Waste Bans and What They Mean for the CPG and Secondary Packaging Industries

Environmental activism has been an especially hot topic across the CPG and manufacturing industries as of late—Greta Thunberg’s campaigns against large companies contributing to global warming being just one recent example. While climate change has undoubtedly been at the forefront of these campaigns, there’s another important issue developing on an increasingly international level that manufacturers and packagers need to watch: pollution and waste bans.

For instance, Massachusetts recently implemented several waste ban orders meant to promote the environmental benefits of recycling. These bans will no doubt affect retail, hospitality, medical, and educational facilities, as well as residents of Massachusetts as individuals. We imagine that other states will be following suit in hopes of reducing plastic usage statistics nationwide.

It doesn’t just end there—things are heating up on an international level, too. China is no longer importing plastic waste, which has led to a complete restructuring of its waste management system. And at the end of January, the UK outlawed shipping plastic waste to developing countries, intending to protect poorer nations.

How Will Waste Bans Affect the CPG and Secondary Packaging Industries?

The consumer packaged goods and secondary packaging industries rely heavily on both plastic and cardboard. How will these industries adapt when waste is—how shall we put it?—their bread and butter?

Many present-day manufacturers are seeking to develop sustainable packaging materials as well as cut down on waste created on the job. Take a look at some of the most recent sustainability developments below.

Alternative Packaging and Recycling

Companies like PepsiCo are cutting down on plastics by adopting both alternative packaging and recycled content. By 2025, they aim to make 100 percent of their packaging recyclable, “which equates to the elimination of 2.5 million metric tons of cumulative virgin plastic.”

Obviously, a large company like PepsiCo cutting down on its plastic use is going to have an extreme impact. But what exactly do we mean by “alternative packaging?” Essentially, we’re describing packaging options that are considered more environmentally friendly than plastic. Biopolymers, for example, are synthetics used in manufacturing—and for our purposes, for creating packaging materials. A common example of this is cellophane, which can be used to send the most fragile goods out for shipment.

Plant-based packaging is also currently in the works. It’s a more carbon-efficient way of making plastic, rather than using oil-based polymers. PepsiCo is “currently looking for ways to scale [this] technology,” but we imagine we’ll be hearing quite a bit about plant-based shipping containers soon.

Other Examples of Alternative Packaging

What are some ways that you, as a business or an individual, can make use of alternative packaging methods? We’ve compiled a list of several packaging alternatives that some companies are beginning to use or have even been using. This list is by no means extensive, but these are some of our favorites.

Biodegradable Packing Peanuts

When it comes to loose-fill packaging, this is the environmentally-conscious alternative to Styrofoam. The keyword here is biodegradable—these packing peanuts protect your goods in the same way Styrofoam would, without breaking down and lingering for years in the environment.

Recycled Cardboard and Paper

Cardboard boxes are an industry standard for a reason, and we aren’t suggesting you do away with them!. But as long as you’re using these materials, you might as well be sure they’re sustainably-sourced by opting for recycled paper and cardboard. And you’re in luck: they are two of the most frequently and easily-recyclable materials available.

Not sure your materials make the cut? If they are marked as FSC-certified, they’re sourced from sustainably-managed forests. In other words, you’re good to go.

Corrugated Bubble Wrap

This eco-friendly alternative consists of up-cycled corrugated cardboard (which you’ve no doubt heard us talk about in many blog posts). Meaning that, rather than disposing of your corrugated packaging materials after you’ve used them, your customers can repurpose it as a different, but just as effective, type of packaging. There isn’t any polyethylene material being used here, which means you won’t get to pop those bubbles the way you would with plastic bubble wrap—but hey, it’s a small price to pay, right?

INSITE: Your Partners in Packaging Automation

Times are changing, and you’ll want your current packaging automation partner to be on top of any trends that end up lasting. We’ll work with you to supply streamlined, efficient machinery that will keep your production line running smoothly.

