23 Sep 2013 FAQ Regarding Air Pillow and Other Forms of Inflatable Packaging
We work with a wide variety of packaging products for internal, protective, cushioning, and void fill applications. These include molded pulp, molded foam, engineered paper solutions, partitions and dividers, as well as cushioning and protective papers. The reason we feel it necessary to offer so many similar, yet distinctly different products is because very few applications and customers are identical and we are adamant about utilizing the best solution for a specific application, not just “the best available” product.
What I can tell you is that very few void fill and cushioning products have the unique characteristics offered by inflatable products such as air pillows and bubble on demand.
What are those unique characteristics?
Products such as Air Pouch® and Fast Wrap® are shipped in their un-inflated state. That makes a huge difference in their shipping and storage expense. Anyone who uses pre-inflated bubble packaging can confirm the enormous amount of storage space required and how costly inbound and out bound shipping can be. Bubble packaging does not add weight, but it does add cubes affecting the “dimensional weight” you are charged.
In addition, our inflatable products are reusable, and have a high percentage of recycled content and/or are easily recycled. Those are not claims able to be made by many products such as foam packing peanuts and bubble packaging.
What is the difference between void fill and cushioning applications?
When shipping out a relatively light item that does not perfectly fill the box being used to ship it in, you end up with a void or air space. Filling that air space typically is all about utilizing a packaging product with volume to accomplish the task as quickly and inexpensively as possible. Inflatable air pillows are ideal for this use, because of the way they expand when inflated.
When the item being shipped is heavier and/or requires six sided protection, a packaging product must be used that can basically be wrapped around the product, providing cushioning on every side. Bubble packaging can do this quite well, especially if it is made on demand, or as needed from un-inflated plastic material.
Don’t these systems require a machine? How much do they cost?
Yes, a machine is required to inflate the material being used and to seal it. That system is typically provided at no cost, as long as our material is used and the minimum usage requirement is met. Also, if any service is required, in most cases the machine is simply swapped out for a different unit, minimizing down time.
My application is “different”?
Most applications are different and that is why we offer inflatable pillows and bubble on demand in different sizes and grades. The film can be made of high recycled content or even biodegradable formulations.
In addition, different film formulations are available for anti-static, heavy duty, extra wide and many other configurations. For larger volume users, there is even an opportunity to custom print and brand some of these inflatable products.
Is Inflatable Packaging Right For You?
There is only one way to find out. Give us a call at 630-551-1700 or contact us for a free application review. Tell us about your application and we will help you determine if inflatable air pillows or an inflatable bubble on demand system is right for you. If not, we will suggest one of our other many paper and plastic based internal packaging solutions.