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264 - Bryan Boatner breaks down how paper and automation bring sustainability!

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About the Guest(s):

Bryan Boatner is the Global Managing Director for Automation at Ranpak, a company renowned for its focus on paper-based packaging solutions and sustainability. With a deep-seated interest in how things are made, he brings a rich history of experience in manufacturing engineering and machine vision technology to the table. His career trajectory began at GE Aircraft Engines and later transitioned to a 20-year tenure at Cognex, where he honed his skills in machine vision within manufacturing and logistics. At Ranpak, Boatner leads a team of 140, driving the company's global automation strategy.

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Episode Summary:

In this engaging episode of the People of Packaging Podcast, host Adam Peek delves into the realms of packaging automation, paper-based solutions, and the influence of automation on the packaging experience. This show presents a mix of personal stories and in-depth exploration of cutting-edge packaging innovations with guest Bryan Boatner.

Diving into the world of logistics automation, Boatner shares his path from manufacturing engineering to leading the automation charge at Ranpak. Emphasizing the company's unwavering commitment to sustainability, he discusses products like "AutoFill" and "Cut-It," which optimize packaging processes and contribute to environmental and economic efficiency. With a nod to the history of Ranpak and the influence of figures like Jay Leno and John Ratzenberger (Cliff Clavin from Cheers), Boatner paints a picture of a company deeply rooted in creative problem-solving and eco-consciousness.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ranpak stands for "random packaging," a nod to the company's origin in addressing the variability in product packaging needs with paper solutions.

  • Bryan Boatner’s expertise in machine vision and AI contributes to innovative packaging automation solutions that enhance efficiency and the customer experience.

  • Core products like "AutoFill," "FormIt," "PadIt," and "Cut-It" reflect Ranpak's commitment to sustainability, quality, and process optimization.

  • Ranpak's approach to packaging automation is unique in its provision of multi-faceted ROI, offering labor savings, shipping benefits, and positive unboxing experiences.

  • John Ratzenberger, known for his role as Cliff Clavin in Cheers, was connected to the packaging industry through his company EcoPac, which Ranpak acquired.

Notable Quotes:

  • "The initial patent was actually a machine…it converted kraft paper into shock-absorbing, crinkled paper for use in cushioning auto parts."

  • "These organizations are hungry for data…the more that you can automate, the higher your quality is going to be, the more efficient your operation is going to run."

  • "Not only is it a labor savings play but you also have a shipping savings…it's all combined into this really compelling ROI for these customers."

  • "In the context of working with customers that are very sustainability-focused, Ranpak is just well known within the industry for always having that focus on sustainability."


Encourage your curiosity for automation, sustainability, and the stories behind the innovation by listening to the full episode with Bryan Boatner. Discover fascinating insights into packaging solutions that deliver on both environmental consciousness and business efficiency. Stay tuned for more insightful discussions on the People of Packaging Podcast.

Packaging Is Awesome with Adam Peek
People of Packaging Podcast
This is a podcast where we illuminate the stories of people in the packaging industry and proudly sponsored by
Hosted by the Packaging Pastor, Adam Peek