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Huawei green packaging team to develop biodegradable, recyclable packaging materials!

Release time:

2022-05-27


Green and sustainable packaging methods are just as important as protecting products in transit. Huawei's packaging team uses technology to reflect the company's long-term commitment to simplicity, environmental protection and recyclability in product design and packaging. Based on Huawei's progress in high-strength corrugated boxes, thin honeycomb cardboard and other new materials, Huawei's two latest innovations are multi-density cushioning technology using self-assembled expanded polypropylene (EPP) materials and lightweight plastic steel pallets.

5G MIMO technology deployed in base stations requires larger antenna arrays and more antenna arrays. Compared with 4G, larger and heavier base station equipment puts forward new requirements for logistics transportation, which in turn needs to be compensated by lighter and more energy-efficient packaging. Huawei's packaging team has developed two solutions for this:

Multi-density buffering: less is more

Multi-density cushioning technology mixes raw materials of different densities into one mold. Starting from 2017, the packaging team of Huawei's MPE (Mechanical Power Environment) department began to study EPP materials with better cushioning performance but recyclable.

The team mixed two materials of different densities in a single mold to strengthen certain parts of the cushion, determined where the two materials should combine, and how to use the mold to control the composite interface. For testing, they ran different tolerances on the simulation model, including drop shock, transport vibration and stress limits. The resulting data contributes to the final design, which is then tested in a laboratory setting.

Crash and impact testing

The technology is currently used in Huawei's wireless base station and server products. Multi-density cushioning provides the same protection as traditional single-density foam, reducing the packaging required for 5G MIMO products by 38%. In 2020, the technology reduced package weight by 1,362 tonnes, equivalent to a reduction of 2,165 tonnes of CO 2 emissions.

Huawei aims to reduce packaging volume, ensure product reliability through technology, and optimize packaging technology with industry peers to promote the development of the entire industry.

Huawei's manufacturing department has a dedicated logistics resource conservation team. In 2019, they developed a new type of recyclable pallet for carrying products such as wireless 5G base stations-lightweight plastic steel pallets. Traditional plywood pallets are disposable, easily broken, and consume a lot of wood. The new lightweight plastic steel tray is not only more durable, but also can be recycled.

Plastic steel tray in production

They are also 70% lighter. In 2020 alone, they reduced Huawei's shipments by 4,739 tons, wood use by 39,500 m3, and potential CO 2 emissions by 23,900 tons. The lighter pallets also reduce the load of truck transportation, reducing gasoline consumption and carbon emissions.

Packaging contributes to the overall value of the product. Huawei is committed to creating environmentally friendly packaging by applying the spirit of craftsmanship. -- Liu Hongchun, Packaging Expert, Huawei Manufacturing Engineering Department

multi-density buffer technology

5G MIMO product package volume: down 38%; Weight reduction in 2020: 1,362 tons, CO 2 emissions reduced by 2,165 tons

Plastic steel tray

Weight reduction in 2020: 4739 tons; Timber saved in 2020: 39,500 cubic meters, reducing CO 2 emissions by 23,900 tons

In 2020, Huawei used these two green packaging technologies to complete shipments of more than 300000 pieces, saving more than 75000 cubic meters of wood.

6R1D concept

Huawei's packaging team follows the "6R1D" green packaging strategy: correct, reduce, return, reuse, recycle, recycle, and degradable. This strategy has helped Huawei build a green system covering the entire product life cycle, from material selection, product design, packaging, transportation to recycling.