Blow-molding not just for bottles anymore

A pair of protective cushions extrusion/blow-molded from 100% recycled low-density polyethylene is saving Schaumburg, IL-based Motorola over $350ꯠ/yr in material costs alone.

Pw 22867 Apaiofpro 1

Supplied by Intepac (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), the AirfloPac® cushions disperse shock energy from one chamber to another, minimizing the impact on the product. Motorola switched to the cushions for protecting its 12-lb cellular phone transceivers after using top and bottom trays made of molded polypropylene foam. "We ship our products internationally, and a lot of countries don't accept foam" as a recyclable packaging material, says Rash Patel, manufacturing engineer. Motorola found that LDPE, on the other hand, is more widely accepted from a recycling standpoint, according to Patel. The packaging passed a battery of rigorous tests before Motorola would approve it. It's been in use at Motorola's Cellular Infrastructure Group in Arlington Heights, IL, for close to a year. The transceivers it protects are worth from $3ꯠ to $5ꯠ, depending on how they're configured. Other Motorola plants at home and abroad are looking at adopting the packaging. Motorola has entered the package into this year's Worldstar competition, whose winners were slated to be announced this month. The cushion has already won the 3M Eco-Efficiency Ameristar award at the recent WestPack show.

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