Pactiv Corp. has launched a marketing alliance with a company that makes a plastic protective package with a series of inflatable air tubes.
Lake Forest, Ill.-based Pactiv will be the North American marketing arm for patented Air-Paq engineered inflatable packaging, said Rob Williams, Pactiv business manager for the product. Air-Paq will hit the North American market early next year, Williams said at Pack Expo International 2004, held Nov. 7-11 in Chicago.
Pactiv formed the alliance with Air-Paq Inc., the Lake Forest, Calif., developer of the packaging. Air-Paq started in June 1998 and has plants in the western United States and in Taipei, Taiwan.
The system includes multiple one-way valves that allow air to pass into channels cushioning products. Each adjoining air cell looks like a long tube and together the tubes are folded over items weighing less than 40 pounds or wrapped around larger products, Williams said. Products can be wrapped while the Air-Paq packaging is deflated, and then each air cell, each with its own valve, is filled with compressed air.
``If one of the air cells is popped, the rest of the tubes remain inflated,'' Williams said. ``The key is the individual valves that can continue to inflate. That is what drove the technology behind the product.''
The packages are extruded using linear low density polyethylene with a nylon barrier layer for air retention and strength. Pactiv expects Air-Paq to be used for protecting small electronics devices, pharmaceutical products and beverages, and as wrap-around packaging for personal computers, refrigerators and other appliances, Williams said. Those products typically use protective packaging made from expandable polystyrene and other bulkier systems,
The stackable packages are new to North America, Williams said. Similar products are sold in roll form in the Far East.