A Canadian firm that perfected an innovative cushion material for fragile or heavy products landed its first large-volume contract to make cushioning components for a U.S. electronic firm. IntePac Corp. of Toronto will provide its AirfloPac blow molded low density polyethylene ``bubble'' clusters to Infotel Inc. of Fletcher, Ohio, to protect Infotel's MidWest Micro and Infotel-brand personal computers.
Forrest Smith, general manager of IntePac, said the firm will provide 25,000-28,000 central cushioning posts for boxes containing the computer equipment, beginning in August.
``This is our biggest project yet,'' Smith said. ``Infotel did testing on a number of materials, and we supplied three pilot shipments in June and July, and they chose us over other shipping package makers.''
Smith said IntePac also was able to undercut the price of central shipping posts of corrugated cardboard and foam plastic.
AirfloPac components are blow molded bubbles, several inches in diameter, clustered into the shapes necessary to protect individual pieces and connected with air channels. That allows air inside the bubbles to pass into adjacent bubbles when a heavy piece is placed on them, absorbing shock and protecting the exterior of the item to be shipped.
AirfloPac serves a similar function to molded expanded polystyrene foam block, but differs, because it does not stay permanently crushed when a heavy object is shipped in it.
``We expect to be making about $1 million worth of AirfloPac per month for Infotel,'' Smith said.
IntePac works with other manufacturers in the electronics industry and is developing packaging configurations for shipping notebook computers and custom-designed trays for Motorola cellular phones, he said.
AirfloPac materials are molded at Innovations Inc., a Rochester, N.Y., blow molder, from recycled LDPE. The bubble clusters themselves are reused by some customers, according to Smith.