Executive Briefings

Fill-Air Flow Wants to Bring Inflatable Plastic to Small Businesses, Designer Says

Forget packing peanuts, it's all about the air cushion, says John Wolf, vice president for global sector marketing at Sealed Air and the inventor of bubble wrap. Fill-Air Flow is a device the size of a paper-towel dispenser that creates clear plastic air cushions - a cheaper, sleeker alternative to packing peanuts and the like - at a scale designed to be affordable for small businesses, Wolf says.

Starting in 2014, Wolf led a team of eight to develop a small-scale packaging dispenser, after Sealed Air noticed a rise in the number of small shipping operations.

The 13-by-14-by-8-inch Fill-Air Flow, hung on a wall, feeds a roll of 10-by-8-inch plastic bags into the machine's inflator. Users can customize the desired fill volume using buttons on the front of the device.

The inflator fills as many as 20 bags a minute, sealing them with heat. Using air cushions can make a package 25 percent smaller, Wolf says.

Sealed Air is charging $475 for the hardware, less than half the cost of higher-output competitors such as the Mini Pak'r Industrial Air Cushion Machine. Wolf says he's hoping small businesses will eventually account for as much as 15 percent of the roughly $2bn global market for air-inflated packaging.

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Starting in 2014, Wolf led a team of eight to develop a small-scale packaging dispenser, after Sealed Air noticed a rise in the number of small shipping operations.

The 13-by-14-by-8-inch Fill-Air Flow, hung on a wall, feeds a roll of 10-by-8-inch plastic bags into the machine's inflator. Users can customize the desired fill volume using buttons on the front of the device.

The inflator fills as many as 20 bags a minute, sealing them with heat. Using air cushions can make a package 25 percent smaller, Wolf says.

Sealed Air is charging $475 for the hardware, less than half the cost of higher-output competitors such as the Mini Pak'r Industrial Air Cushion Machine. Wolf says he's hoping small businesses will eventually account for as much as 15 percent of the roughly $2bn global market for air-inflated packaging.

Read Full Article