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PackagingSuppliesByMail.com Blog

  • Digital and Flexographic Printing for Custom Labels

    Custom labels are a practice followed by many of the businesses to personalize them to connect more easily with their customers. There are many ways in which custom labels can be printed; however flexographic printing and digital printing methods are more popular due to the flexibility and cost-effective options they introduce.

    Digital and Flexographic Printing for Custom Labels

    Flexographic Printing

    This high-quality printing solution makes use of plastic plates or flexible rubber that print images on a substrate. The plates stick to a printing cylinder and have the ability to transfer images to a variety of substrates including metallic films, fluorescent labels, coated papers, polyester films, and vinyl labels. Flexography uses a variety of quick-dry inks ( photochromic ink, thermochromic ink, hydrochromic ink and touch n’ smell ink to name a few ) that can be used in creative packaging designs.

    Digital Printing

    Digital printing does not include plates for printing and thus requires less set-up time and mechanisms. The lesser set-up time allows operators to imbibe last-minute changes easily and quickly. With digital printing you can produce multiple batches with maximum accuracy and quick turnaround. As it is user-friendly and highly flexible, many businesses choose this method to create custom labels including customers’ personal details such as names, addresses, etc.

    Which method to choose when printing in bulk?

    When you require printing custom labels in bulk quantities, flexographic printing stands out to be a cost-effective solution. Flexography is a high-speed printing process that involves fast-drying inks and delivers the best result when printing large numbers of identical labels. It is also a better option when you need to print plastic cups, wallpapers, shopping bags, corrugated cardboard, or food packaging.

  • Tips for Choosing the Right Heat Sealer

    Heat sealers are machines that are used for mending both the sides of packaging film together so that it forms an air tight seal. The heat sealers use heat to melt and mend materials together to form a seal. However, it is necessary to understand what materials can be used with the heat sealers. Also, you need to determine the thickness of the packaging film to be used with specific type of sealers.

    Common Materials

    Many products are sealed using a heat sealer. Most of the flexible materials are measured in mils. Materials that are 1-3 mils thick are considered standard. Materials ranging from 4-8 mils of thickness are medium to heavy. The thicker materials need more heat and thicker seals to mend the material together properly.

    Shrink Wrapping

    Types of Heat Sealers

    There are two varieties of heat sealers available on the market – flat wire and round wire. The former is designed for thicker films that are up to 8 mils thick while the latter have thinner seal seams and are generally used for thinner materials.

    Round wire sealers – These offer certain benefits over the flat wire sealers. The round wire sealers cut excess film once the seal is done and they also have thinner seal seams that look better. These sealers are often used with shrink wrapping. A drawback to the round wire sealers is that they form a thin seal that limits the strength of the seal. They cannot make proper, reliable seals with films thicker than 4 mils.

    Flat wire sealers – The flat wire sealers are available in a variety of widths and can be conveniently used with thicker films carrying heavier products. These make a strong, full seal and leave the excess film on the bag itself which can either be used for hanger holes or custom printed headers. They can also be embossed for an added strength to the seal. The only disadvantage with the flat wire sealers is that it doesn’t cut down the excess film from the package. In case the film needs to be cut, you would require a separate cutter to do the job.

    Depending on the products you must pack, you can now determine which heat sealer would work best for you to refrain from packaging disasters and a bad customer experience.

  • Consider Human Senses When Optimizing Packaging Design

    Human consumers are the ones you target to sell your product to. As humans, we distinguish our thoughts and decisions through the five senses which have been observed by marketing specialists for years, in designing products, as well as product packaging. Let’s focus on how triggering the human senses through packaging design can potentially drive them to purchasing your product.

    packaging supplies

    SIGHT

    Obviously, consumers notice the color, shape and text your product packaging displays and a visually distinct packaging makes you stand out from your competition. Here, make sure you do the exact opposite of what your competitors are doing. For example, if their package is loud with all sorts of pictures and text, follow a minimalistic approach while designing your package.

    SMELL

    Smell is an important aspect to consider as it is mostly overlooked. Remember that your consumers’ package unboxing experience must be unique and this can be easily achieved by carefully choosing what materials go into the manufacturing of your packaging and how they are processed. You may also think of incorporating a good quality scent into your packaging as that enhances the olfactory experience of your consumers.

    TOUCH

    It is possible to interact with your consumers with your packaging. Consider incorporating pull-tabs, plush suede or pop-ups that would be truly a unique unboxing experience for the consumers. Such functional and interesting packaging would be worth sharing and you may stand out from your competitors while increasing the list of loyal customers.

    SOUND

    The auditory experience while unboxing your package is also an essential element. Don’t be too noisy with your packaging as that would be really annoying. You can refine every sound your customer hears by appropriate selection of packaging materials. Select heavier materials that sound deep rather than the thinner ones that have a higher pitch as the sound quality relates to the perceived quality of your product as well as brand.

