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Pregis invests in new protective packaging innovation center

Pregis LLC has invested in a new 50,000 square foot innovation headquarters designed to help solve protective packaging challenges.

The Aurora, Illinois facility is called the Pregis IQ.  The customer-focused training, design and testing services hub deploys a variety of package engineering tools to achieve performance-oriented, cost-effective protective packaging solutions. The facility is staffed with ISTA-certified lab engineers who will be using related testing protocols. 

“As a protective packaging thought leader and innovator, we will be using creative packaging design, material science, sustainability and automation services at the Pregis IQ to help customers solve specific packaging challenges. We will also be using a data and metrics-based approach to create advanced solutions that support market trends and meet customer needs,” explained Tom Wetsch, chief innovation officer.

The investment in the Pregis IQ is particularly important to support e-commerce growth. The order mix continues to expand requiring more packaging diversity. Labor and seasonality also impacts fulfillment operations’ ability to meet orders, complicating packaging and leading to increased damages. Further, network shipping constraints, coupled with increasing costs, are expected to continue. The end result is that customer loyalty requires more customization and unique solutions to adequately compete.

The engineering team based at the Pregis IQ will use a methodical step-by-step, total package analysis approach including design/consulting, material (sustainability), automation, training/development and testing.  Products will be evaluated to identify protection imperatives in distribution/retail channels. Packaging concepts will be considered with performance, yield and sustainability in mind. Iterative design and prototyping will lead to validation via proper testing protocols. Solution implementation will be supported with training documentation as well as hand on training and equipment integration services.

“Pregis has always prided itself in being a material-neutral supplier.  We have experience in many materials and systems.  Our broad material and equipment expertise puts us in an ideal position to recommend a solution that is truly in the manufacturer’s best interest.  The establishment of the Pregis IQ, is just one more way to advance our ability to serve the marketplace,” Wetsch said.