Good practice

Making small-sized custom-packaging viable

Making small-sized custom-packaging viable
© VictorD, #18532420, 2018, source:
Metal and plastic processing
High cost
Associated cost savings: Raw material:
Premises and operation areas:
Product and design, Production processes
Size of company:
Medium (less than 250)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:

Small package, big opportunity...

  • Optimisation of space on foam blocks
  • Accelerated development process and wider customer base
  • Less waste on the client-side 

Custom-packaging enterprises traditionally prefer industrial clients that order in bulk. This often meant one-size-fits-all solutions that used unnecessary materials and created additional waste to be disposed of by customers. As more and more customers shop online, the economics of tailor-made packaging solutions have evolved. Small-scale production can add up to large-scale profit if handled right.

Digital technology has made it not only possible for custom-packaging companies to save on material and energy costs, but also to broaden their client base. Wetropa GmbH, for instance, is a company which devises foam packaging for the automobile, electronics, medical and measurement industries, and has branched out into more trades thanks to new technology. 

Wetropa has developed an app (FoamCreator) which directly converts simple information provided by the client – a photograph and measurement of the objects to be packaged – into the exact corresponding shape and layout of foam inserts. Benefits of this 'dematerialised' process include the compression of what used to represent week-long back-and-forth revisions between client and manufacturer into a few minutes. The material and energy costs of intermediate prototype production have also been radically reduced.

By compiling data from different clients, small-sized orders can be merged into a single production process. Ultimately, a more efficient use of space on foam blocks makes it economical for the company to produce a single foam insert. This has allowed Wetropa to reach out to a whole new range of customers with individual requests. 

Key benefits

  • Significant reduction in material costs
  • New small-scale market opportunities
  • Waste reduction for producer and consumer



“Thanks to FoamCreator, we’ve won new customers among private consumers. We used to deal exclusively with businesses. [...] We want to achieve resource efficiency with FoamCreator and are aiming in a 25 % reduction in material cost.” -- Dirk Breitkreuz, Wetropa GmbH

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