Over the past few years, many different types of protective packaging have been developed in either fabricated or molded forms to provide protection to sensitive products during handling and shipment. An example is automotive foam packaging that provides excellent cushioning properties at lower costs and lower densities compared to other packaging materials. EPP or expanded polypropylene is an excellent option for automotive foam packaging because it can be fabricated into different sizes and shapes to meet a product’s sensitive need.
Protective packaging for auto parts
Automotive aftermarket has become a significant source of car parts for vehicle owners after the original parts have become damaged or worn out. A wide variety of auto parts are available from the aftermarket to provide a wide range of choice for vehicle owners. However, the automotive aftermarket faces the challenge of shipping parts to customers. It is important for the industry to ensure that automotive foam packaging will provide the necessary protection to the products during shipment so that it will arrive at the customer’s doorstep in the same condition it was when it left the manufacturer’s warehouse. Auto parts can be anything from windshields, bumpers, car accessories and other replacements parts that will keep a car in top condition. Packaging must be designed to prevent damage during transport and storage.
Some of the feasible solutions that have been designed for aftermarket auto products include die cut foam packaging. Packaging manufacturers have introduced fabricated foam packaging through metal dies that will stamp custom shapes to ensure dimensional accuracy. Die cut automotive foam packaging provides ideal protection, shock absorption, blocking and bracing for sensitive and fragile products. Pre-fabricated automotive foam packaging is made-to-order packaging solutions that can be easily integrated with other packaging materials like corrugated paperboard boxes. Custom designed automotive packaging is usually made from EPP for lower shipping and storage costs. EPP is available in different densities and it is flexible enough to exceed packaging requirements. EPP foam is wire-cut or die-cut to size and then assembled to perfectly fit the automotive part.
Fabrication of automotive foam packaging
Foam packaging manufacturers usually have state-of-the-art facilities with qualified design engineers who can provide custom designs for automotive product packaging. The first step in the fabrication of foam packaging starts from drawings made through CAD technology. The client and design engineer sits down to discuss the requirements to ensure the reliability of packaging design. Choosing the right material for automotive foam packaging is a challenge because aside from EPP there are various types of foam available for packaging applications like polyurethane foam, expanded polystyrene, polyethylene foam and specialty engineered foams. The cell structure, densities and characteristics of foam vary and it is important to make the right choice based on the application. After a final choice for foam material has been achieved, packaging foam is cut using a die or through hot wire 3D cutting. Pieces of foam are assembled together to create a reliable foam packaging that closely fits the size, shape and contours of the automotive product.