Tools & Technologies

By Hunter Burney

The transformation of packaging

According to its website, UPS delivered 4.6 billion packages and documents worldwide in 2014. Now extrapolate that over the world’s other major carriers. Now add in the vast fleets of third-party logistics providers and retail shipping fleets, and you have started to form a picture of how many boxes are used to ship goods all over the world.

In the pursuit of supply chain and logistical efficiencies, significant improvements can be achieved with the use of customized packaging. That capability now has advanced to a higher level with the iQ Fusion 2 On Demand packaging machine from Packsize International.

For decades, standard practice has been for companies to keep a range of standard box sizes in stock to meet their shipping requirements. However, Packsize has transformed the concept of inventory control for boxes by providing shippers the capability of getting cut-tosize boxes at the time of need with the iQ Fusion 2 machine. The machine requires a minimal amount of floor space and supplies an infinite number of box sizes directly in line with a company’s packaging operation. And less wasted space inside the boxes helps reduce the need for and cost of packaging material fillers (think Styrofoam packaging peanuts).

The iQ Fusion 2 On Demand Packaging machine is the newest in the Packsize lineup and, according to the company, provides an estimated 20 percent efficiency improvement in overall cycle time for the packaging operation.

The benefits, however, extend further. In addition to higher efficiencies in the packaging operation, the greater size customization allows for higher utilization in the shipping container or van by reducing the amount of space consumed by non-value-added packaging material.

Packsize won the 2015 Silver Award for Applied Technology-Industrial Solutions for the iQ Fusion 2 On Demand packaging machine. The award is issued by the highly respected Edison Awards and underscores the innovation embodied by this new approach to packaging.

With the volume of goods pouring through our supply chains increasing each year, technology such as this packaging machine offers companies an opportunity to reduce shipping costs and dimensional charges.

Hunter Burney is a value stream manager for General Cable Corp. He earned his B.S. in industrial engineering, and he is a member of the IIE Young Professionals group.