Category Archives: Packaging Products & Materials

Corrugated cardboard boxes 101: What you need to know

Cardboard is the one of the most popular packaging materials in use today, and we don’t expect that to change anytime soon.  It’s lightweight, strong and resilient, offering excellent protection for almost any item.  But did you know that it’s corrugated cardboard that gives boxes their strength?

Today we’re focusing on precisely that – the material that gives corrugated cardboard boxes their superior strength and resilience.  In this post we’ll be covering everything corrugate related, including how cardboard boxes are made, when corrugated cardboard was invented and how it works, as well as tips on recycling; how to shred, cut and dispose of corrugate.

Corrugated cardboard boxes - What you need to knowImage source: https://pixabay.com/en/cardboard-perspective-texture-467819

How is corrugated cardboard made?

First we’ll start with the basics – just what is corrugated cardboard?  Put simply, it’s the thick, strong arrangement of card that makes up the walls of a cardboard box.  It’s this combination of materials that gives cardboard their high strength and resistance to bumps, knocks and crushing.

The cardboard that makes it up is arranged in a concertina, zig-zag like like pattern which gives strength to both sides of the box. This is held in place and secured with a layer of paper on either side which is called the fluting.  Fixed in place firmly with strong adhesive, it can be made of different types of paper such as Kraft or Test, and it’s these outer layers that keeps the corrugate securely contained inside.  For more information about the inner liners and fluting, take a look at our beginner’s lesson in corrugate cardboard and cardboard in a recent post about cardboard box disposal.

How is corrugated cardboard madeImage source: https://pixabay.com/en/corrugated-cardboard-boxes-flutes-2225141/

So, exactly when was corrugated cardboard invented?  Its history goes back a long way – the earliest reports of it being patented were in England in 1856. Although it was not thought of as a packaging material at the time and was mainly used for other things such as hat lining!

The first recorded packaging and shipping patent for corrugate was in the United States and issued on December the 19th, 1871, where it was used for wrapping bottles and glass lantern chimneys.   In the years that followed it became a popular packaging material, with wooden crates and boxes replaced by corrugated paper shipping cartons from the early 1900s.

With the development of this resourceful material, cardboard boxes could be readily made for reliable shipping and storage, but how are cardboard boxes made?  The process begins by making the inner corrugated board – this is done by a large machine called a corrugator.  Board is fed into the corrugator, heated and pressed into the concertina form that we see above – this forms the central filling of the cardboard box wall.  Two outer liners, the fluting, are then fed through and securely glued to the corrugate using very strong adhesive.  Once the glue is set using steam, the flat complete board can be cut into large sheets of various sizes which are used to form the flat packed cardboard boxes that you receive from your packaging supplier. At Rajapack we stock over 600 different sizes and types of cardboard boxes , so you can imagine the cutting and loading process can become quite complicated!

What is corrugated cardboard used for?

So, just how does corrugated cardboard work?  This innovative construction features three separate materials and gets its super strength from the combination of all 3 working together.  In the centre, the concertina card is tightly but firmly packed within two layers of fluting and this gives strength across the width of the card to both sides of the material. It’s this concertina structure that makes the card super strong.

With many different types of cardboard box available, we often get asked which is the right one to use, and how thick is corrugated cardboard?  The great thing about how it’s made means that many different types and strengths can be produced.

Some use thinner, more lightweight materials with a single layer of corrugate for a light and strong box – these are called single wall boxes.  Others can use several layers of corrugate made from much thicker card.  For these boxes, the material can feel as strong as steel! Our ultimate strength triple wall boxes can support up to an impressive 500Kg in weight, all from a few layers of cardboard!

Corrugated cardboard 101 - Single double and triple wall boxes

Why is corrugated cardboard so strong?

We already know that corrugated board was patented for use as a shipping material in 1871, and this was for single side, single face corrugated board with one layer of paper on one layer of corrugate.  But who invented corrugated cardboard? The patent was registered in New York City by Albert Jones – you can actually see the first patent for corrugate as this is hosted online, along with the description and technical information registered – a fascinating piece of packaging history!

