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Category Archive: P&R

Common terms in packaging use

  • Blister Packaging: a packaging technique which involves the heat seal of a rigid, thermoformed outer shell which houses a product, to a coasted back card. A method commonly used for retail items.


  • Clamshell: a custom thermoformed PVC tray that is typically designed with 2 halves connected with a hinge. A more expensive option, this package is selected by companies who have a heavy or expensive retail item that requires tamper proof protection. These packages can be designed with a hang hole or with a “foot”, for a stand-alone option.


  • Collating: The assembly or sorting of many different items in a pre-specified order or arrangement.


  • Contract Assembly: A term referring to a service that specializes in the assembly of a product through the use of manual labor, fixturing or automation.


  • Contract Packaging: A general term referring to a service that is performed on a product utilizing various assembly and or packaging techniques intended for the enhancement of a product.


  • Contract Supplier: A source that performs a manufacturing service for a costumer.


  • Contract Warehousing:  A term referring to a service that specializes in material handling, storage, inventory control  and distribution of a companies’ product or products.


  • Fulfillment: The overall logistics associated with a product or products including but not limited to material handling, collation, incoming inspection, order processing & tracking, inventory control, warehousing, assembly, and/or transportation.


  • Hand Assembly: Tasks that are completed by human hands or manual labor.


  • Heat Sealing: A process by which heat is introduced to 2 substrates to seal them together. Heat sealing is a generic term and is part of many packaging process, but mainly refers to the closure of polybags.


  • Outsourcing: The act of physically sending out the product to a contract supplier for assembly, packaging or manufacturing.


  • Pack Out: The method and quantity associated with the last step in handling a product that needs to be shipped out.


  • Pick & Pack: This is the part of the order fulfillment process which includes the physical locating or “picking” of a part out of inventory and then packing the part into a box for shipment.


  • Polybagging: The placement of a product or products into a polybag and then heat sealing the bag enclosed.


  • P.O.P. Display: An acronym for Point of Purchase this is a merchandiser which holds multiple items in a free-standing display which can be found in an aisle or endcap in a retail establishment. These are typically designed and made out of corrugated material.


  • Relabeling: This is a task that may include either applying a label over an existing label on a product, removing an existing label prior to applying a new label, or just applying a label to an original product or box.


  • Reverse Logistics: The total processing involved with taking in returned goods from the field and reworking or repackaging them to conform to the standards of original goods.


  • Repackaging: Redoing or undoing an existing type of packaging to reflect new standards.


  • Rework: The act of undoing or redoing a task that was last completed incorrectly.


  • RF Sealing: The permanent sealing or the edges of a clamshell packaging through the use of Radio Frequency Special RF sealing equipment is required for this process and it is designed to make a clamshell package tamper proof. This seating technique would be commonly found in expensive or heavy retail items.
  • Secondary Operation: A manufacturing step that comes after the initial process because it cannot be done “in-line” or simultaneously.
  • Shrink Wrapping: Probably the most common of all packaging methods shrink wrapping is accomplished by trimming a pieces of shrinkable film around an object, and then sending it through a heat “tunnel” which “shrinks” the film to conform to the exact sizeof an outer box or product. This is a tamper resistant covering that is very common at the retail level on products such as gift sets, software and games, to name a few. The gloss effect created by the film tends to give a product or box a richer appearance.


  • Skin Packaging: A packaging technique whereby a film is sucked down over a product and onto a preprinted “skin card”. As heat is introduced the adhesive coating on the card and the Surlyn film adhere together. This is an attractive packaging option and is preferred for retail because the product is displayed clearly yet is protected by the transparent covering. It is a cost-effective solution for higher volume runs.


  • Sorting: The separation of good versus bad usually accomplished through visual inspection.


  • Stretch Packaging: a packaging technique that allows a product to be encapsulated between 2 halves of a hinged header card, with a Surlyn or clear film which is part of the card but acts as a “Window” for the item. Following the heat sealing of the outer card together, the film in the window is then heated and then shrinks around the geometry of an item. This method is a combination of a blister, skin, clamshell, and shrink wrapping. It is an attractive option, but more expensive than some of the other methods. Batteries and Pharmaceuticals are commonly stretch packaged.


  • Subcontract: The act of outsourcing a product or service to another company.


  • Value Added: A reference to an additional operation or service that is done by a supplier to a product or products that provides a customer with a more complete solution.