Here at INSITE, we make sure to stay up-to-date on both the latest packaging trends and how new policies are affecting our industry. Our case erectors and case sealers are smart, simple, and above all, will allow you to keep your packaging process running smoothly. Contact us today to get a quote.

Digital Printing Continues to Grow in Popularity

When it comes to product packaging design and even secondary packaging, digital printing, in all its many forms, is currently on-trend. In fact, according to Packaging Digest, this industry jumped from being worth $7.3 billion in 2013 to a whopping $15.3 billion by 2018. That’s more than double the value in a mere five years!

But what could have possibly accounted for this growth? We’ll examine several explanations, as well as recommendations for who should hop on this burgeoning practice. Let’s get started.

Reasons Behind the Digital Printing Craze

The contents of your corrugated boxes haven’t actually changed, but digital printing technology certainly has. We’re willing to bet your customers have shown an interest in this technology for one or more of the following reasons.

1. It’s Aesthetically Appealing

Psychologically speaking, we as a species are far more likely to be drawn to a box with eye-catching fonts and designs on the outside than a bare brown one—even if we know, logically, that they both contain the same product. And for buyers who don’t know immediately what’s inside a box, original external printing suggests an equally-original product within.

For example, digital printing often accompanies subscription boxes, which are also increasing in popularity. A food subscription box digitally printed with a whimsical red font (a color scientifically proven to increase appetite) could literally leave your customer salivating. Add a striking graphic to the mix, and they won’t be able to get your brand out of their head.

2. It’s Waste-Reductive

Because digitally-printed packaging is so customized, much of it is produced on-demand. And tailoring your boxes to a specific audience, or with a specific exterior design, means you’re actually using less material. It may sound counterintuitive in the sense that you’re investing more time and energy in the box packaging design itself, but it can actually work quite well for companies that ship small batches of specialized products.

This is also something of a win-win situation, considering the increase in waste bans worldwide and the general public’s growing interest in environmentalism. Many manufacturers are already opting for alternative packaging; why not add digital printing to these sustainable packages while you’re at it?

3. It’s Cost-Effective

Remember what we said about methods of digital printing becoming that much more high-tech? We’re talking specifically about both electrophotography and inkjet. Advancements in these fields mean you’re saving quite a bit of money on them—certainly more than you would have were you to digitally print something five or ten years ago.

This benefit applies to companies of all sizes, so if you’re a small business with a limited budget, digital product packaging design is still within your means.

Who Should Be Using Digital Printing?

Take a look below to determine whether your company might benefit from making the shift.

Companies That Want to Engage With Their Customers

Remember the “Share a Coke With ….” craze of several years ago? Coca-Cola used digital printing to mass-print custom labels with different names on them. And how could a customer resist—i.e., what could beat the simple joy of finding your name, at last, on one of those coke bottles (especially if your name wasn’t very common)?

The takeaway is that you want your customers to get excited about your project, whether you’re shipping it to them in colorful subscription boxes or sending it to stores in sleek packages. Secondary packaging may not have consumers racing into the back of a warehouse and pulling your product down in a frenzy (as they might have done with a coke can), but it’s a great model to keep in mind when thinking about how you want to present your brand.

Companies Seeking to Solidify Their Brand Presence

Could your product benefit from a signature color scheme or font of some sort? Of course, this depends on your target audience, but we’re willing to bet that most of the time, the answer is yes.

Think of the cheerful colors and graphics adorning most subscription boxes. Even the logos boast bright colors and fun fonts, helping to reinforce exactly what kind of company is selling the product. If you’re seeking to appeal directly to consumers, consider giving your packaging a makeover with a digitally printed design.

