Wednesday, July 31, 2019

How Does An Electric Water-Activated Tape Dispenser Improve Productivity?

Streamlining the packing and shipping process in your warehouse is a never-ending game of optimization. One of our most common suggestions is to make the switch from plastic, pressure-sensitive tape (PST) to water-activated tape (WAT).
If you are currently using handheld tape guns with PST to seal your cartons, you are missing out on potential productivity and safety upgrades. 
Using WAT and an electric dispenser will increase both the productivity and safety of your packing station.
If you’re new to water-activated tape (also called gummed paper tape), check out our guide here.

Productivity Perk #1: Operating Electric Tape Dispensers Is Faster

Electric tape machines are extremely user-friendly. 
After loading the tape and powering up the dispenser, the machine operator pushes a numbered button that corresponds to the desired length of tape. The machine wets and automatically cuts the tape to the length on the selected button. The operator then transfers the tape to the open carton, positions it, places the tape on the open flaps and presses down. The tape then bonds to the carton, providing security and strength.
Water-activated tape is made from paper, with a starch adhesive and often incorporates fiberglass reinforced strands for added strength. In order for the tape to stick to the carton, it must be "activated" with water. Electric tape machines incorporate a water heater. The heated water aids tape adhesion.

Productivity Perk #2: Electric Tape Dispensers Cut To Pre-Set Lengths

Consistency with tape length is key to keeping budgets under control and aesthetics up to customer expectations. 
Rather than estimating the necessary length for each strip of tape, electric WAT dispensers allow the operator to choose from a variety of buttons with pre-set (and customizable) lengths.
Tip: To determine the length of tape required for sealing a carton, take the length of the carton and add 6 inches to provide overhang on either side of the carton for a strong seal. (For example, if your carton is 12 inches long, you would want to choose a tape length of 18 inches.)

Productivity Perk #3: Reduced Movement Required To Seal Cartons

Typically, electric tape dispensers are used in facilities to help boost productivity by reducing the number of movements a packer must make to seal a carton. 
An independent research study demonstrated that carton sealing productivity is 21% higher using a WAT dispenser and WAT versus a hand-held tape gun and PST.*

Watch the video below demonstrating the speed and benefits of WAT vs PST.

Safety Perk #1: Far Less Fatigue

The reduction in movement required when an electric packaging tape dispenser is doing a large part of the work both enhances packer speed and reduces fatigue.

Safety Perk #2: Reduced Risk of Injury

Using electric tape dispensers during packaging and shipping can reduce the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a real risk when employees are using hand-held tape guns in high volume packing environments. 
In fact, some of the largest e-commerce companies have switched from hand-held tape guns to WAT to eliminate the high costs of medical, hiring and training expenses associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.

How To Choose The Right Packaging Tape Dispenser

Are you interested in deciding what type of WAT dispenser is right for your company’s application? 
To help you in your decision-making, click here to take a quick quiz and we’ll provide you with dispenser recommendations based upon your situation. 
Speaking generally, an electric dispenser will be easier to use, increase productivity, and will offer more consistent performance. Electric dispensers do require 115 volt (220 volt for Europe, 100 volt for Japan) electric power in order to operate.
Watch the video below to see how our Better Pack 555eS Series dispenser works.

Better Packages' WAT tape dispensing machines are sold internationally through a global certified Distributor network. Dispensers can also be purchased through a variety of industrial catalogs. Contact Us to find a variety of Authorized Sources.


[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Manual Vs. Electric Tape Dispenser: Which Is Better?

We are frequently asked which water-activated tape dispenser is better - electric or manual. And there’s really only one answer - it depends.  

“Better” can mean a lot of different things to different businesses - better price point, better efficiency in application, better for traveling around the warehouse with...the list goes on. 
In this post, we attempt to cover the key details and considerations that may make either a manual or electric dispenser the better choice for your business. 
You’ve likely already decided that water-activated tape (also known as gummed paper tape) is the right fit for your business needs
Now it’s time to get familiar with the features that are available on various dispensers so that you can choose the one that works best for your application.

Manual Tape Dispensers 

A manual water-activated tape (WAT) dispenser is a non-electric machine that assists the packer’s manual process of wetting the tape and cutting the desired length. 
There are several varieties of manual dispensers from which to choose.
The most basic model requires the packer to pull the tape over a wet brush and then manually tear the tape by pulling it against the blade housed within the machine.
Other manual gummed paper tape dispensers, such as the one pictured here, called the Better Pack 333 Plus, go a bit further with assisting the packer.
These more advanced machines have an adjustable numbered scale (available in inches and centimeters) and a lever that the packer pulls to have the tape wet and cut to length by the machine. With this, the user simply sets the desired length of tape and pulls the lever to get the indicated measurements quickly and nearly effortlessly. Dispensers are available with or without electricity, depending upon operational needs. 
  • ✔ Lower cost than electric WAT dispensers
  • ✔ Do not require electricity to function 
  • ✔ Great for packing stations without electricity
  • ✔ Great for packing stations that require mobility for the machine
  • ✔ Increase efficiency for the packing and shipping process
  • ✔ Great for low to mid volume packaging stations
  • ✔ Require little to no operator training
  • ✘ Does require minimal manual effort by the packer in order to operate
To learn more about the benefits of manual water-activated tape dispensers, check out this blog post

