Easy to use. Powerful software. Priced right.

The Maintenance Management Blog

January 18, 2016

What You Need to Know About Your Packaging Needs

Packaging Needs

With New Year"s Day firmly behind us, you might think the major holidays are in the rear-view mirror, but you would be mistaken. One more reason to celebrate lurks around the corner: Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day! As this most prestigious of days nears (it's on January 25), let's prepare to honor it appropriately and chat about all things packaging!

Who doesn't love bubble wrap? As a lightweight packaging product, it helps cushion and reduces damage during shipping and handling without adding any significant costs to shipping. On top of that, bubble wrap is just plain fun. Whether you use it to wrap yourself and a friend up for a sumo battle or just pop the bubbles between your fingers, you would be hard-pressed to find a better way to spend a Friday night!

As great as bubble wrap is, though, it is only one option in a very long line of shipping options a company has to choose from. And while other choices may not be as fun as bubble wrap, they do offer certain benefits when used in proper shipping applications.

Another very common shipping material that helps protect delicate items is void filler. While there are different types of void filler (packaging material that takes up empty space in a container), the most famous is the packaging peanut or S-shaped peanut. Commonly made of Styrofoam or expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam, peanut fill is another lightweight and cost-effective option for shipping material.

Of course, sometimes, you need something a little more powerful than bubble wrap or packaging peanuts, and that is where custom-molded shipping options come into play. Used in lieu of or as an alternative to traditional corrugated containers (think cardboard boxes), custom-molded foam packaging is created using technology known as rotational molding. This process involves molding plastics (such as the above mentioned expanded polystyrene) to form-fit the item being shipped. This not only provides shock absorption and protection but helps ensure that the product does not move around during the shipping and handling process.

Another innovative yet often over-looked shipping option, at least by the average shipper, is cold-chain packaging. Also known as temperature-controlled packaging, this line of material and containers is used to make sure products arrive not only safe but at the proper temperature as well. This method of shipping is popular for food services, pharmaceutical companies, and biotech firms, whose products rely on thermal protection to avoid being spoiled or ruined.

With all that being said, bubble wrap is still one of the kings of modern packaging, so this January 25, make sure you do it justice and get to popping!


Lisa Richards

About the Author – Lisa Richards

Lisa Richards is an experienced professional in the field of industrial management and is an avid blogger about maintenance management systems and productivity innovation. Richards' undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering opened the door for her initial career path with a Midwest-based agricultural implement manufacturer with global market reach. Over a span of 10 years, Lisa worked her way through various staff leadership positions in the manufacturing process until reaching the operations manager level at a construction and forestry equipment facility. Lisa excelled at increasing productivity while maintaining or lowering operating budgets for her plant sites.

An Illinois native, Lisa recently returned to her suburban Chicago North Shore hometown to raise her family. Lisa has chosen to be active in her community and schools while her two young girls begin their own journey through life. Richards has now joined the MAPCON team as an educational outreach writer in support of their efforts to inform maintenance management specialists about the advantages in marrying advanced maintenance software with cutting-edge facility and industrial management strategies.

Filed under: packaging material — Lisa Richards on January 18, 2016