But just why is corrugated cardboard a good insulator and why is it so strong? The main strength of corrugate comes from it’s concertina like zig zag shape.  Being contained within fluting by strong adhesive, cardboard is strongest along the length of the material and it’s this structure that gives it strength to support both sides.

Is corrugated cardboard recyclable?

As Rajapack is number 1 in Europe for packaging, we must be mindful of how our products can be disposed of safely and in an environmentally responsible way. So, is corrugated cardboard biodegradable?

The good news is that yes, it is biodegradable. It will break down in the environment over time, though it can take a long time depending on the environment that it’s in.  If it’s wet and broken up into small pieces then it will degrade much faster, so if you have a compost bin at your home or business then cardboard can be a great addition to your compost.

Boxes can be quite large once broken down (a topic we’ve covered on the blog recently – ‘How to break down cardboard boxes’) particularly if they’re pallet or export boxes.  If you don’t have a great deal of space to store them on site in between recycling collections, then you may wish to shred your cardboard.

If you want to know how to shred corrugated cardboard, it’s simple and straightforward.  You could use an automatic cardboard shredder which perforates and converts corrugated cardboard into a strong, shock absorbent netting material which can be used as packaging.  Alternatively, you can shred it manually by soaking it in water which makes it very easy to tear and cut through with normal scissors if it’s single or double wall.  For triple wall, you might need something a little stronger like a box cutter detailed below, or some industrial scissors that offer more strength.

Even though it does break down, it’s always our preference to recycle cardboard when you can – all our boxes are made from 75% recycled fibres on average.  Local recycling collections for paper and card are usually frequent and the recycling loop for corrugate is so efficient that used boxes can be recycled, remade and reused in just two weeks!  Cardboard recycles very well, without loss of strength or rigidity so it’s an excellent material to recycle.

Crushed corrugated cardboard boxes ready to be recycledImage source: https://unsplash.com/photos/1PxGp8kkQyk

Corrugated cardboard is also great to use for packing – placing in boxes to separate items to hold them securely in place.  The fact that it’s lightweight, easy to handle and cut means it’s perfect for many different uses.  If you’re wondering how to cut corrugated cardboard then don’t worry, it’s easy.  A small cutting knife, called a box cutter will do the job with ease and glide through corrugate easily.

Open a corrugated cardboard box with box cutters

What is non-corrugated cardboard?

Finally we’re looking at non-corrugated cardboard as an alternative.  This is exactly the opposite of corrugate as you would expect! In this material, cardboard is simply layered on top of each other, in the similar way to how puff pastry is made.  This can make the cardboard material smoother, so it’s good for printing striking visuals or designs onto.

It’s mainly used for lightweight products, presentation boxes and you may have encountered it in things like iPhone boxes or for other gadgets.  Generally, it’s not recommended to be used as a serious packaging material, though can be cheaper than corrugate due to its simpler and more lightweight construction.

If you’d like more information about corrugated cardboard, our range of cardboard boxes and packaging supplies, or help on selecting the right cardboard packaging for your business, get in touch with our team of packaging experts who will be happy to help. Simply visit www.rajapack.co.uk or contact our team on 0800 542 44 28, or sales@rajapack.co.uk.

Your Guide to Strapping Machines

One of the most secure ways to fix a pallet or join parcels together is with strapping.  It’s a topic we’ve recently covered, detailing what is strapping and how to choose the right strapping. In this post we’re focusing purely on strapping machines, which can help speed up and simplify the strapping process. We’ll be detailing what they are, the different types available and how to use them, with a final focus on polypropylene strapping.

Strapping machines and strapping tools

What is a Strapping Machine?

There are 3 main uses of strapping; pallet strapping, to join one parcel to another, and to offer more strength.  It can be used to secure almost anything, from fragile products to bulky loads. A strapping machine is electrically powered and uses strapping to consistently create a secure seal on parcels and packages that is guaranteed to hold.