Stay Ahead of Packaging Trends With the Perfect Packaging Partner

As digital printing continues to grow in popularity, you’ll want to pair your creative blueprint with packaging equipment that keeps your production process running smoothly. At INSITE, our case sealers and case erectors are sleek, smart, and above all, simple—the cherry on top of a well-made product. We’re committed to bringing you the very best in advanced technology. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

Why Your Secondary Packaging Design Matters

While secondary packaging may be one of the last things on your mind in terms of repping your brand, it’s also the very first thing your customer (wholesalers, grocery stores, etc.) sees when they receive their product. In simpler terms, first impressions are essential. Let’s talk about how packagers are working to turn a good first impression into an even better, more lasting one—all through robust secondary packaging design.

The Power of a First Impression

While recycled and other alternative materials are growing in popularity, secondary packaging is typically crafted from sturdy corrugated material, used to ship already packaged products like cereal. Above all, corrugated boxes are meant to keep products together and protected on their journey from warehouse to storefront.

But this doesn’t mean that you need to stop at the functional level. Consciously-designed secondary packaging has a place in the world of branding—as an easy way to keep your company and products top of mind. Whether you’re creating packaging for a subscription box, store display, or shipment, a prominent logo or even a bold color scheme can go a long way in increasing brand awareness.

Box Packaging Design: Best Practices

Here are a few things to keep in mind when working to design secondary packaging that will both promote your brand and protect the products inside.

Boost Visibility With Branded Secondary Packaging

Consider the following: a wholesale store stuffed to the brim with shelves of boxes, all proclaiming a brand name of some kind. For our purposes, many of these boxes look the same—brown corrugated outer material, straightforward black text, maybe a label or two. How do you make your product stand out in such a crowd?

The answer is, of course, a stellar and eye-catching product packaging design, which isn’t as difficult to achieve as you may think. Here’s are three questions that can help ensure you’re creating attractive, effective secondary packaging, which will allow you to take center stage in a sea of competing brands:

1. Is your box design conveying accurate, honest information, without being too wordy?

Your Internet-savvy customers are more adept at sniffing out a hoax than ever. When in doubt, keep any claims genuine, and avoid dense language.

2. Does your box packaging design appeal to your target audience?

For example, you may want to consider designing a fitness subscription box with colorful fonts and images, while individually packaged CPG goods might do just fine in a standard corrugated case emblazoned with a brand logo.

3. Are you combining both text and images, and using eye-catching colors and designs?

We’re a visually-oriented species, so does your box packaging design contain at least one compelling, eye-catching image to balance out the blank space?

If you answered “yes” to all of the above, fantastic! And if you’re still at a loss for attractive packaging designs, consider how companies like MunchPak and FabFitFun make their secondary box designs pop. A revealing question to ask of your design team might be, “Are we creating an impression for my customer that is positive, engaging, and memorable?”

Protect the Product

Again, your box’s secondary packaging design is often the customer’s first point of contact when it comes to your product, so you don’t want to risk shipping it out in a flimsy, low-quality container. After all, if the packaging itself doesn’t seem sturdy, what is the customer supposed to expect from the product within?

While it’s important to give thought to labor costs on your end of the transaction, you’ll also want to consider what your customers see when they crack open a case. Consider everything from the size of the box in proportion to the product to the type of tape or glue used to hold everything together. And then, after all that, are the products still easy enough to remove from the box without it snagging or becoming otherwise damaged on the way out?

An excellent first impression can lead to a loyal customer and many, many more years of business. We’re assuming, in most cases, that you’re not greeting the customer at their door and physically handing them their purchase—your packages will have to speak for themselves, and they’ll be able to do that with a dependable secondary packaging design.

Packaging Insights From INSITE

Here at INSITE, we’re committed to developing the highest-quality secondary packaging equipment on the market. Consider what we do as the proverbial cherry on top of your manufacturing and packaging process, leaving your buyers with a positive first impression—and one that will last, too.

We encourage you to reach out to us if you have questions about our case erectors, case sealers, or any other aspect of the secondary packaging process. We look forward to working with you to streamline your packaging process and keep you updated on the latest developments in the packaging world.

The Rigid Box vs. Corrugated Shipping Boxes

Two of the most commonly-used boxes in the packaging industry are—if you’ve glanced at the title of this blog, you’ve already learned the answer—rigid boxes and corrugated boxes. Although these types of boxes are often described interchangeably by those less in-the-know, they’re actually quite different.

