Good things come in right-sized packages
The average package shipped today contains 40 percent empty space, contributing to the unnecessary destruction of more than 342 square miles of forest every year. Both environmentally and economically, this is an immense problem requiring urgent attention. Rather than just thinking outside of the box, Packsize went ahead and reinvented it. With superior automation performance from B&R, Packsize now allows manufacturers to produce custom packages on demand to perfectly fit their content.
Truckloads of savings through On Demand Packaging
The potential environmental benefits are impressive: 17.4 billion kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions and 36.91 million barrels of oil could be saved each year by eliminating the empty space in oversized packages. Through its innovative approach to right-sized packaging, Packsize has already prevented over 35.6 million kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions through 24.3 million avoided truckloads. “The environmental aspect was one of our main motivations for developing this solution,” says Niklas Pettersson, global vice president of technical innovation at Packsize, “but one should not forget the huge savings it promises for companies who implement it.” Shipping logistics is a universal challenge faced in every industry. The traditional approach – maintaining a stock of boxes in a limited variety of sizes – racks up costs for strategic planning, inventory maintenance and warehouse management systems. Companies end up paying for excessive corrugated cardboard, filling material, warehouse space and transportation – just to move around large quantities of air. Not to mention that products shipped in oversized boxes are also much more prone to damage. Determined to create a win-win solution to these problems – not only for the companies involved, but for the planet as well – Packsize introduced the concept of On Demand Packaging. Their customers and partners can now enjoy cost savings and optimized supply chain logistics while contributing to a healthier planet.
The right partner for the right strategy
One might easily assume that Packsize has paved its way to success with On Demand Packaging, but the road has not been without its share of bumps. Early on, Packsize had difficulty convincing manufacturers – particularly those for whom packaging was not a core business – to invest in its new machines. Thanks to the resourcefulness of current CEO Hanko Kiessner, however, Packsize was able to turn this obstacle into a stepping stone. Rather than selling its machines, Packsize chose to lend them to its customers and charge instead for the supply of corrugated cardboard. In order for this new business model to work, Packsize knew it would have to produce its machines more cost-effectively without interfering with their performance. Looking for an automation partner with the technology and know-how to make this happen, Packsize found B&R to be the clear choice. Well-known for its portfolio of easily integrated and highly scalable solutions spanning the entire bandwidth of automation technology, B&R was able to help optimize both performance and cost.
Right-sized automation for the new iQ Fusion
To better serve an e-commerce market that is growing faster than ever, Packsize and B&R have developed a new, even smaller machine – the Packsize iQ Fusion. With its small footprint and versatile carton-making ability, this machine has the agility needed for the fast-paced e-commerce fulfillment industry. The Packsize iQ Fusion can create an infinite number of box styles, and WMS integration allows it to seamlessly connect with any warehouse management system for automatic transmission of product dimensions. Packsize’s sustained position as an innovative leader in its field is owed in part to B&R’s outstanding product portfolio. B&R’s Automation Studio development environment provides a seamless link between programming, diagnostics, I/O and motion control, ensuring the high-performance positioning and speed control that is vital for Packsize. The flexibility and openness of B&R’s fully integrated components makes them perfect for creating right-sized solutions that harmonize nicely with Packsize’s own philosophy. On Demand Packaging allows vendors to give their customers environmentally friendly packaging while still increasing their own margin. With the fast growing e-commerce industry and a major contract with Staples, Packsize looks forward to a bright future where it will continue to rethink the packaging industry together with B&R.
With Automation Studio, Packsize has developed their motion application hardware independently. Without changing the Programming Code, Packsize were able to shift over from a Servo Controlled application using PLCopen Motion Control blocks with microsecond precision, to a more cost-effective Stepper Motor solution - keeping the same functionality and real-time precision. In Automation Studio, both topologies are kept in the same project, with a single source for program development and diagnostics.