These machines do all the hard work, saving time, energy and materials in a typical packaging process.  They do this without the need of manual strapping tools such as tensioners, cutters, or combination tools.  The tension and strap strength can all be set by the operator, giving total control over the entire process of strapping.  If you’re regularly strapping parcels and shipments, then consider one to speed up your operation and improve efficiency.

There are three types of strap machines; an automatic strapping machine, semi-automatic strapping machine, and handheld strapping tools – all with different benefits and applications depending on your requirements

A semi-automatic, handheld and automatic strapping machine

1 – A semi-automatic, handheld and automatic strapping machine.

Automatic strapping machines are high performance, work best on high volume lines and are a bigger investment. Completely automated, they’re able to dispense up to 65 straps per minute making them ideal for production lines.  In one smooth motion they strap a parcel, sealing and cutting the strap to size as per the tension level set by the operator. Watch the automatic strapping machine in action!

Watch the Rajapack automatic strapping machine video

Semi-automatic strapping machines are lower cost and are more suited to lower volume operations, though still able to seal up to 24 straps per minute.  They tension, seal and cut the strapping in one motion, though with these machines the strapping has to be fed in manually so some operator work is required.

Handheld strapping machines are the smallest and most portable. These battery powered machines are lightweight and easy to handle. They’re ideal if you don’t have the space for a large machine or need to strap items in different locations.  These small machines tension, seal and cut quickly and efficiently and can be pre-programmed to set the tension strength.

How does a Strapping Machine work?

Depending on what type of strapping machine you’re using, it will work in one of three different ways. Below we’ve outlined each type of machine and detailed how they work so you can be fully informed before committing to a new packaging machine for your business.

Automatic strapping machines

These fully automatic machines are the quickest and simplest to use once they have been prepared and setup.  With the tension set, simply place a parcel on the machine and begin the strapping process with the touch of a button.  The items are fully strapped automatically, with the strap tensioned and cut by the machine.  The parcel can then simply be removed, ready for the next shipment.

Semi-automatic strapping machines

These machines require a little more operator involvement than automatic machines, as the user feeds in the strapping manually around each parcel they wish to strap.  This is a simple operation but takes slightly longer than using an automatic machine.  Once the parcel has been placed onto the machine in the correct orientation, the user simply has to feed the strapping through, engage the machine, and the strapping is tightened to the set tension automatically and cut in one smooth simple action.

Handheld strapping

These small, portable devices work quite differently to the larger machines above. A small handheld device, they are simple to operate, lightweight and easy to handle.  The strapping has to be wrapped around the item and placed in the machine where it then automatically tightens, tensions and seals the strap in one smooth action.  Being handheld, they can be used vertically or horizontally and the tension strength can be set on the machine.

They’re powered by a rechargeable Li-Ion battery that typically take 30 – 40 minutes to fully charge and is capable of applying up to 440 strapping cycles per charge, depending on which device you use – plenty to get through a good amount of parcels in between charges.

How to use a Strapping Machine

Depending on which type of strapping machine you’re using, the operation will vary slightly.  Below we’ve outlined the basic steps in how to operate the different types of machine.

Automatic & semi-automatic strapping machines

These two types of machines work in a similar manner, being an upright machine with a flat surface to work from.  For both, the strapping is typically fed from the bottom or the side of the machine, where the strapping reel is placed and feeds into the machine.

To operate, one must place the parcel in the specified spot on the machine, so that the position of the strap is in the correct place to wrap around the item.  For semi-automatic machines, you’ll then need to feed the strap over the top of the item and into the other side where it is fed back into the machine (automatic machines do this part without the need of manual intervention.)

Engaging the machine with the on button will then tighten and tension the strap, cut and seal it securely around the parcel. It can then quickly and easily be removed and the next one placed on.  This simple and seamless process makes it ideal for quickly strapping parcels.

