Confronted with a dramatic price increase in corrugated containers Insulation Corp. of America South Allentown PA looked for alternative packaging solutions for its expanded polystyrene products. After a thorough search the company selected a high-speed orbital wrapping system from Ciratec (Phillipsburg NJ). The system is a big hit with Bill Dean chief executive officer at ICA. In the first day of use says Dean material cost savings amounted to $327 per truck load on 17 trucks sent that day. ICA is a major polystyrene block molder in the Northeast. The company's products include a wide range of construction and insulation applications including sheet products and finished ceiling products as well as custom cut packaging material used for cushioning. In recent years ICA has experienced an average growth rate of 40% compared to an industry-wide rate of about 7%. "Our vacuum molding system gives us a competitive edge in production" says Liam Dent ICA plant engineer. "It allows consistent quality and has cut energy costs by close to 50%." When it came to finding a new packaging system to replace corrugated shippers any system ICA selected had to be capable of wrapping a wide range of product sizes. The products themselves presented unique problems because they're light and fragile. Stacks of thin EPS sheets needed to be held in place as they were wrapped but pressure throughout the process needed to be carefully regulated to avoid damage. Dean considered both shrink wrap systems and hand stretch wrapping. But the first was too expensive and the second unable to easily handle the largest sized products. After considering all alternatives Dean selected a Ciratec orbital wrap system for ICA. The Ciratec system chosen by Dean solves all the problems he anticipated. ICA runs it at about one wrap per minute though its rated speed is twice that. It also accommodates bundles of random sizes without requiring an operator to make new settings. "We liked the rugged design of the system and the smoothness and speed of the gearing" says Dent. "Since the Ciratec installation was completed we've had zero downtime with the system."