Electric Tape Dispensers
An electric water-activated tape dispenser is a powered machine that wets and cuts the tape to a desired length, removing manual effort for the packer. 
Electric tape dispensers come in a variety of configurations and different features and benefits.
They are easy to use and have keypads that indicate that length of tape for packers to choose from. To dispense the tape, the packer simply presses a button and the tape dispenses immediately.
The best machines are durable, safe and perform efficiently in demanding or harsh working environments, such as the Better Pack 555 shown above. Differentiating features among machines depend on whether it is certified or built to the specifications of a certification company like Underwriters’ Laboratory, the tape’s speed of being dispensed, the length and the width of the tape that the machine can accommodate and the number of length buttons on the keypad.
  • ✔ Extremely efficient for packing and shipping stations
  • ✔ Great for high-volume, fast-paced packaging environments
  • ✔ Durable
  • ✔ Customizable
  • ✔ Require very little operator training
  • ✔ Reduces employee risk
  • ✘ More expensive than manual WAT dispensers
  • ✘ Requires electricity in order to operate

To learn more about the benefits of electric water-activated tape dispenser, check out our highlight of the Better Pack 755e or this blog post.

Factors To Help You Decide 
Variables to consider when making a decision between purchasing a manual versus electric water-activated tape dispenser include:
  • ✔ The number of cartons you are sealing per day. A rule of thumb is if you are packing more than 50 to 75 cartons per day (or if you see your business growing past that packing level in the near term), you will want the ease and productivity that an electric WAT dispenser offers.
  • ✔ Do you have electricity near the pack station? If you don’t, a manual is the right choice.
All in all, if you have a high volume carton shipping department with access to electricity, an electric tape dispenser is the way to go. The extra expense will be well worth it with the efficiency and safety improvements you will see in your packing and shipping station. 
To help you decide which dispenser is right for you, click below and we’ll provide you with dispenser recommendations based upon your situation.

[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Friday, July 19, 2019

Protective Packaging Guide

How Do I Know If I Need Protective Packaging?

If you have a product that is fragile or has a surface that needs to be protected during transit, then protective packaging may be the answer. It can help ensure that products remain damage-free and quality is kept uncompromised during the shipping and transporting process.

Protective packaging can also be useful when shipping a product in an oversized box. It can fill the void between the product and the box. This is especially useful when shipping heavier items that could get damaged with too much shifting around during the shipping processes.

Some companies use protective packaging to create a unique unboxing and brand-centric experience for their consumers. Presentation is a very important part of the un-packaging process in the minds of consumers. Some protective packaging solutions serve a dual purpose of functionality and visual appeal. This can help create brand loyalty and return customers.

Protective packaging offers the flexibility needed to protect any shape, size, or strength of products. It comes in a range of different types so you can find right protection for your products and shipping needs.

What Kind of Protection Do I Need?

Void fill is a term that can refer to any cushioning, paper, or protection added to a package. Specifically, it fills an empty space inside a package and, in doing so, restricts movement of the product(s) which prevents damage.

The purpose of protective packaging that blocks and braces is to prevent products from shifting, sliding, or moving and protect the product(s) and the vulnerable corners and edges of the secondary package (carton) from damage. In order to block and brace effectively, all empty space should be filled as well.

This is normally something that is wrapped around more fragile objects to prevent damage during transit. Cushioning can prevent scratches or scuffs on products.

Often the protective packaging solutions that provide cushioning, also provide surface protection. This protective packaging keeps the products from getting scratched, scuffed, or the exterior surface of the product from being damaged.

Types of Protective Packaging

Paper void fill & cushioning
Paper is normally used as to cushion products, but is versatile. Paper can also be used to block and brace and as a void fill solution. Paper is normally crumpled, either by hand or machine, which provides void fill and cushioning solutions. Some machines apply stitching to the paper to provide stronger block and brace protection as well as cushioning.

There are a variety of bubble solutions. There are, of course, the standard and anti-static bubble that come in rolls and pouches. Bubble also comes in cohesive and adhesive forms as well. The cohesive bubble bonds to itself and not the product, while the adhesive bubble bonds directly to the product. Bubble solutions are used for cushioning and surface protection.

Bubble-on-demand systems
Inflatable air solutions, including air pillows and bubble films, are one of the most common protective packaging solutions today. They are stored un-inflated and flat, but can quickly be inflated with the use of a machine. Air pillows can provide void fill, blocking and bracing, or cushioning to products. They can also help keep the weight of a package down, which is important for shipping. Bubble film is meant more for cushioning products. Like other bubble products, it is often wrapped around individual products or it can be placed on the bottom, top, and sides of a carton to protect multiple/larger items.