Handheld strapping machines

Otherwise known as handheld strapping tools, are convenient as they are portable, these small machines require a little more manual work to operate but the flexibility they offer for strapping is second to none.  To operate, manually loop the plastic strapping, either PET strapping (also known as poly strapping) or polypropylene strapping all the way around the pallet, parcel or cartons.   Once looped, feed both ends of the strapping into the handheld machine.  With a pull of the trigger, it will then tighten and tension the strap, cut and fully seal it, giving a secure fit all around the item.

How to use Polypropylene Strapping

Polypropylene strapping (also known as PP) is one of the lightest and most versatile materials, making it ideal for sealing, reinforcing and securing lighter loads.

How to use polypropylene strapping

When using PP strapping with a machine, polypropylene machine strapping must be used – this is specifically designed for use in machines with regular embossing and straight parallel edges.  This strapping is easier to work with and handle than heavier duty materials such as steel or polyester strapping, but gloves should still be worn when handling and loading this strapping onto a machine for use.

A popular question asked is how to use a polypropylene strapping machine, however there is no specific strapping machine for PP strapping, you can use an automatic, semi-automatic strapping machine or handheld strapping tools. 

If you are strapping a pallet or strapping boxes, then make sure you use the right material for the job.  Take a look at our guide to choosing the right strapping to help you decide.

If you’d like more information about strapping machines, systems or advice on which may be best suited for your packaging operation, simply get in touch with our team of packaging machine experts who are on hand to help.  Simply visit www.rajapack.co.uk or contact our team on 0800 142 26 46, or machines@rajapack.co.uk.

Ten of our favourite Gift Packaging picks from Rajaboutique

Christmas is fast approaching! Here at Rajapack we know the value of great quality gift packaging and we’ve got a bumper selection so you can get your business in the festive spirit.  When a plain white cardboard box and some ribbon will just not do, we’ve picked out ten favourites from our Rajaboutique range that will give your parcels some sparkle and make your packaging process a little easier this Christmas.

Shop Rajaboutique! Gift., retail and presentation packaging

Image Source: https://stocksnap.io/photo/CC3WLB6N9V

  1. Christmas Gift Bags

First up are our brand new Christmas gift bags for 2017, they come in a range of finishes and we think they’re perfect for adding some festive flair to your packaging.  Our plastic Christmas carrier bags come in white with a traditional green and red design on both sides and are great for use in a Christmas shop or market stall.  For a more vintage style try our Christmas paper carrier bags in red.  Or for something a stronger, our matt laminated bags with 190gsm paper and a reinforced bottom look lovely and will stay .

Bulk order Christmas gift bags

  1. Stella Wrapping Paper

If you’re gift wrapping items for your customers and want wrapping paper that’s both elegant and chic, then look no further! Our range of Stella wrapping paper comes in 4 different designs with sparkle in gold and silver, these 50m rolls add some lovely contemporary class to any gift.

Bulk order gift wrap for your online shop! Stella wrapping paper at Rajapack

 

  1. Metallic Gloss Bubble Postal Bags

We love these colourful metallic bubble postal bags, available in four shiny colours to add style to your postal packaging this Christmas.  They offer great protection for posted items with a thick layer of protective bubbles that makes them tearproof and waterproof, giving your items robust protection in transit.  Available in a range of sizes, they’re perfect for things such as books, CDs, or DVDs.

Bulk buy magnetic gift boxes for your boutique

  1. Magnetic Gift Boxes

For a stylish look with a secure fit, these magnetic gift boxes deliver.  They add elegance to any gift with a soft, magnetic seal.  Made from 900gsm rigid carton, they’re covered with a 140gsm matching colour film inside and out for a beautiful finish and are delivered flat packed so won’t take up space in your warehouse – plus they’re easy to assemble. Available in three colours; black, ivory and striking red, they’re perfect for Christmas gifts and can be combined with tissue paper or crinkle cut shredded paper for a lovely effect.

