Pregis, a leading global manufacturer of protective packaging, has engineered the first-of-its-kind paper cushioning conveyance system using air ducts.
This means that Pregis’ paper cushions created by its Easypack® Packmaster™ Pro machines can be conveyed via air blowers/aluminum ducting to a conveniently located overhead delivery hoppers. (The Packmaster Pro delivers a range of lightweight, robust paper cushions on demand that are easily molded around any product.) The new delivery system significantly improves worker ergonomics and packing speed, plus reduces equipment capital expenditures.
“Typically, paper packaging machines are dedicated to either one or two packing stations. By conveying the paper void fill cushions to an overhead hopper which feeds up to six packaging stations, the need to take up valuable floor space with multiple machines is eliminated,” explains Paul van Dijk, senior product manager paper systems, Pregis Europe. “Additionally, packers who are using the new conveyance system tell us that it is more ergonomic for them. Finding people to staff open positions is problematic in many countries. This makes creating a work environment that supports packer satisfaction more important than ever.”
Proprietary engineering has gone into the design of the air duct conveyance system to enable efficient operation. Unlike other delivery systems which use conveyor belts and/or structural poles, the Pregis conveyor-less approach is more cost effective, uses less energy, frees up floor space and is low maintenance. The air ducts move fan-folded paper, which has been created from a roll with nearly 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) of paper (depending on paper weight). This significantly reduces roll changes per shift, adding significantly to efficiency.
“For more than a decade, Pregis has a significant track record in providing overhead delivery systems for inflatable materials. We have taken much of the knowledge gained with those applications and applied it to our 100% recycled paper solutions,” van Dijk said. “Further, the way we have engineered the paper conveyance ducting will allow it to work side-by-side with an air pillow system overhead system, for those operations that require both packing solutions at each pack station to accommodate a variable mix of items.”