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Compact hybrid cushioning system offers enhanced flexiblity

Pregis Protective Packaging Europe has launched a new hybrid cushioning (HC) system that can handle multiple roll widths via a dispenser head that is 60% smaller than previous models. The new AirSpeed® HC Versa has a reduced profile which enables the unit to be placed in locations where space is at a premium, while maintaining high speeds and delivering an effective cushioning performance at low cost.

Pregis is also is introducing HC-Flex™, a high performance low-density polyethylene air pillow film that is made with 30% less resin than competitive hybrid inflatable cushioning alternatives.

The AirSpeed line produces inflatable cushioning for void fill, containment, wrapping and packaging needs for a wide range of markets including aerospace, automotive, e-commerce, electronics, glass, cosmetics, fulfillment, housewares, medical and dental, pharmaceutical and industrial components. Products of varying shapes and sizes receive optimal protection from shock, abrasion and vibration during transit.

Hybrid cushioning differs from traditional void-fill pillows because it features multiple air chambers in a horizontal and vertical pattern instead of one large cell. Flat, perforated rollstock is mounted onto the AirSpeed unit, which creates the rows of small air-filled pockets as the air is transferred between the individual chambers. In previous units, the rollstock was mounted inside the dispenser head housing. The new, compact design positions the roll externally, creating placement flexibility.

The AirSpeed® HC Versa unit is the first to produce cushioning in three different widths: 61 cm, as well as 45.7 and 30.5 cm wide sizes. It can also produce three different cell heights: small (1.9 cm), medium (2.5 cm) and large (3.2 cm). Typical perforation preset is every 15.2 and 30.4 cm.

"Not only have we been able to engineer a space-saving unit, but we have also added to its capabilities while still retaining industry-leading, 23 meters per minute speeds," explains Hamadi Ettarfass, General Manager, Protective Packaging Systems – Europe. "The small size and speed is important for tight work spaces and high volume operations."

The HC Versa can accommodate traditional virgin air cushioning material, reduced gauge structures, recycled content or ones designed to accelerate microbial biodegradation, without compromising recyclability. Pregis full line of HC films can handle even the most demanding applications.

"The expanded film offering and ability of the HC Versa system to run all configurations enables us to provide a solution tailored to the customer application," says Ettarfass. "The result is highly effective cushioning performance at a lower total cost compared to alternative materials, combined with Pregis’ established reputation for service and reliability."

The HC Versa also offers an improved user interface with simple touchpad start, stop and load functions. The simple-to-use operator panel makes it easy for new or seasonal employees to use.

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