At Frecon Technologies, we are always looking for ways to decrease costs and reduce the potential for damage during the shipping process. To this end we have individually wrapped parts in paper and bubble wrap; cut cardboard to make dividers, bought boxes with dividers in them, that is, if we could find them. Not only did this increase packing time, it added weight and required additional time on the customers end to unwrap each piece.
Another reason to be creative with packaging is to improve the storage process. This is important for our customers as well as for us in the situations where we utilize the Kanban system with some of our clients. After some investigation for a more cost-effective method to store the parts, we chose to use 6 mil plastic tubing with a sealer. This choice allowed us to store the minimum in a bag. This reduced the amount of shelf space required to store the parts. It also reduced the number of boxes and packing material required. Our customers liked this because they could just slit the bag discard it and not have to deal with cardboard boxes.
Some of the parts that we CNC machine require extra care during the packing and shipping process. To avoid damage to each part, we placed one part in a section of the plastic tubing and sealed it. We could then roll up the parts and place them in a box with packing material to avoid damage during shipping. This did work, but our customers felt it took too much time to unpack and wanted something easier and less aggravating.
Once more we were on the hunt for suitable packing material that met our customer’s request. Not only did most of their parts have a requirement for aesthetic appearance, but, some of the parts had tips that could not be bent or damaged. We experimented with cardboard and dividers, but as before, found these to be to difficult to find and too costly. We needed something rigid and at the same time a material that would not damage the parts or add too much additional weight. We had some 2” foam insulation left over from a project and an idea was born.
The design of the packing material was based on the number of parts in a usual shipment and the size of the shipping carton it would require. Once we had the number per box, we could determine the outside dimensions of the packing material. Using the dimensions of the part, we could create the program to cut the material to fit. See the pictures to the right for the results.
Not only did this eliminate most of the damage from shipping, it saved time during the packing process, and it also saved our customer time and aggravation during the unpacking. As a matter of fact, they liked it so much they asked us to design packaging for their own needs.