When IBM's Custom Solutions Manufacturing Division took over packaging and distribution for hard disk drive kits packaging engineer Nicolle Dutts asked if she could make a change. The problem? While the foamed polyurethane inserts inside a corrugated box were doing a fine job of protecting the low-profile hard drives Dutts felt there was room to improve the pack's recyclability. After hearing about a new version of Sealed Air's (Danbury CT) Korrvu® suspension pack designed specifically to protect low-profile products she checked it out. Traditional Korrvu works better at trapping larger objects between two frames of taut low-slip film. The design doesn't work as well for thinner products which can shift between the frames. Sealed Air had been experimenting with what it calls the Korrvu Saddle Pack a design that consists of two opposing U-shaped film frames that increase the tension on the product virtually eliminating shifting during shipment. That pack was given the green light by IBM to protect the 0.75"-thick hard drives. It entered production in April '95 making the Charlotte NC division one of the first users of the new design. The benefits are many: * It costs less. While IBM won't reveal volumes Dutts estimates a savings of 3¢ to 5¢/package over the foam. Tooling charges are lower too compared to cutting dies for prefabricated PU. (A new corrugated box design with self-locking bottom and tuck top from Packaging Services of Carolina (Rockwell NC) saves an additional 2 cents per package by eliminating the need for one of two tamper-evident labels.) * Aside from the corrugated box there are only two Korrvu components versus three foam parts. And since the Korrvu parts are shipped flat they take up 60% less warehouse space important since storage space at the Charlotte facility is at a premium. * Even with the film the package is 100% recyclable in along with other OCC (old corrugated containers) in any hydropulping operation and is RESY-approved for recycling in Germany. Also the suspension frames contain a minimum of 35% recycled content (post-consumer content unavailable) and the box contains at least 40% (with the corrugated medium consisting of 100% post-consumer fiber). * The package provides increased protection from shock and vibration compared to the PU foam withstanding eight 36" drop tests with zero damage to the product inside. * The clear PU film whose thickness and specifications Sealed Air won't divulge permits easy pre- and post-transit product inspection and also provides a more attractive presentation of the product. * Since one size of Korrvu can work with many similar hard drive sizes it further reduces inventory of packaging components as other drive sizes are produced.