Applications and use cases for the Home Appliances Industry
Knauf Industries is known for its great experience in designing and producing protective packaging for all kinds of electronic equipment -computers, drones, fragile playthings, microphones or sound equipment-, as well as for home appliances -washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, HVAC equipment, refrigerators, cooking robots, irons or televisions- among others.
All this precision equipment has one thing in common: shocks and vibrations are their sworn enemy. This is why it is of crucial importance to use a material that ensures protecting these loads efficiently without damaging them. Here is where Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) comes into the equation.
The combination of high load-bearing capacity at low weight, air tightness, great insulation properties and especially excellent shock absorption make EPS the ideal material to this end. In fact, the home appliances market is growing year by year and impact absorbing foams used in their packaging are the future of the industry. Such is their reputation that the value of the protective foam market values is expected to grow at a rate of 6.3% from now to 2028.
Also the versatility of EPS and our customization processes enable us to create packing solutions that, thanks to the perfect adjustment, guarantee safe transportation of all product sizes, from tiny electronic components to large home appliances.
However, EPS is not only the most suitable choice for home appliance packaging, but also for their technical parts and components. This is because it has four main benefits: efficiency, process optimization, custom design and lightness and resistance.
By white goods we are referring to large appliances like tumble dryers, washing machines, fridges, induction cookers or freezers. They receive this name because they were traditionally white in color, although today a variety of endings are available. This explains why nowadays they are more commonly referred to as major appliances. These appliances are characterized by being big and non-portable. They also tend to be placed directly on the floor and have special electrical connections, connections to gas supplies, or special plumbing and ventilation arrangements that make them fragile while being transported.
Another key element in the white good industry is that they are heavy items. In this regard, due to EPS versatility it can be moulded to any required shape varying strengths and performance levels. Here is where double density injection moulding comes into play.It allows the packaging engineer to use different grades of material in the same clamping, avoiding the use of wood and keep the mono-material solution . The higher the density of the material, the better for using it in the most demanding areas of the chock, which are usually the surfaces of the package in direct contact with the machine, basically corners and bottom parts.
Small appliances differ from major appliances in their size and ease of transport, as they are small and portable. Also, contrary to large appliances, they tend to be placed on some kind of surface rather than on the floor. However, they still have electronic components that need to be protected from water, sudden temperature changes and any kind of shocks and vibrations during their transport. Therefore, it continues to be the most appropriate decision producing their components and packaging in EPS.
In this category we may find items such as microwave ovens, toasters, humidifiers, televisions, food processors and coffee machines.
Efficient storage and safe delivery are two important criteria to consider when evaluating a packaging solution for these kinds of appliances. Again EPS protections offer a solution on both sides. Thanks to our expertise in this type of project, we are the ideal partner to improve your logistics operations by increasing the number of full loads and reducing packaging costs. For example, for a specific customer we were able to reduce the number of protection parts from 4 down to 2, thanks to our IDLab department. We made these parts valid for multiple sizes of the same product, rather than a single size. This improvement allowed our customer to increase by two their storage space.
EPS is the perfect solution for transportation of small appliances for two main reasons. First, they absorb the microvibrations generated by the small shocks that are produced by the movement, which could damage small appliances. Also, most of these appliances come from Asia in insulated containers to avoid temperature changes. Even so, humidity is usually generated inside the containers, but EPS makes this less likely to happen, thanks to its insulation properties.
Other home appliances
EPS continues to be fundamental in the packaging for the rest of household appliances such as blenders or air fryers.
Apart from the tailored adjustable packaging, there are other items made of EPS that serve to effectively protect loads and should not be overlooked. Concretely, we are referring to extensible corner protections, separators or pallets. All these have an added advantage: they can be easily reusable, contributing even more to a circular economy.
Our technical parts for home appliances and the environment
Our technical parts and components for home appliances, as well as their packaging are fully respectful with the environment because of the material they are composed of. Being 98% air, EPS is resource-efficient by nature: on the one hand, its light weight favours efficiency as it dramatically reduces the weight of the transported loads, resulting in less fuel consumption; on the other hand, as an excellent thermal insulator it substantially reduces energy losses in a broad range of applications. It also consumes less energy than applications with other materials -more precisely, around 30% less.
Moreover, EPS is recoverable and 100% recyclable, which reduces emissions and negative environmental impacts. This jointly with the eco-design model that we follow in our processes contribute to a circular economy where the lifecycle of existing materials and products is extended, as they are designed to be used and not used up.
At Knauf Industries we have gone a step further by creating the recovery program Knauf Circular through which we provide users of EPS products (industrial firms, retail sector, insulation installation contractors, recycling centers, etc.) with on-site collection services for their EPS packaging waste. This way, we guarantee the material is correctly processed and given a new life.