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Design Services Team Ensures Packages Make the Cut

Dropping, vibrating, and compression – these concepts may sound counterintuitive to manufacturing packaging products, but these are tests many of our packages go through to ensure they will hold up in real-world shipping and distribution environments. Sealed Air’s Design Services team in Charlotte, N.C., is responsible for packaging integrity testing of more than a thousand packages each year.  

The Importance of Package Integrity Testing  

Our testing lab is highly integrated into Sustainability, Innovation, and Development (I&D), and influences the materials that SEE is going to possibly commercialize. Package integrity testing enables a scientific approach to make decisions about packaging choices, ensuring that the proper amount and type of packaging are used. Too much packaging would increase environmental impacts, and too little packaging could create damage problems.  

The testing is performed in a lab where hazards can be controlled and isolated. Test protocols can be created for specific needs, such as for customer requirements, or chosen from published test procedures, set by the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA).  

Prismiq design services team member

Protocols keep testing standardized and applicable to real-world hazards by screening for package integrity or mimicking different transportation environments. For example, a product that is more than 150 pounds and shipped on a pallet is less likely to be dropped than a package weighing 20 pounds shipped via ground transportation in a standard box, so different tests and standards apply to each.   

The People Behind the Tests  

Our Design Services team involves a collaboration of technicians, engineers, and sales representatives driven by teamwork.  The team must work closely together  to solve problems that arise throughout storage, shipping, and distribution. Not only do they have to come together mentally, but the testing is also physically demanding. This can include lifting heavy packages and dropping them multiple times, loading the top of a box with sandbags for the weighted vibration sequence of testing, having to remove all those sandbags, rotating the box and loading it up again, and more.  

“It’s a fun job to see a wide variety of products and how they are packaged, how the packages succeed or fail,” said Sales Training & Readiness Manager Sarah Tanguay. “We are able to learn a lot about packaging from that experience.”  

Interested in joining us and helping ensure products reach their final destination safely? Check out our careers page  for open roles. 

About the Author

Jamie Nemeth

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Jamie Nemeth
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Jamie Nemeth is the Manager of Corporate Content and Campaigns at Sealed Air responsible for employee communications and content strategy for our diverse, global population. She works to keep our employees engaged and informed, and writes stories about our people, culture, and experiences.