Join 3,375 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Making Boxes ... Like A Boss
December 16, 2011 10:23 AM   Subscribe

"You've seen boring unboxing videos. How about a cool boxing video?" A Korean postal worker demonstrates his superior packaging skills [SLYT].
posted by bayani (45 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sweet. Someone needs to do a write-up with step-by-step directions. I wanna box some stuff.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:28 AM on December 16, 2011


Oh, not the box factory again, Seymour!
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 10:34 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I really did not expect to be so fascinated by a video of some dude putting some stuff in a box but here we are.
posted by elizardbits at 10:35 AM on December 16, 2011 [13 favorites]


Someone should send this shit to Amazon. They once set me a tennis racket in a box big enough to fit a bike in. I'm not even exaggerating, I took apart my bike and fit it inside just cause I was curious if I could.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:35 AM on December 16, 2011 [14 favorites]


yes, but did you submit it to their packaging wtfery page? THIS IS KEY.
posted by elizardbits at 10:37 AM on December 16, 2011


Coincidentally, this is the only job that exists in North Korea.
posted by griphus at 10:41 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I did not, but I did take a picture of it with my phone which I can't find now. Anyway, here is my vote for coolest boxing video.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:42 AM on December 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


It took him 2 minutes to wrap that. That's, at best, 30 items an hour. Not sure if Amazon publishes any stats but this blog post estimates 120 items / hour per employee. Building your own box is cool and all, but it's not terribly time efficient.
posted by Nelson at 10:48 AM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


none of those sweaty buff men are wrapping presents. you have betrayed me.
posted by elizardbits at 10:48 AM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


well, how many items were in the bubble wrap ?

(and note how he hammered on the end of the box a bit ...)
posted by k5.user at 10:49 AM on December 16, 2011


He's faster than me, and I don't build the box :-/
posted by -harlequin- at 10:56 AM on December 16, 2011


Amazon might pay by weight too, so they don't even care if the box is too big.

As for this guy, I was impressed he free-handed the first few scores. I wonder if it's corrugated cardboard so that guides it to be straight?
posted by smackfu at 10:57 AM on December 16, 2011


whuuuuut. What's up with cutting perfectly perpendicular lines without a square or straightedge?

Makes me wish I could remember the name of this Korean TV series my parents had on in their house one time when I was visiting—it was a show all about people who did mundane things very, very well. A carpenter who could turn a perfect sphere on a lathe by eye, I mean perfect, like they measured it with a micrometer and a computer and stuff and it was mathematically perfect on every surface. A woman who could roll 120 kimbap a minute, beating a kimbap-rolling machine. Two men who had elevated the moving of tires from one side of a garage to the other to high art—they could send a tire through a serpentine obstacle course with just well-judged spin. They started because they needed to roll the tires around a separating wall.

I am Korean, but I can barely floss my teeth in the time this guy made a fine-looking box :( My parents are undoubtedly disappoint.
posted by peachfuzz at 11:00 AM on December 16, 2011 [17 favorites]


If I tried that where I work, the processors would spend a few minutes impressed at my boxmaking skill, and the other 9:57 of our shift pissed off that I was packing so slow.
posted by idiopath at 11:05 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, artisanal box-making looks cool but it's a lot more efficient to have a stack of ready-made boxes in various sizes.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:10 AM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I guess I just wasn't impressed.

With these types of videos, there are two things that captivate me. Either:

1. Someone is doing something that shouldn't be possible
2. Someone is doing something ordinary in an amazing way. E.g. hanging off a cliff, in a very short time, etc.

Making a box with a straightedge is an ordinary skill, right? It seems like someone could learn how in a day, become proficient in maybe a week.

Show me someone that can make custom boxes as quickly as a normal person can open and fold a premade box from flat, and that would be cool. This is just meh (to me).
posted by NerdcoreRising at 11:14 AM on December 16, 2011


This guy is the like Muhammad Ali of boxing. Wait.
posted by cmoj at 11:15 AM on December 16, 2011 [20 favorites]


When I was working for an aircraft engine company, I was tasked with finding, specifying and ordering the shipping crate we were to use. After some research we decided to go with a cardboard reusable box (it was a 100kg engine for light aviation) that would flat pack so that the engine box would still be usable when the aircraft owners needed to send the engine back for rebuild. In addition, it being reusable helped us with some customs requirements. Especially where treated wood for international shipping was concerned.

