Friday, January 27, 2017

3 Packaging Tips When Shipping Electronics

Packaging and Shipping Electronics
Technology is constantly evolving and many people are eager to obtain the latest electronics. Electronics are relatively fragile and often expensive, so it's important to understand how to safely pack and ship these products. Take a look at the following tips to properly package electronics so you can prevent costly damages and returns that can occur when shipping electronic devices.

Properly Secure Batteries For Shipping

Most electronics require batteries or are equipped with detachable batteries for power. Although batteries such as lithium are common in many of today's electronics, these components can be a source of hazardous heat, sparks or fire if improperly packed for shipping. According to UPS, when shipping almost any type of battery, you must safeguard all terminals against short-circuiting. To do so, completely cover them with an insulating, non-conductive material or pack each battery in fully enclosed inner packaging to ensure exposed terminals are protected.

Separate Cords and Accessories

When electronics have several components, it's always good to stay organized by separating the cords and accessories. Separating and bundling the cords significantly helps the user, as well as the retailer, by:

  • Creating more organized space so loose cords are not tangling with other items in the carton
  • Separated items can be labeled to make it easier for the user to identify each piece and know how they connect
  • Providing a better customer experience helps build your business's brand 

Use Effective Shipping Materials 

It’s important to utilize the right shipping materials to ensure that your electronics remain safe and arrive to your customer in pristine condition. The following packing materials are effective in keeping your electronics safe and secure.

Corrugated Cartons 

Corrugated cartons are different from cardboard boxes.  Cardboard boxes are any type of box made from heavy paper pulp.  Typical applications include cereal cartons and game boxes.  Corrugated cartons are comprised of three layers of paper that includes an inside liner, an outside liner, and fluting with a ruffled shape, which runs in between the two. The corrugated fiberboard sheet is created by gluing the 3 sheets together. As a result of their design, corrugated cartons are cost-effective and, depending upon their construction, can hold a wide variety of weights, protect against moisture and are a sustainable choice.  Depending on the amount of protection required, corrugate is available in a wide variety of sizes and thickness.

Void Fill / Air Pillows

Protective packing, or void fill, are important to keep items separated from each other and from the corners, sides, top and bottom of the box. It helps prevent items from moving around in the carton.  Materials available include packing peanuts, and air pillows.  Air pillows are an excellent interior packing material choice.
Air pillows are not only more cost-effective than packing peanuts but also provide a more effective cushion for your products. This will ensure your products make it to the customer safely and without employing polystyrene packing peanuts that many people prefer not to receive.  Air pillows are environmentally friendly. The total volume of filled air pillows is just 1% of the initial size for disposal.

Water-Activated Tape 

It is important to choose water-activated tape for your carton sealing application so you can keep your customers satisfied and maintain your bottom line.  When shipping expensive electronics, you want a tape that will keep your products safe and will be cost-effectiveness.  Water-activated tape provides these advantages because when the adhesive is activated with water, it penetrates the carton material and the tape forms a permanent bond with the carton. As a result, it creates a strong seal that is tamper-evident.  Water-activated tape is available in various widths and thicknesses and may contain strands of fiberglass reinforcement to provide added strength.

IPG's Water-Activated Tape

IPG offers a full line of Better Packages gummed packaging tape dispensers, along with Central brand water-activated tape. Water-activated tape (also known as gummed tape, gum tape, Kraft paper tape, reinforced paper tape) is designed to create a superior seal on corrugated cartons while providing advantages other carton sealing methods do not.

Central brand water-activated carton sealing tape is offered in a wide range of paper and reinforced gummed paper tape styles, roll lengths and widths to best fit your carton sealing needs. It is the preferred choice of packaging specialists when quality, strength, security and professional appearance are critical.

Still wondering if water-activated tape is right for your company? Request a sample and explore the enhanced carton sealing solutions for yourself.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Masking Tape – The Core Basics

Masking Tape: Adhesive, Backing, Release CoatWe have all experienced masking tape problems at some point, whether a weekend project at home or out on the job site. Having experienced issues in the past, we’ve learned that it all comes down to buying the right tape for the job. Easy, right?  Not exactly! I work in the tape industry and I still get confused walking through the tape section of a big box store. I can’t imagine how overwhelming it must be for a DIYer or contractor searching through an entire aisle of different brands, colors, sizes, prices, etc…where to begin?!

Understanding Painter’s Masking Tape

“Masking Tape” (a term most often used categorizing paper tapes) comes from the act of protecting or masking an area prior to the application of painting, coating or surface treatment. But are all masking tapes created equal? Let’s take a closer look.

The composition of masking tape at its most fundamental level is made up of three layers: backing, adhesive and release coat. (See illustration, top of page.) The backing is generally made from a saturated crepe paper. Crepe paper is known for its ability to stretch, allowing the tape to bend and conform around curves. Saturation helps enhance the paper’s physical properties and can also add color if preferred. The paper can be smooth crepe or coarse crepe—smooth crepe is used on high performance products, leaving a clean paint line and no bleed-through. Coarse crepe has a rough finish and is commonly used in general purpose applications where a clean line is not necessarily required.

The two types of adhesives used are acrylic and rubber (or synthetic rubber).  Acrylic adhesives can be water-based or solvent-based and use synthesized polymers to formulate an adhesive structure that is applied to the tape. Acrylics have medium initial adhesion, temperature resistance, solvent resistance, UV resistance and durability.  Rubber adhesives can consist of natural or synthetic rubber. Natural rubber adhesives have a medium to high tack and are used for general purpose applications. Synthetic rubber adhesives are formed by mixing synthetic compounds with rubber.  These are medium tack and intended for indoor and outdoor painting applications. Rubber and synthetic rubber adhesives have medium-high initial adhesion, temperature resistance, UV resistance, and durability.

The release coat controls the tape’s unwind values, its adhesion to backing values and adhesive consistencies. In other words—the release coat allows the tape to come off the roll easily and not stick to itself.  There you have it, lesson one in the books! Learning what masking tape is and how it’s made is key to understanding how it works and why it works (or doesn’t work—we will cover this later). In Part II we will learn about applications—what to use, why to use and how to use—and break down acrylic and rubber masking tapes further, discussing chemical additives that can give the tape new properties and

Written by Brandon Paas, Consumer Marketing Manager, IPG