News | February 22, 2023

DS Smith Testing Packages Of The Future To Withstand G-Force Pressure


Sustainable packaging leader DS Smith today reveals research that is underway into destructive G-force pressures on packages.

To help understand the tough environment that packages withstand to reach consumers in perfect condition, DS Smith is experimenting with “accelerometers.” The devices track the package through its journey and provide data that can then explain the damage it sustains.

The DS Smith research so far has indicated that some packages could face short term G-forces measuring up to 50Gs. That is 10 times more G-forces than riders typically experienced on a rollercoaster. In tandem, the DS Smith DISCS facility, which tests packages for Drop, Impact, Shock, Crush and Shake, regularly performs tests to put packages to the limits to understand the forces boxes need to withstand.

The research will inform designs to protect from the knocks, drops and shocks that packages experience en route to homes and businesses.

“While clearly part of everyday life, e-commerce is still a relatively new form of shopping and we have found through our research that the conditions that packages are exposed to are volatile,” said Gavin Mounce, innovation category specialist for e-commerce at DS Smith. “Packages need to be ready to travel with astonishing levels of acceleration during handling, and that means businesses need to be ready to protect products en route.”

As consumers increasingly turn to online shopping for home delivery, cardboard boxes need to withstand multiple modes of transportation. That includes being stacked under boxes of various weight, proportion and sizes, plus being exposed to other environments where boxes could be damaged.

“Our innovation and design teams are testing how packages are traveling and how they are impacted, and we then use that information to work on different designs,” said Mounce. “We use circular design principles to not only reduce damage but reduce the amount of material used so that packages protect their contents and are as sustainable as possible. We want new ideas, so we will be looking for partners to work with us on this.”

More information about the circular economy and DS Smith’s circular design metrics can be found here.

About DS Smith

DS Smith is a leading provider of sustainable fiber-based packaging worldwide, which is supported by recycling and papermaking operations. It plays a central role in the value chain across sectors including e-commerce, fast moving consumer goods and industrials. Through its purpose of ‘Redefining Packaging for a Changing World’ and its Now and Next sustainability strategy, DS Smith is committed to leading the transition to the circular economy, while delivering more circular solutions for its customers and wider society – replacing problem plastics, taking carbon out of supply chains and providing innovative recycling solutions. Its bespoke box-to-box in 14 days model, design capabilities and innovation strategy sits at the heart of this response. Headquartered in London and a member of the FTSE 100, DS Smith operates in 34 countries employing around 30,000 people and is a Strategic Partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Its history can be traced back to the box-making businesses started in the 1940s by the Smith family. North American operations are based in Atlanta, with 15 manufacturing, paper and recycling facilities, totaling more than 2,000 employees. DS Smith will report annually its progress across its climate targets in its Sustainability and Annual Reports.

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