translates to more waste and higher costs—two things all of this smart
manufacturing business is supposed to
But the packaging department, Jennings says, has yet to be properly illuminated by the all-knowing light of the IIo T.
Now, Jennings and Sealed Air are out
to change that.
“Most companies have already con-
nected their CNC machines and their
manufacturing systems in order to make
their products,” she says. “It’s a logical
extension to bring the packaging process
PACKAGING A SOLUTION
Sealed Air’s solution for this smart
gap comes in the form of a web-based
knowledge sharing system called PackOS—a new addition to the IIo T arsenal
designed to basically cram those 58
years of packaging expertise into your
nearest smart device.
““The real vision behind PackOS is to
bring together functionality that allows
our customers to optimize and control
their packaging processes,” Jennings
explains. “The solution combines data
APRIL 2018 I NEWEQUIPMENT.COM 27
analytics and Sealed Air’s decades of
packaging knowledge for better, faster
More simply, it’s a system designed
to tell packers exactly how to pack their
widgets correctly and, in the process, to
illuminate those invisible losses caused
by under or over-filling packages.
The keys to all this, Jennings explains,
are what the company has termed
that walk packers through the entire
packing process for every product that
comes their way.
Either created in-house or with the aid
of Sealed Air’s experts, these recipes are
loaded into the PackOS portal with pic-
tures, videos, measurements, and every
other conceivable item needed to help
even a first-day novice packer achieve
And that scenario, Jennings says, is a
big part of this innovation.
“Packaging consistency is a really
large issue for our customers,” she ex-
plains. “They see a high turnover rate
with their packers and they are constant-
ly having to train and retrain people to
make sure they are getting consistent
packaging out the door.”
With this system, she says, a quick
scan of a barcode on a particular SKU
can easily pull up a video that will walk
a newbie through the entire pack, step-
by-step, until they fully understand what
the product needs, how much it needs of
it, and how to go about doing it.
“We found the video to be really help-
ful for communicating the kind of tech-
nicalities that come with some of the
more challenging packages,” Jennings
says. “Visuals teach packers exactly
how to wrap something or how to coil
the paper, things of that nature that
aren’t as straightforward as just putting
an item in a box and filling the box with
For companies a little further down
the IIo T path, she adds, these recipes
can feed directly into packaging ma-
chines, ensuring that the automation
equipment—just like the manual pack-
ers—knows exactly what it needs for
While its recent explosion of high-tech packaging solutions has thoroughly
demonstrated that Sealed Air is far more
than just a Bubble Wrap maker—though
we all do love our Bubble Wrap—this
move into the cutting edge IIo T space
still seems like a bold jump.
But Jennings argues that it’s really
just a natural part of a greater evolution
for the company.
“Sealed Air has always been a tech-
nology company,” she says. “Now we’re
offering our decades of data science
to solve today’s complex fulfillment
And that is a solid, commendable
plan, really. The question now is if it
I first interviewed Jennings about
PackOS back in early 2017 when the
system was still in beta testing and
showing positive signs of success. At
the time, Jennings said she was hoping adopters would see around 20%
improvements in material costs and up
to a 40% decrease in damage caused
by inconsistent packaging.
Now that PackOS is live and in the
field, Jennings reports that those early
estimates seem to be panning out.
“We expected to see a decrease in
damage and an increase the numbers
of packages out the door,” she says.
“We’re pleased to validate that.”
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“The real vision behind PackOS is to bring together functionality
that allows our customers to optimize and control their packaging
processes. The solution combines data analytics and Sealed Air’s
decades of packaging knowledge for better, faster decision making.”
-Tonya Jennings, director of digital customer solution strategy for Sealed Air Corp.