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NKE x Mondi Grünburg

. Nicole Roll

Wind power gets a boost from NKE and Mondi: Innovative packaging solution for wind turbine components.

  • New packaging design ensures optimal protection and eliminates transport damage by integrating one-way shock sensors   
  • The ISTA-certified premium offset-printed box features additional flexo print inside cleverly presenting user instructions 
  • Mondi Grünburg accomplished the endeavor from initial prototype to final delivery in only three weeks 

Mondi Grünburg has partnered with NKE, a prominent manufacturer of bearing solutions for wind, railway and industrial applications, to create a new packaging solution for wind power components. With the rising demand for renewable energy sources, the wind power sector has gained significant attention. The challenging operating conditions of wind turbines necessitate components that deliver exceptional efficiency and uncompromising reliability. 

With premium-class rolling bearings sold in over 80 countries, including the booming wind farm market in the United States, NKE faced mounting complaints due to transportation damage. A Hybrid bearing, has a value of thousands of euros and weighing more than 20kg, features inner and outer rings made of high-quality steel and ceramic balls. Unfortunately, damage often goes unnoticed until installation, resulting in costly delays in wind energy production.

Recognising the urgency, Mondi Grünburg’s team of packaging advisers and in-house product development specialists swiftly embarked on a mission to design a cutting-edge packaging solution that would ensure optimal protection for NKE's bearings during transport. The innovative design incorporates one-way shock sensors, providing real-time feedback on the bearing's condition upon arrival. 

What sets this endeavor apart is that it was completed in a mere three weeks, as Mondi Grünburg, traditionally known for delivering packaging solutions for the FMCG and food and beverage industries, successfully ventured into the heavy-duty sector. Leveraging its expertise in creating visually appealing, intelligent packaging that stands out on shelves, Mondi Grünburg integrated its printing excellence into the design.

The result is an offset-printed box with an additional flexo print on the inside, providing clear usage instructions and simplifying handling as accompanying documents are no longer necessary. Thus Mondi Grünburg designed a premium packaging for industrial goods, offering optimal protection to its content as transport damage of the bearings can now be prevented. The innovative design has already undergone rigorous testing and certification at Mondi’s lab, a performance laboratory certified by The International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) to ensure that the customers’ packaging is suitable for the product and protects it in their specific supply chain.  

"This collaboration means not only an improvement in the bearing itself but also in its protection during transport and, most importantly, until its installation in the wind turbine tower. The packaging also incorporates several technological advances.  It not only perfectly fulfils our stringent requirements for unparalleled protection and efficiency but also demonstrates a steadfast commitment to sustainability," says Victor Zaera, Head of Operation & Quality at NKE.

Tarik Aniba, Sales & Marketing Director of Mondi Corrugated Solutions, emphasises the power of collaboration and customer-centric innovation, stating: "This remarkable achievement is a testament to the exceptional collaboration between NKE and Mondi. Our combined expertise delivered a cutting-edge packaging solution that is meticulously tailored to meet our customer’s exact requirements. It showcases Mondi's unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of innovation in the packaging industry and creating lasting value for our valued partners." 

The design's remarkable performance earned it recognition from external experts, receiving an award in the 'Wellpappe konstruktiv' category during the Forum Wellpappe Awards ceremony in Vienna on 5 October. This means that Mondi’s innovative packaging for wind turbine components now also qualifies for the international WorldStar competition by the World Packaging Organisation.