Nutritional Supplement Co Replaces EPS Peanuts, Saves Money and Improves Productivity with AirPouch

“The amount of space this saves in our facility is amazing. There are significant cost savings just in the time we save handling the AirPouch material versus EPS. When we added the increased productivity of an additional three shipments per hour, per employee, we really began to realize the benefits."

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vitamin supplier changes protective packaging to air cushions

Health Resources™ LLC of Hueytown, AL, was established in 1995 as a manufacturer of natural health supplements available by mail order. Today, the company offers more than 400 different SKUs, with products that promote a range of health solutions, including joint relief, heart health, reduced inflammation, and better digestion, among many others.

Mike Ceravolo, production manager for Health Resources, set out to design a better, faster, more efficient packing system when the company outgrew its previous packing line, which consisted of traditional EPS peanuts in overhead bins. The time spent each day loading the bins, moving stored peanuts, and cleaning up the mess at each packing station was increasing at a time when Ceravolo was looking for productivity improvements to help manage the company’s rapid growth. At the same time, some customers were complaining about the mess associated with the peanut packing material when the packages arrive at their homes.

Andy Bauer of Strickland Packaging Company, an authorized AirPouch distributor, had known Mike Ceravolo for awhile and offered to come in and help evaluate his growing needs. Bauer immediately recognized the value Automated Packaging’s AirPouch system could bring to this packing operation. The clear air pillow material would eliminate the mess and storage problem of EPS peanuts. Customer satisfaction would improve because there is no mess when the box is opened, and the product is clearly visible inside. Additionally, the efficiency and protection offered by the air pillows surpassed those associated with peanuts and paper. And, finally, the overall cost of the Express 3 system would be less than what Health Resources was spending at the time.

The team of Health Resources, Strickland Packaging, and Automated Packaging Systems worked together to design a highly-efficient, automated system that moves AirPouch air pillows from each machine, via an air tower, into an overhead hopper. The hopper features two openings where packers can pull lengths of air pillows out and directly into the packing area, easily tearing off as many air pillows as they need. There is no mess and no wasted product. The air pillow material comes fan-folded in easy to store, high capacity, compact boxes that include 3000 linear feet of pillows.

Today Health Resources™, has 12 packing stations that are served by six AirPouch™ Express 3 Systems. They fulfill orders for their nutritional supplements by packing bottled products into boxes, and protecting them with pre-printed air pillow packing material so customers have another opportunity to see their logo and web address, while benefiting from increased brand awareness. This packing process allows each operator to pack an average of 55 to 60 shipments per hour.


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