Protective wine cases and beer boxes

  1. Protective Wine Cases & Beer Boxes

When posting bottles of wine or beer to customers, it can be hard to ensure they’re safe and secure while in transit.  Last year we launched a new range of wine cases and beer boxes for just such a thing, allowing you to easily and securely ship 1 – 3 wine bottles or 6 bottles of beer in one .

Delivered flat packed for storage, they’re easily assembled into a protective wrap-around surround cardboard system that provides shock protection at the sides, and above and below to cushion any impact on their journey to your customers.

If you’re shipping out more than 6 bottles, then our one piece bottle boxes with integral dividers will carry up to 12 bottles of beer securely to their destination.

Metallic gloss bubble postal bags - add a touch of colour to your bubble bags

  1. White & Black Elegant Gift Bags

If you’re looking for gift bags that ooze class and sophistication, then take a look at our white and black edged elegant gift bags.  These crisp white bags feature a dramatic black edging and black rope handles, made from smooth soft touch 170gsm paper.  Available in 3 different sizes, they feature a strong block bottom, so they stand up beautifully for display.

They’re are also available to customise with your own branding, logo or message too, which you can do using our

Black edge white matt laminated paper gift bags

  1. Reversible, Dual Colour Wrapping Paper

For gift wrapping we’ve got the perfect solution to add variety to your parcels without having to order different styles of wrapping paper – dual coloured, double sided wrapping paper! This Kraft paper is completely reversible, giving you two colours to choose from with each 50m roll, in either red and gold, or black and silver for an elegant finish.

Dual-coloured Kraft paper gift wrap - perfect for boutiques

  1. Self-sealing polypropylene bags

For shipping items that need to be sealed, these self-sealing polypropylene bags do the trick.  They use a self-adhesive antistatic strip that can be repositioned, sealing quickly and securely without the need for extra equipment such as a heat sealer machine. They also feature a 6mm air hole to prevent condensation and allow trapped air to be released.  Available in a range of sizes and thicknesses from 40 to 100 microns.

Self-seal polypropylene bags

  1. Wraparound Rajapack standard book boxes

For posting books this Christmas, our range of book boxes are perfect no matter what the thickness or size.  Our wraparound book boxes come in a wide range of sizes and have an adjustable height from 10mm to 60 mm, with pre-creased grooves to adapt to a range of heights.  With extended edges for added corner protection, they also feature an adhesive strip for instant sealing of the box, with no need to extra tape or strapping.  Plus, they’re delivered flat packed, for easy storage.

Standard brown panel wrap book boxes with an adhesive strip

  1. Design Your Own Packaging, including Bags, Tape &

Finally, if you want to add a personal touch to your packaging this Christmas, then take a look at Rajaprint, our online custom packaging tool. You can work up custom tape to add a strapline, branding when you seal your boxes and parcels, or add your logo to gift bags if you run a shop or stall. We can also customise beer boxes, printed labels, printed boxes, polybags and more!

It’s easy to create your style and design your brand with our made to measure and custom print packaging services, to receive a quote or for more information simply give our team a call on 0800 630 06 21 or email specials@rajapack.co.uk.  For custom bags and tape, we’ll have your items delivered 4 weeks after approval, and for other packaging items lead times may vary, so do get in touch to confirm.

Rajaprint and bespoke packaging - customise your packaging today!

If you’d like to see how we can improve your packaging, request our latest catalogue or browse our Christmas packaging range, simply visit www.rajapack.co.uk or contact our team on 0800 542 44 28.

Labelling Packages for Shipping

Using the correct packaging will ensure your parcels are well protected and secured during shipping, but there’s one other important item that you need to include so that it reaches the right destination – a clear and correct address label is essential for any shipment.

Whether you’re shipping parcels up and down the UK or overseas, having the right labels will mean that it’s handled correctly at all stages of its journey; minimising damage, passing through customs smoothly, and reaching its destination on time.