Let’s examine just how those differences appear, in both their physical makeup and in their general uses. From there, we’ll analyze the relative advantages of using each one in your packaging process. When it comes time for your business to pick out the secondary packaging machinery that best suits your needs, we hope that these insights will allow you to make the best decision possible.

Rigid Boxes: a Sleek and Sophisticated Approach

Rigid boxes don’t fold the way a flimsier shipping carton would. For that reason, they’re ideal for shipping high-end products, such as expensive electronics. You might also consider opting for a rigid box when your product is heavier and in need of more support.

Types of rigid boxes vary. Some are reminiscent of hat boxes, while others would fit a pair of shoes. There are even book-style rigid boxes with magnetic closures, as well as briefcase-style designs. The variation you choose depends almost entirely on what you’re planning to ship.

Advantages of Rigid Boxes

There are a number of perks to choosing a rigid box for your packaging and shipping, one of the biggest ones being just how customizable they can be. Board colors, lining interiors, wrap exteriors, and more features can be adjusted to make these shipping boxes bold and eye-catching. Subscription boxes, anyone?

The sturdy design also adds an air of quality to the products being packaged. That’s a big reason why sophisticated devices, such as iPhones, are shipped in such containers. Not only are these boxes high-quality, but they’re also more straightforward and elegant than the more standard types. If that’s not enough, consider the variations with the magnetic closures we mentioned earlier. What’s not to love?

Corrugated Boxes: Keeping It Firm and Functional

These are the types of boxes most often mistaken for cardboard, when in fact, corrugated material comprises several dense layers of paper. Even more specifically, a corrugated (or fluted) sheet pairs with at least one other layer of flat paper. Each additional layer, of course, increases the wall thickness.

Similarly to rigid boxes, corrugated boxes come in a seemingly endless number of configurations. These include octagonal double-cover containers, display trays, and classically-designed overlap slotted containers. Before settling on a particular type of corrugated box, ensure that it will work in concert with your existing case erector and case sealer.

Advantages of Corrugated Boxes

What’s the appeal of a corrugated box, when rigid boxes are so refined, you may ask? Well, for one, they’re incredibly lightweight, which makes shipping and moving them a breeze. Corrugated boxes are easily folded flat, too, which allows for greater flexibility—especially when you need to store a large number of them in a tight space. They’re customizable. They’re cost-effective. They’re easy to recycle. The list goes on and on!

Which Packaging Option Should I Choose?

Choosing between corrugated boxes and rigid boxes for your packaging needs shouldn’t be too difficult—simply keep the logistics of your packaged goods in mind. Consider your company’s unique circumstances, including the shape, size, and quality of the product you need to ship. Give some thought to how you’ll need to store your boxes when they’re not in use. How much are you willing to spend on shipping materials? What about on box making machinery, such as case erectors and case sealers?

Once you’ve got a sense of whether you’re going for rigid or corrugated, then you can delve into the many subtypes of these boxes that are available. All of this may sound overwhelming, but in simpler terms, you only need to decide between one of two categories. If your company has the means and relevant products to be packaged, you could even choose both.

Let INSITE Cater to All Your Packaging Needs

Here at INSITE, we focus on box-making machinery, which means we’ve got you covered, whether you’ve opted for a rigid box or a corrugated one. We’ve leveraged the latest technology to make our case sealers and case erectors smarter, simpler, and more versatile than ever.

Whether you’re in the market for new secondary packaging machinery or are looking for other ways to simplify your packaging process, we’ll be with you every step of the way. We encourage you to reach out as soon as you can—we’d love to start a conversation with you.

The Top 5 Benefits of Automated Packaging Systems

You’re a small business that’s looking to grow your manufacturing process. Or maybe you’re a larger company hoping to fine tune a process that’s already in place. In either scenario, you’re probably considering investing in some type of packaging machinery.

