Honeycomb materials delivering performance and growth in packaging

Honeycomb reusable industrial packaging raising the bar in performance

The growth in reusable industrial packaging for honeycomb core materials has been very evident over the last few years - especially among European automotive OEMs who use collapsible sleeve pack systems for internal transportation of parts to their various assembly locations. It is estimated that upwards of 20% of this market is made up today of sleeve packs made using EconCore technology. Growth is continuing at a rapid pace.

There is no doubt that the mechanical performance of products made using EconCore technology, with their honeycomb structure in the package walls, contributes to the growth in the OEM market. Consider sleeve packs having an areal density of 3000 g/m², one set made with true honeycomb core made using EconCore technology and another set made with a cup-type core: the compression strength for the honeycomb core is on average 65 percent higher than for the cup-type core. The honeycomb core sleeve packs also show more consistency of performance.

These results show that honeycomb core materials are clearly raising the bar in performance and are emerging as the new standard in reusable industrial packaging. This superior performance provides a great opportunity for the sleeve pack producer to reduce weight per piece, leading to dramatic bottom-line benefits through reduced material and energy costs and potentially at even higher output speeds.

Versatile technology enables product ranges to meet market requirements

Since the first production line using EconCore technology for honeycomb panels was started up, the development and commercialization of a broad range of products to meet various needs in packaging, some geographically specific, has taken place. In Japan for example, Gifu Plastics, which invested in a second production line to meet the market demand, has developed a variety of sleeve boxes to meet specific customer needs; these include boxes with four-side opening and closing, sleeve boxes with a transparent view section integrated into the packaging, and boxes with aluminum frames for exceptionally heavy goods, to mention a few.

Gifu is also extending into other industrial packaging/logistics solutions, such as lightweight washable pallets with honeycomb core materials, as well as layer pads for protection of goods during transport and for in plant material handling. Gifu also has a range of foldable storage and delivery boxes of various dimensions, components for carry-carts, container covers and even partition walls for logistics facilities.

Karton of Italy, long known for its leadership in thermoplastic packaging, uses EconCore technology for producing industrial packaging solutions that are setting a new standard in performance. Honeycomb core sandwich panels made by Karton are used for sleeve packs in collapsible reusable packaging systems that significantly out-perform alternatives. By combining its expertise in packaging with the technology to produce true honeycomb structured materials, Karton is delivering a world-leading solution that benefits the user of reusable packaging solutions with high performance per unit weight and the potential to increase reuse cycles. Extending its range of honeycomb core packaging materials, Karton is also offering solutions for automotive component logistics with heavy duty layer pads to protect delicate and costly automotive components during transport.