When it comes to labelling your parcels there are a multitude of options available from simple handling instructions, indicators, and hazard warnings to sealed document envelopes.  Below we’ll take you through the main types of packaging labels available and offer some tips on what you’ll need if you’re shipping abroad including how to apply labels to your parcels.

Handling, hazard and documents enclosed labels

Shipping Nationally & Internationally

Depending on your parcel’s final destination there are different types of forms that you’ll need to include to ensure it gets through customs smoothly.

If you’re sending within the UK…

Post as normal – include the destination name and address, and a commercial invoice with details of the order and the sender’s name and address.

If you’re sending within the EU…

It’s just like shipping in the UK as we’re still part of the single market.  There will be no customs charges and no special customs documents are needed.

If you’re sending to the rest of the world…

Then your parcel will pass through customs and you’ll need to include a completed customs form.  There might also be additional import charges to pay based on the information you include on the form.

There are two different forms depending on the value of the items you are sending:

  • Up to £270, you’ll need a Customs Declaration Form CN22 (signed & dated).
  • Over £270, you’ll need a Customs Declaration Form CN23 (fully completed).

You can find the forms you’ll need and more useful information on shipping internationally on the Royal Mail website.

Where Should Labels Be Placed?

Correctly labelled parcels and packages

If you’re including handling instructions on your parcel, such as ‘This way up’ or ‘Handle with care’, then placing these on several sides will ensure that they’re not missed and that it’s clear to everyone who handles your shipment. Finally, avoid placing labels over a seam or closure of your parcel, such as on the top along the sealing tape.   Always position labels on the largest surface of the package you are shipping.  For a small jiffy bag or envelope this will be on the front face of the package. If you’re shipping a box, then the largest side of the box, which is usually the front face.

The Types of Packaging Labels Available

Below, we’ve detailed an overview of the main packaging labels available for your shipment.  Combined with high quality packaging, the correct labelling will ensure your parcel reaches its intended destination in one piece and on time. 

Documents Enclosed Envelopes & Labels

Wherever your parcel is going you must ensure all paperwork is included at every stage of its journey.  A Documents enclosed envelope label will keep all those important details safe and dry during shipping, such as the address details and your customer’s invoice.

Documents Enclosed Envelope Labels

These envelope labels feature a full adhesive backing to stick firmly to parcels and are transparent so that the delivery address can clearly be seen on the front.  Once the paperwork is folded and tucked in, they seal tight so that everything inside is kept safe.  They should be included on every large parcel you ship to your customers, so always ensure you are well stocked with these envelopes.

At Rajapack, they are available in four different sizes from 115mm x 100mm right up to 315m x 225mm for larger parcels.  All feature a clear address window, so the paperwork is visible to everyone that handles your parcel on its journey.

Eco-friendly documents enclosed labels are also available for businesses that wish to minimise their impact on the environment.  Choose green documents enclosed labels which are made from 60% recycled materials and feature a green message.

For larger operations envelope dispensers are ideal if you’re sending a lot of parcels.  These heavy-duty dispensers use rolls of up to 330 labels and can be secured to a work surface for quick and easy dispensing.

Handling Instruction Labels

Handling Instruction Labels

Handling instruction labels include clear instructions on a parcel such as ‘Fragile’, ‘This end up’ and ‘Do not bend’.  If your package needs these special instructions, then adding these labels will ensure everyone who encounters your parcel knows how to handle it correctly.Once you’ve included the correct paperwork with your parcel, you should consider adding handling labels to provide clear handling instructions to anyone who will be shipping your parcel.

Handling instruction labels come in 8 different messages:

  • Handle with care
  • Open with care
  • This end up
  • ‘This way up’ arrow image
  • Do not crush
  • Do not bend
  • Documents Enclosed
  • Caution Heavy

Fragile labels are also available for parcels that are delicate and need to be handled very carefully, such as glass or ceramics. 

Hazard Labels

If your parcel includes anything that could be considered hazardous such as flammable gas, flammable liquid, corrosive or toxic chemicals, then hazard labels should be also added.  This helps couriers to ensure that your package is stored and transported safely, and that no accidents could occur because of mishandling.

