Sustainable packaging leader DS Smith today reveals research that is underway into destructive G-force pressures on packages.
To help understand the tough environment that packages withstand to reach consumers in perfect condition, DS Smith is experimenting with “accelerometers.” The devices track the package through its journey and provide data that can then explain the damage it sustains.
The DS Smith research so far has indicated that some packages could face short term G-forces measuring up to 50Gs. That is 10 times more G-forces than riders typically experienced on a rollercoaster. In tandem, the DS Smith DISCS facility, which tests packages for Drop, Impact, Shock, Crush and Shake, regularly performs tests to put packages to the limits to understand the forces boxes need to withstand.
The research will inform designs to protect from the knocks, drops and shocks that packages experience en route to homes and businesses.
“While clearly part of everyday life, e-commerce is still a relatively new form of shopping and we have found through our research that the conditions that packages are exposed to are volatile,” said Gavin Mounce, innovation category specialist for e-commerce at DS Smith. “Packages need to be ready to travel with astonishing levels of acceleration during handling, and that means businesses need to be ready to protect products en route.”
As consumers increasingly turn to online shopping for home delivery, cardboard boxes need to withstand multiple modes of transportation. That includes being stacked under boxes of various weight, proportion and sizes, plus being exposed to other environments where boxes could be damaged.
“Our innovation and design teams are testing how packages are traveling and how they are impacted, and we then use that information to work on different designs,” said Mounce. “We use circular design principles to not only reduce damage but reduce the amount of material used so that packages protect their contents and are as sustainable as possible. We want new ideas, so we will be looking for partners to work with us on this.”