Hexacomb Corp., a manufacturer of paper-based protective packaging and graphic display boards, has engineered an improved “casing” method for transporting larger-sized liquid bottles. Initial customer feedback indicates an up to 75 percent cost reduction and/or improved load containment when compared to traditional secondary packaging methods.
To support growth in the bulk store retail channel, food and beverage processors are filling an increased number of larger-sized bottles for juice, sauce, vegetable oil, household cleaning products and other applications. Two common secondary packaging methods are corrugated cases with partitions or a combination corrugated tray/oriented strand board/shrink wrap approach. These traditional methods offer opportunity for an improved approach.
The new HexStack packaging system features a single layer of Hexacomb honeycomb material that is custom-die cut to accommodate the specific bottle neck. The pad is laid on top of a layer of bottles, with the closures and necks inserted into the die cuts. The die-cut orifice surrounds the bottle neck and rests on the shoulder, thereby immobilizing the container. A secondary process can also punch die-cut a shallower, wider circular channel under the hole to accommodate an optional carrying handle ring.
For those bottle designs with a concave base, the slightly protruding closure above the die-cut orifice can nest into the base of the container above it, further stabilizing the load. The final step in the pallet load unitizing process is shrink wrapping. Using this method, larger liquid bottles typically can be stacked three layers high for transport and retail display.
In addition to providing secondary packaging costs savings, the HexStack system also helps minimize product damage during transport. The immobilized containers are less prone to shock and vibration damage experienced by some loads during transport. This also means that the load arrives at the bulk store in an attractive, unitized, retail-ready appearance, where visual impact can determine whether or not a purchasing decision is made.
At the retail location, HexStack can provide significantly more product to be merchandised in the same amount of space. For example, the HexStack system can usually support a three-layer high pallet load, while some other methods are only double stacked.
Hexacomb HexStack pads are made primarily from renewable wood fibers which have been engineered into a proprietary honeycomb configuration. The material fabricates easily to address custom requirements and is ideal for pallet loads requiring both strength and lightweight attributes.
HexStack pads contain recycled content which helps support brand owner environmental initiatives and are recyclable in corrugated recycling streams available in local communities.
About Hexacomb Corporation
Hexacomb, a PCA company, is a leading supplier of paper-based protective packaging and display boards. The company serves markets that value product protection coupled with environmental sustainability. This includes furniture, printing, automotive, textile, food, building products, energy, glass, and industrial. Hexacomb has 14 manufacturing plants located in North America and Europe. For more information about Hexacomb, visit www.hexacomb.com.
About Packaging Corporation of America (PCA)
The company, headquartered in Lake Forest, Ill., is the fourth largest producer of containerboard and corrugated packaging products in the United States. PCA operates eight mills and 97 corrugated product plants and related facilities. PCA is the third largest producer of uncoated freesheet paper in North America. Paper products include imaging papers for the office and home, printing and converting papers, and papers used in packaging, such as pressure sensitive papers. For more information about PCA, visit www.packagingcorp.com.