Adding void fill to your product’s packaging serves to protect the product, create an exciting unboxing experience, and reduce chances of product damage and costs associated with it. Whether you desire an environmentally friendly solution, want to save on warehouse space, or want to find the most cost-effective option, there is a product for you.
In our previous post we compared five common prepared and ready-to-use void fill options. These options are great if you have the space to store them. But what if you use high quantities of void fill to protect your unique product, or your warehouse space is limited? In these cases, it is more cost and space efficient to prepare void fill on-site.
Machine void fill is a popular option due to its time, cost, and space savings. On-demand void fill machines produce enormous quantities of product in a short amount of time.
Purchase void fill unprepared or deflated, then machine prepare it when ready to use. Not only does the material take up less space, but the machines are also available in free standing and tabletop options.
On-Demand air pillows and bubble wrap ship to the customer uninflated and on rolls. Rolls are loaded onto the machine which inflates as much length of air pillows or bubble wrap as needed. There are a variety of pillow and bubble sizes available to fill all shapes and spaces.
Although air pillows and bubble wrap are generally made with plastic, there are some recycled or biodegradable options available. Additionally, air pillows and bubble wrap proclaim durability, providing optimum protection while also allowing them to be reused and repurposed several times over. And let’s not forget the stress relieving properties of popping a sheet of bubble wrap. Aaaaaaah.
Paper is an extremely versatile protective void fill solution. Paper is the most environmentally friendly solution as rolls are available in 100% recycled, recyclable, and biodegradable options and can be reused multiple times. A paper-on-demand machine converts sheets of paper into multi-layer structures that provide solid product protection via a paper cushion. The machine allows you extrude the exact amount required creating zero waste.
Paper is the least expensive void fill option making it the most cost-effective solution. Because paper is a lightweight material, it is best used for packaging and protection of lightweight and durable products.
Foam-In-Bag (or Foam-In-Place) void fill is best used for uniquely shaped, heavy, fragile, and/or expensive products. This specialized machine is loaded with plastic sheets on rolls and two-types of polyurethane foam. The user selects the length of the plastic bag required and percentage of fill to be added to the bag. The machine then ejects the selected length of plastic and fills it with the two types of foam as a liquid. When the two foams combine, they create a chemical reaction causing the foam to grow and harden in approximately 30 seconds. The user must insert the product quickly allowing the foam to mold precisely around the protected product.
Because the foam expands up to 280X its liquid volume, you don’t have to worry about storing bulky materials or frequent resupply to the line, ultimately reducing costs for storage and handling. This very tight-fitting, custom fill is a great option for electronic, medical, and industrial products as wells as housewares. While this is the costliest option, it also provides maximum protection and shock absorption for valuable items.