Atomic Austria GmbH was founded in 1955 and is part of the Amer Sports Group. The company is a leading manufacturer of winter sports articles and headquartered in Altenmarkt, Austria. Its product portfolio ranges from skis to ski boots, to helmets and even outdoor sportswear. For the logistics team, this combination of rather long but also cube-shaped products poses major technical and organizational challenges.
Until 2010, Atomic packaged items manually. As the variety of products grew, it became necessary to evaluate more flexible packaging solutions. The company has been using On Demand Packaging® since 2013. Two Packsize EM7-25 machines significantly helped to reduce packaging material and increased product protection for the very heavy long items (skis). This was the start of a long-standing partnership between Packsize and Atomic.
Following changes to distribution and delivery structures along with the increase in overall volume across almost all product lines, Atomic’s shipping volume grew from 500,000 to nearly 900,000 packages in 2019. Which meant that the expected volume significantly exceeded the capacity of the existing solution. Packsize and Atomic agreed on a joint project to optimize the packaging processes.
The increase in order volume plus the combination of skis (long products) and accessory items (cube-shaped packages) would require an automated, custom solution for Atomic: a perfect task for PackLeap. "This project was born out of our long-standing partnership with Packsize. When we analysed our current processes and challenges, the PackLeap team came in. We are delighted to have both the expertise for On Demand Packaging solutions and a specialist for special machine construction and automation on board with Becker“, said Kristel Verreth, Atomic project manager.
The goal was to double Atomic’s productivity. While the previous solution used 10 full-time employees to pack 125 packages per hour, the new solution uses 8 FTEs to pack 220 packages per hour. The new packaging solution improves package stability and simultaneously reduces the amount of packaging material used. It also improves ergonomics and process flow for the employees – all this for both ski and accessory items on the same line.
Atomic merged two existing warehouses into one larger warehouse in Altenmarkt, and expanded with a new building. An automated packaging system – completely tailored to Atomic’s requirements – was integrated into this environment.
This brand new solution consists of a BZ2 cardboard cutting machine from Becker as well as two parallel operating packaging lines, each consisting of a product preparation and positioning station, a semi-automatic cardboard box erector and a sealing machine with a label applicator. Atomic was also equipped with two, stand-alone Packsize M1 machines to accommodate order volumes at peak times.