3M recently introduced the world's first single-piece thermoforming packaging system called 'Protective Packaging' for electronic items like clean-room semiconductors, component packaging, semi finished goods, assemblies and other consumer hand held devices. The novel packaging system, which has its own in-built impact absorption, does not need other parts for packaging electronic items thereby cutting weight and cost of packaging. Protective Packaging can trim pack volume by up to 50% resulting in reduction of storage and transportation costs.
This can be manufactured from a wide range of thermoplastic sheet material, including 100% recycled material without needing additional packing materials such as foam, expanded polystyrene and bubble wrap. According to the company, when Protective Packaging was used for a 15" laptop for testing purpose, the results revealed the benefits of the packaging system. When the product 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, confirms an independent testing by TUV Product Services. In such cases, the Protective Packaging is claimed to not only absorb the impact but also revert back to its original shape.