So after some initial design discussions I went up to the prototype room part of the company to make the box. They had this massive flat table that the cardboard was laid on and a CNC cutter like the knife the guy has is used to cut out all these intricate shapes. It took about 4 minutes to make all the parts for the engine box and at the end we had a fold and slot together wine-rack style device that held this engine suspended upright with all the ancillaries on it firmly enough that when the outer shell was put on it and strapped (those plastic bands were used) the thing was so solid you could stack them up to 5 engines high with a forklift. A cardboard box. They squash tested it in their test rig and without an engine it could withstand about a tonne. An empty box of pure corrugated carbon components that flat packed down so you could get it in a normal hatchback. When most boxes have the bottoms fall out of them when you put your shopping in them, it's a bit of a mind melt.

Amazing. I left that place (having spent all my life around, at various times, helicopters, light aircraft, millions of dollars of racing cars and all the drama surrounding that) totally impressed and raving about how COMPLETELY AWESOME our new engine box was. I was totally sold on cardboard box technology. I didn't even know cardboard boxes had technology before that. Printed with three colour inks on the outside with all the warnings and company logos I think they came in at around $50 each in small volume, less than half that for larger volume. This was about 1/4 the cost at least of a comparable wooden crate even before printing. It was sturdy enough that we used a box for display engines five or 6 times (flat packing it in between) before the stiffness lost meant it was compromised. Impressive for a piece of cardboard.

The stuff they were doing with cardboard boxes was incredible. I have kept my eye on packaging still (10 years later) and to this day it disappoints me to see styrofoam in boxes of components. Cardboard is such a versatile product (and recyclable very easily) that not enough people are excited about its potential. There is something intensely pleasing from an engineering perspective to watch a flat piece of sheet get cut out to then be flipped and bent into position to make a complex structure like some sort of industrial origami ninja.
posted by Brockles at 11:22 AM on December 16, 2011 [54 favorites]


Also, regarding the tennis racket in the bike box, that sounds like a data entry error to me. I don't work at Amazon, but where I work when we are packing up the orders our computer tells us which of the standard boxes we will need (and whether the customer wants a reused or virgin box). Sometimes bad dimension data gets entered for an item (the pair of long johns that supposedly fill a box the size of a beer case are notorious where I work). Everyone has quotas for the number of units we do, so unless the item is way too big for the box we just smirk and keep moving.
posted by idiopath at 11:28 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I once received something packed in an amazing piece of box technology. The product (can't remember what it was) was suspended in the center of the box, not touching any cardboard at all, held by plastic film that was stretched tightly around it. It seemed very well protected against damage. When it was unpacked, the bit of cardboard + plastic film that accomplished this collapsed to be completely flat -- it was actually just one flat piece of cardboard with a couple of cuts and bit of plastic film glued to it. It seemed very cheap and efficient and simple to make. Impressive origami packaging technology.
posted by madmethods at 11:35 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I liked it when he boxed the thing.
posted by bpm140 at 11:42 AM on December 16, 2011


Cardboard is such a versatile product (and recyclable very easily) that not enough people are excited about its potential.

Amazon does seem to be using custom cardboard-only boxes for their own products like Kindles. (Of course, then you order the power adapter with it and they have to put that and the custom Kindle box into a another larger box, defeating the entire point. Oy.) Also they used custom boxes for the Harry Potter series.
posted by smackfu at 11:45 AM on December 16, 2011


I liked it when he boxed the thing.

I found this difficult to masturbate to?
posted by nathancaswell at 11:47 AM on December 16, 2011


Have you ever seen my favorite unboxing video?
posted by echo target at 11:48 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Have you ever seen my favorite unboxing video?

No but this video made me instantly realize that when you buy one of those Japanese robots they should ship with a little bluetooth fob taped to the outside of the box and the robot should have enough charge so that when you hit the button on the fob they claw out of the packaging... like one arm just comes shooting out and rips the box to shreds like the house at the end of Thriller.
posted by nathancaswell at 12:01 PM on December 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


This was cool. Unboxing videos completely baffle me. Seriously, someone explain them to me.
posted by desjardins at 12:13 PM on December 16, 2011


This was cool. Unboxing videos completely baffle me. Seriously, someone explain them to me.

Yea, I don't get it either. Unless it's something that's stupendously boxed and rarely seen, like Modernist Cuisine in the early days after publication.
posted by slkinsey at 12:31 PM on December 16, 2011


I just can't believe that guy hasn't lost a finger yet.

Yet.

Also glad I don't have to work in a Korean factory.
posted by eggman at 12:37 PM on December 16, 2011


Unboxing videos completely baffle me. Seriously, someone explain them to me.

The only time I watch them is in a situation where the item in question is new and either sold out or shipped early to some people.

I was on the waiting list for a chromebook, for example, and I watched a bunch of unboxing videos while waiting for it.

Or, for example, the Amazon fire ( don't have one, but a good example) was shipped early to preorderers.

It's a good way to satiate the gadget lust in the meantime.
posted by NerdcoreRising at 12:40 PM on December 16, 2011


I just can't believe that guy hasn't lost a finger yet.