    TASTE

    The sense of taste is more related to the food packaging. All the above factors – sight, smell, touch and sound impact the perceived taste of your product. How you present the packaging, how it feels and smells, everything plays an important role in perceiving the taste of your food product.

  • Tips for Designing an Experience-Driven Packaging

    The packaging box is a significant part of a customer’s journey. Who doesn’t like to feel special? We all like to, don’t we? Making a buyer feel special about his purchase can turn out huge benefits to you as a brand. Creating an incredible unboxing experience needs sincere efforts and a creative vision. The best way to understand this is to step yourself into the customers’ shoes and thinking from their perspective. No doubt, customer trend constantly changes, but certain factors still remain constant.

    Packaging Design

    Packaging is as Important as Your Product

    Although product quality matters, packaging plays a key role in triggering customer’s buying decision.

    Here are a few tips to help you innovate an experience-driven packaging.

    MAKE SURE TO ENGAGE YOUR CUSTOMERS

    Do not make the mistake of thinking that box is just a box when selling your brand. Let the packaging speak. The box has much more to do than simply protecting the product within. Be subtle yet distinct with the design and ensure the customer feels the difference with your brand.

    INVEST IN TEXTURES

    Sense of touch is very important. No matter how visually appealing your packaging is, the feel of hand says it all about the quality and detailing you observe while serving your customers.

    Packaging technology allows companies to innovate in order to create a customer-driven packaging. You can use embossing or hot stamping, change the standard shape or add a different foil to enhance the texture.

    When thinking to elevate your brand above others, it is important to think deeply not only about the product quality, but also about your website, packaging, customer service, and delivery. The whole journey makes it a wonderful customer experience.

  • Important Tips to Avoid Packaging Downtime

    Packaging downtime means a huge loss to the company’s bottom line. Although there are several reasons for the downtime to occur, keeping your packaging machinery up-to-date with regular maintenance at timely intervals can prevent this.

    Packaging Supplies

    Practice Preventive Maintenance

    This strategy is a full-proof mechanism against saving your business from facing any kind of discrepancies. Once you have a predefined preventive maintenance schedule, it becomes easier to keep a check on obsolete/non-functional parts. With technicians intervening regularly, you are at the least risk of a sudden breakout.

    Measure Optimum Output During Uptime

    When you track your productivity daily or weekly, it is possible that you notice any slow spots in the line when compared to other times and immediately take necessary action. Slower or lesser than normal or average performance of your packaging line means there is something that needs an immediate attention. With this, you will stay prepared with a well-functioning machinery when you must deliver an urgent consignment.

    Follow Maintenance Checklists

    Sometimes it is possible that even with regular maintenance of your packaging machinery, there is lack of care during operation. Proper cleaning and lubrication with basic inspections everyday must be a part of the operators’ job.

    The best way is to compile a checklist of maintenance tasks and frequencies that is easy to understand and implement. Also, provide ample time into the operators’ shifts so that they are not overburdened. There must also be a proper supervision of the tasks by a supervisor who would maintain a record of the inspections along with the operators’ list who were responsible during the specific time intervals. This helps you audit the equipment conditions on timely basis and provides a well documented draft for the maintenance staff to make further analysis.

    Have Spare Parts Stocked Up

    Machines are unpredictable, so you would notice a sudden malfunctioning of critical parts, it is good to have them on hand. This saves you from manufacturing chaos and frustration.

    Plan Your Budget for Upgrades

    Consider upgrading your packaging machinery based on the maintenance reports including the number of times equipment is repaired, the duration and frequency of downtime and the cost company had incurred for the same. It is better to plan beforehand by making necessary quarterly arrangements, so you would not have to invest the capital unexpectantly.

  • What is the Temperature Resistance of Your Packaging Material?

    It is important to understand the temperature limits of your packaging material when it comes to packing hot or cold items in a specific form. While many times it is a matter of confusion whether a foam container is safe to go into the microwave or the oven-safe container is safe to be kept in the freezer, here is a helpful guide to understand the temperature limits of your packaging containers.

    Packaging Materials

    Polystyrene (Foam) Cups, Containers, and Dinnerware

    Foam characterizes excellent insulation properties and also has thermal resistance to some extent which makes it fairly applicable to both hot as well as cold foods. It keeps hot foods hot and cold foods stay cold in a foamed polystyrene container. Polystyrene is a sustainable packaging material that is also popular for its versatility and affordability.

    Polypropylene Containers

    Polypropylene is the best choice of material when it comes to microwave safe packaging. As the material offers high resistance to heat, it does not get warped in the microwave. PP is now accepted by curbside recycling programs too.

    PET

    PET is a solid plastic that is most often used in the bottling of water and soda. The versatile substrate is widely accepted by municipality curbside recycling programs. IT comes in two variants – APET & CPET. APET is known to enhance the shelf life of food products with an expiry date. APET are a perfect choice for confectionery items, cookies, pastries, natural snacks, cold drinks and more such items. CPET is a crystallized form of PET that has the capacity of withstanding very high and extremely low temperatures. So, this material can be safely used in the microwave and even in the freezer as it withstands temperatures of up to 400°F.

  • 4 Signs You Definitely Need a Stretch Wrap Machine

    Stretch wrap machines are one such investment that is usually overlooked as wrapping pallets by hand seems easy and cost-effective alternative. There is no right time than now to consider purchasing a stretch wrap machine. Below are certain signs which if you notice at your warehouses, there is no better option than buying a stretch wrap machine.

    Stretch Wrap

    #1 Greater than 2 loads damaged due to toppling

    Product damage during transit is an obvious risk. Toppling or collapsing of loads can happen due to multiple reasons such as mishandling, improper wrapping/stacking of pallets, selecting the wrong film, etc. However, in majority of the cases when pallets are hand-wrapped, the reason is improper wrapping.

    Stretch films should be stretched to their maximum capacity i.e. 85%-90% to hold loads in place. With hand wrapping, this definitely cannot be achieved.

    Sometimes, the damage caused due to toppling of loads can be higher than the cost of a stretch wrap machine.

    #2 Frequent employee complaints and injuries

    Wrapping several pallets by hand every day causes dizziness and back aches. Employees can become fatigued, frustrated and this can negatively impact their efficiency at work. Moreover, workplace injuries can be costly that can even exceed the cost of a new stretch wrap machine.

    If you have received several complaints about health issues and time spent in wrapping loads, it is time for the capital expenditure.

    #3 High expenditure on stretch films

    When hand wrapping, employees hardly obtain the maximum stretchability of the stretch wrap and this accounts for more film usage which can easily be reduced to half if stretched to its capacity.

    #4 Taller pallet loads

    Wrapping tall pallets is really difficult and so is the ability to roll the wrap high and obtain the required stretch rate. A stretch wrap machine is the best solution for wrapping tall shipments that also ensure worker safety and saves time.

    If you have noticed any of the above signs, then it is the right time to change your traditional means and buy a new stretch wrapping machine. Having automated the stretch wrapping tasks, you will witness increased efficiency, reduced product loss/damage, lower employment costs and increased employee satisfaction.

  • Important Factors in Selecting the Right Packaging Materials Supplier

    Modern packaging necessities lead manufacturers and other companies to consider thorough research when it comes to selecting a packaging materials supplier. Packaging is a complex area and you need the right players to hit the ball high.

    Packaging Materials

    Let us go through a checklist of things to be considered before making a choice.

    1. Selection of materials

    First, you need to assess whether the supplier deals with the materials you would require for your product packaging. Also, an important thing you need to know is whether they always have the stock when you need it. Do they source the required material in definite quantities as requested?

    Is your item seasonal?

    Some items are sold in specific seasons. Your supplier must be able to cope up with your seasonal material needs.

    1. Pricing

    Pricing should be judged on two parameters – quantity & quality of the packaging material in comparison with that of other competitions. Here you must be clever enough to analyze on a higher perspective like customer service and delivery times rather than only considering the numbers.

    1. Quality

    Product quality is of utmost importance. Ensure that the packaging materials you use adhere to the established quality standards while serving the specific needs of consumers.

    1. Service

    Is your packaging materials vendor able to serve you when you decide to downsize or plan an expansion? Assess the ability of the vendor of being flexible to serve your changing requirements.

    1. Delivery

     Though many would recommend that you order enough stock for use when needed, the truth is, it increases your warehouse costs and may cause loss when items are damaged/ expired even before they could be used. Look for a packaging materials supplier with stellar delivery track record. 

    1. Reports

    All said and done, the paperwork matters. Clear, easy-to-read documents, reports and accurate invoices are a primary requisite when it comes to a professional business relationship.

    1. Sustainability

    Environment friendliness is worth a check point when you approach a packaging materials vendor as it represents your company’s corporate social responsibility.

    COMMUNICATION MATTERS

    The untold secret to finding the right business deal is clear --- transparent communication. You must ask the right questions to be well-informed about your specific requirements. This would enable you select a vendor who is flexible enough to scale up to your expectations with time.

  • Guide to Selecting the Right Flexible Packaging for Your Product

    Flexible packaging is being talked about a lot these days, and for good reason. Manufacturers, marketers and even consumers are promoting the use of flexible packaging. The idea of flexible packaging not only serves the mobile consumer’s needs but also reduces the environmental impact caused by waste of expired items on the shelves and that results from frequent freight shipments.

    SELECTING THE RIGHT FLEXIBLE PACKAGING

    Before you investigate the types of flexible packaging materials, it is important to consider the following pointers:

    • Type of product
    • Product shape, weight and dimensions
    • The packaging mechanism
    • Handling frequency & exposure to environment

    Discuss the above parameters in detail before you move to selecting the right packaging material.

    Polyolefin (POF)

    This packaging material is versatile, durable and FDA approved. With high level of puncture resistance and seal strength this can be used to pack irregularly shaped items with ease. POF is 100% recyclable which is an added advantage and the POF shrink films offer ultimate clarity to make your product safely packed while being clearly visible. The pre-perforated film variety is often used in the packing of games, toys, foods, books, etc. where visibility is important.

    High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

    Also known as polyethylene high-density (PEHD), this is a polyethylene thermoplastic that is made from petroleum and is highly versatile. The packaging material is commonly used for packaging plastic lumber, corrosion-resistant piping, plastic bottles, etc. It is also used in the manufacture of almost anything from hard hats to jugs. The material finds use in heavy-duty stretch wrapping needs such as bundling farm produce as it is extremely breathable to be able to maintain the freshness of the products.

    Plastic Resealable Bags

    Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)

    As the name suggests, LDPE has a lower density. It is highly resistant to moisture, impact and chemicals. Therefore, LDPE is highly used in applications that require heat sealing as well as in the manufacture of wires, cables, flexible lids and bottles.

    Linear Low-Density Polyethylene (LLDPE)

    The most flexible of the polyethylene films, the LLDPE is very commonly used in the packaging industry. A blended form of LDPE, this material is just perfect for stretching and is commonly used to protect heavy loads during transit.

    Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET, PETE)

    Clear and tough, the PET possesses good moisture barrier properties. It is globally recognized for its strength, flexibility and 100% recyclability. It takes a new life when recycled. PET is extremely lightweight and is commonly used in plastic beverage bottles for water, soft drinks, and the similar and is a common element found in food jars containing jams, pickles, peanut butter, etc. PET is also safe to use in the manufacture of microwave-safe appliances.

    Stretch Wrap

    Polypropylene (PP)

    Polypropylene is a thermoplastic “addition polymer” with a high melting point that makes it a good choice for hot-fill liquids. PP is a material that is used in the packaging, electrical, automotive and construction industries while also being widely in household applications. It is often used in combination with polyethylene as an outer layer in multi-layer pouches.

    Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC, Vinyl)

    The flexible and lightweight PVC helps packaging maintain the integrity of products packed within, including medicines. The PVC is largely used in variety of application in construction industries as well as electronics, healthcare, automobile sectors. It is largely used in blister packs, blood bags, cable insulation, etc.

    Industrial gloves

    The list is large, and it is wise to use the right flexible packaging material for your products considering whether high melting point, recycling or durability is your primary requirement. It is always better to perform research and multi-layer testing of your packaging to ensure a packaging that fulfills its purpose well while also appealing consumers’ interests.

  • Robotic Bagging Solutions Have Revolutionized the Packaging Industry

    Clear, crisp, and even tamper-proof bagging has ever been the need for reliable packaging solutions. However safe the packaging material is, you also need to ensure that you are equipped with the proper packaging machinery. Enter the new and innovatively designed industrial bag closing machine,

    Hamer-Fischbein has introduced a next-generation fully automated bagging solution. This machinery delivers consistent hanging, opening, positioning, and transferring of open-mouth bags with robotic intervention that confirms increase in production capacity while delivering reliable performance.

    Reclosable Bags

    The Hamer-Fischbein bagging solutions have revolutionized the way packages are formed, filled and sealed. They have accumulated experience from over 40 years to invent a fully automated bagging solution that withstand dusty products to produce clean and reliable seals. The huge horizontal machines are crafted to be easily used by anyone who has no experience working with them and they are easy to maintain.

    With the high speed and reliability of Hamer-Fischbein, the horizontal form, fill and seal machines are widely used in the industry in varied applications such as sand, compost, stones, cement, fertilizers, chemicals, metal oxides and dry solids. Their new FFS (form, fill and seal) machine - Model 3100 FFS is specially designed for concrete and specific needs of the market while The Model 2090 FFS is the perfect bagging solution for the wood pallet industry.

    Fischbein has been innovating and successfully bringing to market efficient and productivity-oriented bagging solutions that have satisfied a large sector of the industry till date. Packaging innovations have found a breeding ground with the research team of Hamer & Fischbein. We keep looking forward to such scientifically tested and performance-efficient packaging solutions that save both man-hours as well as man-efforts.

    The Hamer-Fischbein team has introduced many other bagging solutions including bag sewing & sealing machines, Filling & weighing machines, and robotic palletizing machines that have taken bagging equipment to a new horizon.

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