But you’re also having doubts. Are automated packaging machines worth all the fuss, the money? Are those nifty case erectors and case sealers truly capable of reducing warehouse labor in a way that pays off in the long run?

The short answer is yes, absolutely. Let’s examine some of the advantages of automating your packaging process.

1. Believe It Or Not, You’re Actually Saving Money

It’s no secret that purchasing an automated packaging machine requires a substantial investment upfront. But the cost is easy to calculate, and the long-term financial payoff is immense.

If you’re unsure about making such a big purchase outright, you can test automated packaging machinery out with the convenient leasing options readily available to buyers. Whether you opt to pay for your equipment in installments or in one lump sum, a packaging machine will, by default, mean you’re being much kinder to your budget.

2. Speedy Packaging Without Sacrificing Attention to Detail

With the rise of same-day orders and monthly subscription boxes, customers expect to receive their products quicker than ever. The packaging process needs to be streamlined so that recipients are getting their products on the exact day—or even a day or two before—they’re being expected.

Packaging automation is the ideal way to keep your loyal customers (whether you’re shipping to warehouses, stores, or straight to consumers) receiving their purchases on time, without burning out your current employees in the process. After all, an overworked warehouse laborer is far more likely to make a mistake while packaging, which is sure to annoy your buyer. Investing in some sleek, efficient machinery keeps both parties happy.

3. You’ll Make Up for Employee and Labor Shortages

Warehouse and distribution centers have been facing significant labor shortages as of late, and many companies are frantically trying to pick up the pieces. But what accounts for this loss? For one, younger employees are showing a declining interest in work that’s labor-intensive, opting for technology-focused desk jobs.

This loss is felt even more significantly during busy holiday seasons. While material handlers and other forms of manual labor are shrinking, consumer demands only become more frequent on these occasions. In short, the employees a company does have end up performing too many tasks, potentially compromising both quality and efficiency as a result.

Packaging automation systems make up for employee shortages on a good day, and make all the difference in the world during a seasonal spike or when dealing with workers who are simply stretched too thin.

4. Creating Safer Working Conditions

We talked about employee burnout earlier, in both the mental and physical sense. Some see these things as simply unpleasant aspects of a job. But what happens when a worker’s minor discomfort becomes a full-blown physical injury?

If you’re packaging hundreds of items in boxes, there’s a good chance some of those items are heavy, cumbersome, or even sharp. What starts as a minor back or arm injury can lead to long periods of mandatory time off—and from there, a decrease in productivity. And while it’s crucial to have thorough compliance and safety procedures in place, increased injuries can mean stricter employee health and safety programs—i.e., more hours of reviewing the same old training materials, and fewer hours actually working.

Show your employees that they are valued by actively working to increase their on-the-job safety by investing in an automated packaging system. Creating safer working conditions will not only decrease workplace injuries; it can increase your productivity.

5. Three Words: Massive Waste Reduction

With the increased waste bans sweeping not only the nation, but the world over, an environmentally-conscious mindset is becoming more important. But how is that possible in an industry that produces waste by design?

Packaging equipment uses fixed amounts of material to get you the most bang for your buck. These machines cut products to size, erect the exact size of boxes you require, and seal them with just the right amount of tape or adhesive. The keyword here is minimalism, and this automated packaging machinery offers that in spades.

Simplify and Streamline Your Manufacturing Process With INSITE

Here at INSITE, we’re committed to designing and manufacturing packaging equipment that’s advanced, streamlined, and above all, simple. We believe that keeping both your customers and employees happy starts with a strong bottom-up approach—improving performance, reducing cost, avoiding injury, and eliminating waste in the manufacturing facility before distributing to the public. Our case erectors and case sealers will allow you to do just that, and more.

Contact us today to get a quote, or with any questions you may have. We can’t wait to offer you some packaging insight.