If that guy does lose a finger, he'll probably pick some body part, cut off a perfect layer of skin and nail material with that exacto knife, tape it right back on and keep it moving.
posted by cashman at 12:42 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


It took him 2 minutes to wrap that. That's, at best, 30 items an hour. Not sure if Amazon publishes any stats but this blog post estimates 120 items / hour per employee. Building your own box is cool and all, but it's not terribly time efficient.

Yeah, artisanal box-making looks cool but it's a lot more efficient to have a stack of ready-made boxes in various sizes.

Gah. You people. You people. Do you not see how after placing the tape, he uses his knife to smooth out the air bubbles? How he carefully measures, cuts perfectly? Do you know why he does these things? Because this man cares about doing a good job. He probably doesn't care much about this particular job. But he cares about doing a good job. This is a man who doesn't ship excuses. He ships boxes.

Have you even been shopping in Japan or Korea? This is how they do things. Better.

"Efficiency". Sometimes it's not about that. You people.
posted by tracert at 1:01 PM on December 16, 2011 [29 favorites]


I've bought stuff from Japan that was wrapped up very pretty. It kind of confused me, since after I unwrapped, I felt bad about throwing the box out. But that way madness lies.
posted by smackfu at 1:33 PM on December 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


How he carefully measures, cuts perfectly?

But he bangs really hard on the box to get it to fit...
posted by Malice at 2:04 PM on December 16, 2011


As for this guy, I was impressed he free-handed the first few scores. I wonder if it's corrugated cardboard so that guides it to be straight?

That seems reasonable, especially because he only free-hands in one direction; for the perpendicular scores he uses the straightedge.
posted by stebulus at 2:16 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


This may sound a little insensitive, but I enjoyed imagining that he is also a meticulous and efficient serial killer in his spare time.
posted by orme at 2:29 PM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Like a Boss huh? at least is was spelled right and not Baws or Bau5 or some other crazy thing.

If you like this you might like Epic tea house server. People doing their jobs really really well, making something that seems mundane into something exceptional is pretty cool.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:07 PM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]



Unboxing videos completely baffle me. Seriously, someone explain them to me.


There's a name for that.

posted by Wordwoman at 3:46 PM on December 16, 2011


Must be a Korean thing, back in the 70's, stationed in Korea, it was worth it to buy something to ship to the folks at home just to watch those guys make the box!
posted by tomswift at 4:12 PM on December 16, 2011


I just can't believe that guy hasn't lost a finger yet.

all i could do was ask myself, why isn't that guy wearing a cut glove? - i'll never be as good as him - but i'm going to keep my fingers
posted by pyramid termite at 5:00 PM on December 16, 2011


Not sure if Amazon publishes any stats but this blog post estimates 120 items / hour per employee.

4 flights - rows - of 350 flat, sealed in half, milk cartons (4 oz or 8 oz) into one box, every 35 or 40 seconds - and that includes turning the flat box into a box you can put the cartons in - for as long as 12 hours

and if you think it's easy to hold 350 flat, sealed in half, milk cartons and carry them to a box, it's not

been there, done that, still work there - now we have automatic packers

120 items/hour per employee, if they've got it set up well, sounds about right to me - hard work, but doable
posted by pyramid termite at 5:14 PM on December 16, 2011


let me hasten to add that doing that in a 110 degree warehouse would be awful, and we have better climate control than that
posted by pyramid termite at 5:18 PM on December 16, 2011


Required reading for any conversation about packaging and Asia:

How to Wrap Five Eggs
posted by joshwa at 8:06 PM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Now i know why those things are called box cutters.
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 10:42 PM on December 16, 2011


tracert: "You people."

I would love to put that kind of care and time into my job.

I would be fired within a week and would not be able to pay my bills, but I guess I would have the pride of a job well done.
posted by idiopath at 1:17 AM on December 17, 2011


JINGWEI CB Series Carton Box Sample Cutting Machine, Sample Maker (Cutting Corrugated Paper) [SLYT]:
JINGWEI CB series carton box sample making machine (cad cutting table), with servo motor-controlled Z axis, and modularized multi-functional tool head (made up of oscillating knife, non-oscillating tangential knife, creasing wheel, scoring tool, plotting pen, laser locating pointers...), may thorough cut/kiss cut/score/mark/position on cardboard, chip board, ejection rubber... (corrugated paper up to 15mm thick, and foam up to 30mm), is a versatile machine for package/die-making/POP&POS prototyping and small-lot production.
Just the tool for those last-minute present wrapping sessions on Christmas Eve.
posted by cenoxo at 11:34 AM on December 17, 2011


« Older Chris Covell translated a Japanese social studies ...  |  We've talked about using neti ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments