Although many common packaging terms have a universal meaning or definition, others have industry-specific meanings and definitions. If you don’t use the proper packaging terminology for a project as important as custom packaging, confusion and miscommunication are very likely to occur. Professionals in the industry use specific packaging terminologies and vernacular, which is important to understand.
Packaging and printing are rarely hands-off activities. Designers, printers, and production managers are often the people whom companies spend a lot of time directly communicating with.
The packaging & folding carton terminology can sometimes be confusing, even to experienced industry professionals. Our goal at Asiapack is to make your printing and packaging processes as simple and efficient as possible. We are nimble and flexible due to our single-source business model, constantly pushing the limits of packaging.
Here is a list of helpful common packaging terminologies you should know when communicating with your packaging solutions provider:
Thermoforming produces highly functional plastic parts and has become a popular plastic molding technique. During this manufacturing process, heat is applied to thin plastic sheets to facilitate their manipulation. Forming a sheet of pliable material over a male or female mold occurs once a sheet reaches a pliable temperature. When the end product has been cooled, it is trimmed in order to make it more usable.
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
As a rigid plastic, polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, is designed to hold up against harsh impacts and temperatures.
Flexible, light, strong, transparent, tough, and safe, PVC is the ideal building material. The packaging material exhibits excellent organoleptic properties (the taste of packaged food is not affected), and it requires less energy to manufacture and transport than other materials such as glass or metal.
In addition to cables, roof materials, signs, flooring, fake leather clothing, pipes, and hoses, this material has many other applications. Suspension polymerization produces PVC plastic which is hard and rigid. Due to its durability, dependability, and lightweight, flexible PVC helps packaging to do its job quite well at maintaining the integrity of the contents inside.
A thermoplastic commonly used in everyday life, polypropylene (PP) is one of the most widely used materials in the world. There are a variety of uses for polypropylene, from plastic packaging to plastic parts for machinery and equipment to fibers and textiles.
The waterproof property and high resistance to moisture absorption make polypropylene a perfect packaging material. Polypropylene (PP) is a versatile thermoplastic – it has the lowest density and is resistant to stress cracking, making it one of the lightest materials.
A thermoplastic polymer with a variable crystalline structure, polyethylene, can be used for a number of different applications. Plastics such as polyethylene are among the most widely produced materials in the world, with millions of tons produced each year.
Thermoplastics are particularly useful because they can be heated to their melting point, cooled, and then reheated again without degrading significantly. PE’s diverse functions make it suitable for use in a wide range of applications.
PET (Polyester/Polyethylene Terephthalate)
The chemical polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is a form of polyester (much like the fabric used in clothing). Food and beverage bottles, personal care products, and many other consumer products are packaged with this plastic.
PET is a highly valued packaging material due to its strength, lightweight, non-reactive nature, affordability, and shatterproof properties. Health authorities around the world recognize PET’s safety for use in food, beverages, personal care, pharmaceuticals, and medical products.
High-Frequency Sealed Blister
Also called ultrasonically sealed blister, high frequency welded blister. The two blister halves are joined by high-frequency (HF) welding. The resulting joint can only be broken with a knife or scissors. Hence, HF welded blisters are perfect for heavy products and items attractive to shoplifters.
The blister card is attached to the blister by using heat and pressure. Heat activates the adhesive on the blister card. Blister packaging made by heat sealing is known as heat seal blister pack.
Essentially, the card comprises a rigid, thermoformed plastic that’s joined (via heat sealing) to a coated back. The clear plastic acts as an enclosure for products in a heat seal blister pack during marketing and advertising.
Also called captured blister. The blister is placed between two pieces of cardboard sealed together. Two single blisters can be used to make the product visible from both the front and back of the packaging. This design has great promotional value as the contents are clearly visible. It is also attractive for environmental reasons because the packaging components (plastic and cardboard) can be separated completely, and it uses much less plastic than similar size HF sealed blister.
Corrugate material is made from paper made of cellulose fibers. The board consists of formed fluting that is faced with a liner on both sides. A corrugated board consists of one or more sheets of fluted paper adhered to one or more liner papers. The manufacturing process requires at least two layers of paper, very high humidity (steam), glue, and heating only. That’s why corrugated is treated as an environmentally friendly product.
Arches in the corrugated carton are known as flutes. They resist bending and pressure from all directions, capable of supporting a great deal of weight. When pressure is applied to the side of the board, the space in between the flutes acts as a cushion to protect the container’s contents. At the same time, the vertical liner board provides more strength and protects the flutes from damage. Flutes come in several standard shapes or flute profiles (A, B, C, E, F, etc.). A-flute was the first to be developed and is the largest common flute profile. B-flute was next and is much smaller. C-flute followed and is between A and B in size. E-flute is smaller than B, and F-flute is the smallest.
Corrugated fiberboard cartons are made by gluing two flat pieces of linerboard together with fluted corrugated materials. Their lightweight nature makes them a favorite among online businesses. Besides being cost-effective and lightweight, they protect products wonderfully during transit.
This corrugated fiberboard carton is made of three sheets of linerboard interleaved with two sheets of fluted corrugated material. Thanks to their strength, durability, and versatility, several industries use double-wall cardboard boxes when storing and transporting heavy loads.
Their environmental benefits, affordability, and durability make them a smart choice for various products.
The purpose of this test is not only to test the actual package but also to see how well the intended content is protected by the package. The test simulates actual shocks by dropping the package and its intended content freely against a rigid plane surface from a predetermined height. The package is set up to hit the surface at a particular angle and on a particular attitude, face, edge, or corner, of the package.
Various forms of transportation vibrations can be simulated by means of a vibration test. The test bench can be made to swing and vibrate in almost any direction with a number of frequencies and amplitudes to emulate the transportation being used.
A package vibration test aims to simulate the type of vibrations that packages experience when handled, transported, and shipped. Vibrations could cause damage to packages by causing them to lose their integrity.
Therefore, this kind of testing aims to determine if your export packaging will maintain safety when being jostled around in, for instance, a truck or if it will come apart at the seams!
Packaging that comes into contact directly with the product is primary packaging. Primary packaging is designed for product containment, protection, and preservation, particularly against contamination.
An example would be a plastic pouch containing whole-grain cereal or a cardboard box containing the cereal pouch. Consumers are most likely to use this kind of packaging.
Consumers will be able to handle products much easier, making the products more appealing. It can be used as a communication tool for conveying product information to them.
The term is used to describe larger cases or boxes that are used to group quantities of primary packaged goods for distribution (inner carton, outer carton… are secondary packaging).
A shelf-ready package (SRP) or retail-ready package (RRP) refers to products sent to retail stores in a format that can be displayed immediately. As a result, it is not necessary to take out the boxes and arrange the products on store shelving individually.
Packaging goes straight from the factory to the point of sale without being unwrapped.
Brands and retailers can benefit from shelf-ready packaging, which enhances product presentation, increases shopper loyalty, and streamlines the entire supply chain.
This term is related to displays and shelves at any point of sales. This is an adjective for products at display. Color and design are used to draw the consumer’s attention to a product and make it stand out from the competition.
When you’re next in the grocery store, take a stroll down an inner aisle. Keep an eye out for products that look interesting. What appeals to you about them? Do the colors, the lettering, or the placement make a difference?
Consider these factors when designing your packaging. When the consumer looks at your product, you want them to find it quickly, thus taking less time before deciding if it’s right for them. This is where shelf appeal comes into play.
Manufacturers of packaging products use die-cutting. In packaging, die-cutting is the process of cutting materials into varied shapes, designs, and patterns using a die.
Folding carton packaging is one of the most common uses of die-cutting. The purpose of die-cutting for businesses is to create unique, customized packaging that showcases the company’s brand narrative and customer experience.
Manufacturing custom packaging in larger quantities is easier, faster, and more cost-effective, making it a win-win for businesses and manufacturers.
It’s a model or mock-up of the proposed solution. A packaging prototype illustrates how your packaging (with full graphics) will look before it is mass-produced. Handwork or light machinery is typically used to make the prototype.
It might not be a perfect prototype and is technically imperfect. Still, it represents a unit of your packaging without the expense of mass-producing it.