Put INSITE™ Packaging Automation’s Configurator Tool to Work for You

If you’re like most employees sourcing packaging equipment, you may dread contacting companies to request pricing for standard equipment. It may take days, or even weeks, to receive an answer for a seemingly simple request. Time constraints are a challenge that all of us face. Workforce gaps, knowledge transfer and doing more with less is a burden we all face.
 

In an ideal state, an individual looking for standardized equipment, such as a case erector or sealer, could simply input a few data points and quickly receive a budgetary or detailed proposal with the desired information.
 

Your Days of Waiting Are Over

INSITE’s updated Machine Configurator tool makes it easier than ever to configure your next case erector and/or case sealer. Simply select the quantity, speed, seal type, machine hand and case hand. Check your desired options, enter your case dimension requirements and choose a detailed or budgetary quotation. Your quotation is emailed within 24 business hours of submission. The proposal will include a full recap of your machine configuration to verify accuracy.
 

Case Erector quotation details
– Select Quantity
– Choose Speed – 20CPM or 30CPM
– Click Seal Type – Tape or Glue
– Indicate Machine Hand and Case Hand – Left or Right
 

Check the following options for pricing, if desired:
– Category 3 Safety
– CompactLogix PLC
– Low Material with Stack Light
– Polycarbonate Debris Cover
– UL Certification
– Smart Discharge Control
– 6’ Extended Magazine
– Operator Side Disconnect
 

Our Case Erectors are packed with features at no additional cost to you:
– Automated LxWxD Path Generation
– Opposing-cup Opening
– Robotic Pick and Pass
– Safety and Ergonomics
– Active Case Squaring
– Durable & Sanitary Frame Design
– … and much more!
 

Case Sealer quotation details
– Select Quantity
– Choose Speed – 20CPM or 30CPM
– Click Seal Type – Tape or Glue
– Indicate Machine Hand – Left or Right
 

Check the following options for pricing, if desired:
– Case Gate
– 3” Tape
– Tape/Glue Combo
– Bottom Tape Seal
– Low Material with Stack Light
– Caster Portability
– Polycarbonate Debris Cover
– Enclosure Flex
 

Our Case Sealers are packed with features at no additional cost to you:
– Major Flap Control
– Standard Touch-screen Controls
– Full-length Guard Doors
– Tilt-accessible Tape-head
– Spring-loaded Side Belts
– Portability and Dexterity
– … and much more!
 

Enter your Case Requirements
– Case ID (your identifier)
– Case Type – RSC, HSC, Other
– Unit of Measure – Inches, Millimeters
– Input dimensions for Direction of Travel, Across Machine and Vertical
– Enter flap length and desired case rate
– Choose if a Factory Acceptance Test is required and/or if you would like to see a video of the case being tested
– Add additional cases as needed
 

INSITE Customer Experience

 

At INSITE, the customer experience is as simple and reliable as our industry-leading machines. INSITE’s case erectors and case sealers have been designed by some of the industry’s best engineers and product specialists to respect vital resources: your time, your budget and, of course, your operators’ safety.
 

Automated packaging solutions often require skilled operation to achieve optimal production outcomes. With INSITE’s vastly simplified packaging machines, tools and resources, any worker can grasp the fundamentals of the craft. Too often, the knowledge of buying and operating packaging equipment is guarded and requires that you go out of your way to access it. You don’t have to worry about that with INSITE. Our website is the hub of our organization and contains machine documentation, owner manuals, job aids, product videos and simulations, feature videos and simulations and frequently asked questions. We are open with our knowledge and expertise to save you time and money. While our website is packed with information and knowledge, our team is always here for you. Whether you need additional information, advice, product support or just want to bounce ideas around, we would love to hear from you.
 

INSITE brings the resources and knowledge you need to build, integrate and maintain automated packaging machines that exceed all expectations. With our machinery, you can harness the power of automation to boost packaging productivity and keep your company at the forefront of its industry.
 

Configure your INSITE machine today, and set your team on the road to greater business results. Simple, safer and more reliable packaging operations are just a few clicks away!