3M, the diversified technology company, has unveiled Protective Packaging, the world's first one-piece thermoformed packaging system that eliminates the need for other packaging parts to protect electronics items. This innovative packaging solution can reduce pack volume by up to 50%, while also cutting storage and transport costs too. Protective Packaging has its own inbuilt impact absorption and can be made from 100% recycled materials. This can be manufactured from a wide variety of thermoplastic sheet material, including recycled material, and when high density polyethylene (HDPE) is used, it supports 100% recycling. Further, this aims to reduce environmental impact, by substituting the need for additional packing materials such as foam, expanded polystyrene, bubble wrap or loose fill, thus helping to minimise potential waste and assembly costs.
The key applications include clean-room semiconductor and component packaging; semi finished goods and assemblies; and end user products including hand held devices, laptops, screens, disk drives, cameras and white goods. For increased safety, impact absorption is provided by interlocking bellows and buffers, eliminating the need for additional internal packaging materials or an external carton to hold the pack together. According to independent testing by TUV Product Services, when a 15" laptop housed in Protective Packaging - Box was dropped from a height of 3 feet onto a concrete surface, the 'g' force experienced over 10 consecutive drops was less than 50% of the 'g' force at which the product is expected to survive. In such cases, the Protective Packaging is claimed to not only absorb the impact but also revert back to its original shape.