. 

    Injuries result in costly insurance and compensation payments, as well as production delays. Automating your packaging system decreases the risks your workers face on the job. In industrial applications such as manufacturing, distribution, and packaging, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are among the top injuries workers face, often due to performing repetitive tasks for hours at a time. Musculoskeletal injuries account for a third of “days-away-from-work cases,” according to data from the
    Bureau of Labor Statistics. Automation solutions handle repetitive tasks that lead to stress injuries, helping to lower the risk of employee injuries over time significantly.

    3. Quality Control

    Through automation, consistent, high-quality packaging is much easier to achieve than it is by hand. Machines can repeatedly package products precisely every time, including clean and accurate labeling, identical folds and cuts, and more.

    As technology advances, the quality checking capabilities of automated packaging systems have skyrocketed. Quality assurance once required visual and tactile verification to ensure quality and consistency. With these methods, improperly packaged products often get missed during the quality assurance process. In the very rare event that the automated system produces a packaging error, the package can be automatically removed from the line for correction without the need for operator input. This improved inspection capability ensures that only correctly packaged goods leave the packaging line.

    4. Lower Labor Costs

    Most industrial verticals face an ongoing labor shortage, which forces excess spending on recruitment and retention initiatives. An automated packaging system helps to optimize existing labor and will also reduce the need for extensive overtime. While the initial investment may seem intimidating, an automated packaging system will pay for itself over time in productivity gains and streamlined labor costs. 

    Automated Packaging From TPC Packaging Solutions

    TPC Packaging Solutions offers innovative automation solutions for even the most unique problems and scenarios, streamlining and optimizing the packaging process. 

    For over 50 years, TPC Packaging Solutions has worked with companies and products in nearly every industry. If you’re ready to find an automated packaging solution optimized to fit your specific needs and requirements, contact us today.

Find out how TPC can help you optimize your packaging process by reducing your costs and increasing efficiency.

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