Often the protective packaging solutions that provide cushioning, also provide surface protection. This protective packaging keeps the product from getting scratched, scuffed, or the exterior surface of the product from being damaged.

HexcelWrap fragile wrap
Fragile wrap is a paper-based cushioning material. This material is wrapped around products to reduce damage. It can assist businesses in using less packaging material for fragile products and is curbside recyclable. Fragile wrap is used on products like glassware, ceramics, cosmetics, electronics, and more.

Foam protective packaging solutions are normally used on more expensive products to provide surface protection. You will see foam on products such as furniture, appliances, and more. Foam can come in sheets or pouches and in a variety of colors. It can also be cohesive or adhesive. Cohesive foam forms a bond to itself and not the product, while adhesive foam sticks to the product. Foam products can also be laminated with a film to provide added strength. This is known as lamifoam.

Polyair Mailers
Mailers can be made of paper or plastic. They are durable, lightweight, customizable, and are available in a wide range of sizes. Mailers normally contain bubble to protect products from damage during shipping. These are best for smaller products and can help decrease shipping costs compared to cartons.

There is a wide variety of protective packaging that offers
anti-corrosion VCI (Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor) protection. Some of these forms include poly and foam bags and films, paper, powders, and emitters. These solutions offer protection against corrosion and eliminate the use of oils rust removal, industrial degreasers, sandblasting, and more. It is important to one’s health and the environment that you choose a VCI that doesn’t include sodium nitrite. These solutions can be used in a large range of industries – automotive, heavy equipment, aerospace, electronics, precision metal, and more.

[This post republished from the Polyair Blog

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Heavy Packages? Paper Packing Tape Has the Strength You Need

The shipping stream can be a very unforgiving environment. Every package faces a variety of forces in transit. If your company ships heavy items, those forces are amplified, which can increase the likelihood that a carton seal will fail.

To protect your items, you could use dozens of strips of plastic tape to keep the shipping carton flaps closed. Unfortunately, taking that approach decreases packing efficiency and increases costs. A better strategy is to use paper packing tape. If you aren’t familiar with this type of tape, you’ll want to learn more!

What is Paper Packing Tape?

Also known as water-activated tape (WAT), gummed tape, reinforced gummed tape (when fiberglass is embedded), or Kraft paper tape, paper packing tape is made of paper with a starch-based adhesive on the back. When the adhesive is activated with water and placed on a carton, it penetrates the surface, creating a strong, permanent bond.

Want to know more about the benefits of water-activated packaging tape? Check out this guide:

This unique sealing solution provides a number of benefits, including:

  • ✔ Single-strip sealing. While it may take multiple strips of plastic pressure-sensitive tape (PST) to ensure that a package remains sealed until it reaches its destination, only one strip of paper packing tape is required in most instances. 
  • ✔ Eco-friendliness. Made primarily of paper and starch, WAT has much less of an environmental impact than petroleum-based PST.
  • ✔ Efficient application. Paper packing tape is prepped and cut using a water-activated tape dispenser and applied by hand. This is much easier than manipulating a shipping carton so that it can be accessed using a handheld tape gun. In fact, an independent research study found that carton sealing productivity is 21% higher using WAT and a dispenser versus PST and a hand-held tape gun.
  • ✔ Branding opportunities. Paper packing tape can be printed with your logo or other branding. Then, every carton you ship serves as a moving “billboard,” generating greater brand awareness  as individuals see the package throughout transit.

Why is Paper Packing Tape Stronger than Plastic Tape?

Generally speaking, plastic is stronger than paper. So why is it that water-activated paper tape is stronger than plastic tape?
The key is the bond mentioned above. Plastic tape does its best to grip the top layer of the carton surface. But, if that surface is dirty, damp, or otherwise resistant to being gripped, the seal won’t be very effective. 
The adhesive on paper packing tape goes deeper, causing the paper to fuse with the carton. Which means that the paper tape gets its tremendous strength and durability, to a large extent, from the boxes it’s sealing! 
How much weight can WAT handle? That will vary based on the type of shipping carton, the grade of tape and void fill used, atmospheric conditions, and other factors. Check out our 7 Tips for Packing and Shipping Heavy Items for more detail.
However, according to independent testing, WAT creates a seal that is over 350% stronger than PST. In other words, it’s safe to say that WAT is a sealing solution that is hard to beat.

When is Paper Packing Tape Not the Right Fit?

Because of its variety of positive characteristics, there aren’t many situations where paper packing tape isn’t a good option. However, you might choose PST and a hand-held tape gun when mobility is a priority. While a manual WAT dispenser can certainly be taken “on the road,” it is better suited for use in a shipping department’s packing station.

When Strength Matters...

When the strength of a carton’s seal matters, you should consider paper packing tape. Learn more about why paper tape is the best choice for your business. And if you have questions about our water-activated tape, water-activated tape dispensers, and other products, contact us today!

Check out our new guide below to ensure that your business is using the proper shipping and packaging tape for your needs. 
Packaging Tape Online Guide

[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]