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Increasing Packaging Productivity and Reducing Labour with Protect It Right

Case Study: Cleaning Product Manufacturer


various cleaning product items in bright colourful packaging on white background

Crawford recently worked with an existing cleaning product manufacturing client located in the Kitchener/Waterloo Area to review their protective packaging. The Packaging Specialist conducted a Protect It Right audit to ensure the Manufacturer's packaging solution continued to meet their protective packaging requirements.

During a review of their protective packaging, the Packaging Specialist identified an improvement that would greatly improve their packaging costs. The Manufacturer was using rolls of perforated foam sheeting to protect their products during shipping. Each perforated sheet was manually separated from the roll by employees. These sheets were then collected for use and delivered to the packaging stations. Following the review, the Packaging Specialist identified a solution that would increase workflow and reduce costs through labour optimization.


A Cleaning Product Manufacturer was using a foam sheet protective packaging solution for their products. The Manufacturer’s foam was purchased in 2000-foot rolls. The rolls were perforated every ten inches and cut into four equal sections. This effectively created 10” x 12” squares for packers to use at their stations. When the rolls arrived, employees would receive them and manually separate each sheet from the roll. The separated sheets were then delivered to the packaging stations for use. This process proved to be labour consuming for the Manufacturer as multiple employees were required to maintain production speeds.


The Packaging Specialist met with the Manufacturer to discusses possible improvements to their protective packaging solution. The discussion addressed a variety of concerns involving the productivity and labour of their current solution. Following the meeting, a packaging consultation was performed to identify any areas for improvement. During the consultation, the Packaging Specialist noted multiple employees were being used to separate each sheet from the roll.

The Packaging Specialist discussed the idea of pre-cutting the foam rolls instead of perforating. This would eliminate the need for employees to manually separate the sheets and be reallocated to other areas of the Manufacturer's facility.


Protect It Right

The Protect It Right program works with clients to audit and review their existing protective packaging practices, materials, and equipment. The program will identify areas of inefficiency and offers improvements to increase productivity and reduce per pack costs. The Protect It Right program has helped a wide variety of clients from e-commerce fulfillment centers to aircraft parts manufacturers. Through the Protect It Right program, clients realized savings up to 30%.

Crawford Packaging’s Keep It Right philosophy is part of all our packaging programs. It embodies the spirit of continuous improvement and ensures clients they are using the most up to date and effective packaging solution. This can include ensuring equipment and procedures are effective, testing new and innovative products and much more.

product inside cardboard box being packaged with polyfoam roll packaging material

1/32” Polyfoam Protective Packaging Material

Polyfoam is made from 100% low-density polyethylene that is highly flexible and lightweight. The non-abrasive, lint and dust free materials provide superior protection without the risk of scratching finished surfaces like glass and electronics. Available in standard and anti-static formats, Polyfoam can be ordered in rolls with slits and perforations for custom sheeting. When space is limited, rolls can also be converted into pre-cut and boxed sheets at sizes specific to your packaging needs.


This knowledge-based packaging solution has helped the Manufacturer reduce the overall cost of their protective packaging solution. The pre-cut and sized Polyfoam pieces improved the Manufacturer’s packaging productivity and labour costs. This reduction in cost has equated to real savings for the Manufacturer, despite a raw material cost increase from the original packaging solution.

Broken Product in Box Icon to Represent Reducing Produce Damage

Reduced Labour Costs

The Manufacturer eliminated the need for employees to manually separate the roll of foam before packing. The employees who were previously separating each piece have now be reallocated to other areas of the Manufacturer’s facility. This has greatly reduced the overall cost of the Manufacturer’s Polyfoam sheeting and per pack cost.

solid blue icon of a line graph increasing with an up arrow

Increased Productivity

With the reallocation of employees, the Manufacturer increased their packaging productivity. Employees who previously spent their shift separating foam sheeting now complete another task like package goods or work on the production floor. The packaging process has also been able to improve their productivity and throughput. When a packer runs out of their foam sheet supply, they now do not have to wait for sheets to be ripped ahead of packing.

Garbage Can Icon to Represent Reduced Waste

Reduced Waste

The new pre-cut and sized foam sheeting has greatly reduced packaging waste. Previously when employees would separate the sheets, they were often creating the wrong sized sheet. The new pre-cut sheets ensure complete accuracy and eliminate wasted material.

Crawford Packaging is a full-service packaging company located in London, Brampton and Waterloo, Ontario. From packaging to packaging equipment, installation and upgrades, and in-person equipment training and repair, we're focused on your business success every step of the way.