Choosing the Optimum Filler for Packaging – A Guide by Example of a Study

Packaging products is not only a question of aesthetics, but above all of safety and efficiency. When preparing shipments, especially in e-commerce, it is essential that products reach customers intact. Therefore, choosing the right filler for packaging is crucial. In this post, we will look at the results of a study that analyses different types of fillers in terms of packaging time, material consumption and cost.

Assumptions of the study

The test was carried out for two types of items packed in a 36x24x12 cm cardboard box:

  • Item 1: A cardboard box 21x21x5.5 cm weighing 0.2 kg – equivalent to a book, packaged cosmetics, etc.
    Item 2: Cylinder 9 cm in diameter and 15 cm high weighing 1 kg – equivalent to a bottle or heavier item packaged in a tube.

Types of Fillers

Five different fillers were included in the study:

  1. Pack Chips BIO
  2. Packing board (width 39 cm)
  3. Corrugated cardboard (width 100 cm)
  4. Honeycomb paper (width 50 cm)
  5. Bubble wrap (width 50 cm)

Results of the Study:

Eco starch filler Pack Chips Bio

  • Subject 1: Packing time – 28 sec, filler consumption – 7.06 L, net cost – 1.23 PLN
  • Subject 2: Packing time – 30 sec, filler consumption – 8.63 L, net cost – 1.50 PLN

Comments: Very quick and easy dosing. Fully fills the carton, very good protection.

Advantages:

Speed and simplicity: Packing time for items is only 28-30 seconds, which is the shortest of all the fillers tested.
Full filling and protection: Pack Chips BIO perfectly fills the space in the carton, which provides solid protection for the items.

Disadvantages:

Cost: Although the cost of the filler is moderate (PLN 1.23-1.50), it can be higher for high volumes of packed parcels.

Use: Ideal for high-speed packaging where time and simplicity of operation is a priority, such as for large volumes of e-commerce orders.

Packing board

  • Subject 1: Packing time – 41 sec, filler consumption – 0.07 kg, net cost – 0.40 PLN
  • Subject 2: Packing time – 45 sec, filler consumption – 0.08 kg, net cost – 0.45 PLN

Comments: Requires skill in dispensing and ripping/cutting paper prolongs packing. Quality of protection depends on the skill of the packer.

Advantages:

Economical: The net cost of the filler is relatively low (PLN 0.40-0.45).
Versatility: Packing board is a versatile material that can be used for different types of items.

Disadvantages:

Requires skill: Effective use of packing cardboard requires some skill in bending and dispensing it, which can increase packing time (41-45 seconds).
Quality of protection: The quality of protection depends on the skill of the packer, which can be problematic for less experienced workers.

Use: A good solution for companies with experienced workers who are looking for economical packaging options.

Corrugated cardboard

  • Subject 1: Packing time – 52 sec, filler consumption – 0.6 m², net cost – 0.54 PLN
  • Subject 2: Packing time – 53 sec, filler consumption – 0.78 m², net cost – 0.70 PLN

Comments: Similar to packing cardboard, requires practice and more time to pack.

Advantages:

Efficiency: The net cost is slightly higher than packing cardboard (PLN 0.54-0.70), but is still cost-effective in the long term.
Good for protection: Effectively protects items, especially when used properly.

Disadvantages:

Requires practice and time: Like packing cardboard, requires more time to pack (52-53 seconds) and skill to use.

Use: Suitable for packaging products that require robust protection, but packers must be skilled in its use.

Honeycomb paper

  • Subject 1: Packing time – 47 sec, filler consumption – 1.32 m², net cost – 2.03 PLN
  • Subject 2: Packing time – 54 sec, filler consumption – 1.4 m², net cost – 2.16 PLN

Comments: Requires a dispenser for efficient packing. Very good protection but not very efficient for filling voids.

Advantages:

Solid protection: Honeycomb paper protects items very well due to its structure.
Professional appearance: Suitable for elegant packaging, which can be beneficial for gifts or premium products.

Disadvantages:

Cost: It is the most expensive filler of those tested (PLN 2.03-2.16).
Difficulty to use: Requires the use of a dispenser to be effective, which can be a handicap for some companies.

Use: Best suited to packaging high-value products where aesthetics and protection are key.

Bubble wrap

  • Subject 1: Packing time – 40 sec, filler consumption – 1.93 m², net cost – 0.95 PLN
  • Subject 2: Packing time – 37 sec, filler consumption – 2.14 m², net cost – 1.05 zł

Comments: Easy to use and dispense. Great for securing items, but uses a lot of material to fill voids.

Advantages:

Easy to use: Easy to dispense and use, no special skills required.
Excellent protection: Perfectly protects items from damage due to its ability to wrap tightly.

Disadvantages:

Material consumption: Uses a lot of material to fill voids, which increases costs (PLN 0.95-1.05).
Environmental impact: Bubble wrap is less environmentally friendly compared to paper fillers.

Use: Ideal for packing fragile items that require robust protection, however, care should be taken with the environmental aspect of its use.

Summary:

Choosing the right filler depends on a number of factors, such as the type of product, budget, staff skills and company priorities (packing speed, cost, ecology).

Pack Chips BIO filler is great for quick and simple packaging, while packing board and corrugated cardboard can be more economical for higher volumes. ‘Honeycomb’ paper will work well for premium products, while bubble wrap will provide the highest level of protection for fragile items.

When deciding on a particular filler, it is worth analysing the specifics of your business and choosing the solution that best meets its needs.

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