The Last (And Key) Stop – End Of Line Packaging
Packaging Measures Ensure Product Integrity Well After Products Leave the Manufacturing Floor
By Sean J. Hael, North American General Manager Sales & Marketing in Mitsubishi Gas Chemical’s Oxygen Absorbers Division
End of line packaging is a critical element in the complicated process of industrial manufacturing. Once components are engineered, tested, and finalized, manufacturers are faced with the challenge of safeguarding their products during shipping and long-term storage, which in some cases can take months or even years.
Especially as of late, with an increased emphasis on environmentally friendly practices, companies must work to incorporate end of line packaging measures to ensure fewer returned and damaged goods, larger production runs, and increased efficiency, all supporting companies on their road to sustainability.
Ensuring product integrity
Once a product has been manufactured, tested, and cleared for distribution, companies must turn their focus towards packaging measures that will ensure product integrity well after the product leaves the manufacturing floor.
Many critical components, such as electronics, industrial machine parts and automotive pieces, are at risk of rust and oxidation damage, which can occur during shipping and long-term storage. Using a combination of oxygen and moisture absorbers is a next-level packaging solution that can help protect against corrosion and other forms of degradation, keeping product mechanisms safe and maintaining them in pristine condition for future use.
A tailored external package and internal absorbers can help to safeguard the most sensitive products throughout the entirety of shipping and storage, which can help a company’s bottom line while ultimately assisting them in achieving their larger sustainability goals.
Sustainability is a guiding principle
Sustainability efforts have become guiding principles for organizations across the manufacturing industry. According to The Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, at least one fifth of the world’s largest public companies have committed to meet net zero targets by 2030. Sustainable manufacturing encompasses many aspects, including environmental impact, cost, energy consumption, waste management, and even the safety and health of team members.
Through utilizing protective packaging measures, companies can protect their products by avoiding costly product returns and decreasing back and forth shipping, both of which can cause an increase in product waste and carbon emissions.
Without incorporating product packaging technology that offers continuous protection, companies run the risk of an increase in the number of delicate parts and materials that need to be returned, exchanged, or refurbished. Returning items takes a toll on the customer, manufacturer, and environment, with a majority of returned items ending up in landfills, unable to be repurposed. By focusing on protecting products from oxygen and moisture present during shipping and storage, manufacturers can ensure their products will be safeguarded throughout the entire supply chain, therefore reducing the amount of damaged and returned materials.
Reducing energy consumption
Energy consumption is a major factor companies are working to address through sustainability efforts. Over the years, companies have worked to implement “just-in-time” production methods, which aim to reduce production time, but unfortunately involve shorter, more energy intensive production runs that can drastically increase a company’s overall energy use. With additional challenges such as reduced staff, delayed shipping times, and last-mile delivery concerns, companies should reconsider production methods to focus on better product forecasting and larger factory runs. Combining these two elements with packaging protection, companies can store larger quantities of supplies with the peace of mind parts will remain in the same condition as it was delivered and available for use when needed at a later date.
Auditing packaging processes
End of line packaging is the last, and arguably the most critical, component of a manufacturing process. As technology advances and sustainable practices take the lead, companies must audit their processes and find methods that best serve their company and customers. In the end, in order to be successful and compete in the marketplace, companies will need to provide packaging technology that ensures product quality, performance and integrity, all while driving towards achieving sustainability goals.
About the Author
Sean Hael is the North American General Manager of Sales & Marketing in Mitsubishi Gas Chemical’s Oxygen Absorbers Division. He spent eight years in Japan learning about international business culture and mastering the language, and joined joined Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America in New York as a sales representative upon his return from Japan in 2013. Sean was an integral part of the Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America team that launched the oxygen absorbing resin NutraSave™ in 2017. To learn more about Mitsubishi Gas Chemical’s oxygen absorber technology visit: http://ageless.mgc-a.com/product/rp-system/