Highly visible, each hazard label features a pictogram with a hazard statement to clearly state the nature of the package’s contents and how it should be treated.

Labelling consignments with Hazard labels

If you’re not sure if your parcel needs a hazard label, the Health & Safety Executive offer information about the labelling and packaging of hazardous materials, with further advice offered by the European Chemical Agency about when these labels are required. 

Specialist Labels

For items that are sensitive to static electricity, being dropped or handled roughly or being tilted during shipping, there’s a range of labels that can provide protection for sensitive shipments.

Shockwatch and Tiltwatch labels are both indicator labels.  They stick to wooden packing boxes, cardboard or plastic, are resistant to moisture and suitable for exporting overseas.  If your parcel has been tilted or suffered a high impact during shipping then they will let your recipient know immediately on delivery.

Shockwatch labels feature a small glass tube that turns red and stays red if dropped or handled roughly. Tiltwatch labels permanently show red if the product has been tilted over 90 degrees.  Both labels provide an instant way to identify if your parcel has been mishandled during transport, so you can easily identify the responsible party in the event of a complaint.

Specialist labels provide extra protection to sensitive shipments

Finally, for sensitive electronic equipment such as circuit boards, computer equipment or mobile devices, apply an antistatic packaging label on your parcel (combined with antistatic protective bags) to make it clear that your parcel is sensitive to static electricity and must be handled as such. 

Postage Labels

Postage and Printer labels to clearly mark all parcels and packages

If you’re sending smaller packages such as mailing bags, envelopes or bubble mailers you might not need to include a full documents enclosed envelope label.  Simple address labels which detail the recipient’s address and the return address for the sender might be all you need.  A postage label is ideal for use here and can be quickly and easily printed off from a normal inkjet or laserjet printer.

Avery have been printing labels since 1937, and their laser and inkjet labels come in fully perforated sheets made from FSC certified paper with an eco-friendly, water based permanent adhesive for easy application.  They can be printed from practically any computer once you’ve installed their free design & print software, allowing you to set up and save personalised label templates, or generate labels from excel databases such as mailing lists.

Thermal Labels

For convenience, thermal labels are excellent – they lightly burn information directly onto thermal paper for long lasting labels which require no ink, meaning less to spend on printing supplies.

They’re perfect for an office desk or small packaging operation with their small and compact size, but don’t be fooled, these little printers can run off large volumes of labels – up to 71 per minute from the Dymo LabelWriter 450.

Dymo Thermal Printers and Labels

They connect straight to a PC or Mac and come with free printing software so you can quickly get set up.

Printing labels up to 100mm in size means you can use thermal labels for almost anything; from postal addresses, shipping or mailing labels to pricing stickers & product labels, including barcodes and graphics.  Thermal printers offer excellent speed, convenience and simplicity in a small but powerful labelling solution that’s cost effective – the only supplies you’ll need are the thermal labels.

If you’re not sure what packaging labels you need, or are looking for advice on labelling your shipments correctly please get in touch with our Packaging Experts.  Call us free on 0800 542 44 28 or email sales@rajapack.co.uk.

Wrap it up: How to package unusual items

How to package unusual items

With the growth of online shopping comes the expectation that we should be able to get our hands on pretty much anything with a few clicks of a mouse or taps on a screen. According to eMarketer, 2017 is predicted to see 10% of all worldwide retail purchases made digitally[i].

This means the packaging industry has needed to innovate, to ensure items purchased over the web arrive safely at their destination.

Here at Rajapack, we know an awful lot about protective packaging. Wondering how to package something valuable or oddly-shaped? Follow our step-by-step guides on how to package some of the more difficult things companies or individuals might need to protect during transit. We’ve also spoken to companies who rely on good quality packaging to get their advice on how to package items so they arrive in pristine condition.

How to package a chandelier

Chandeliers are extremely delicate and fragile pieces. Not sure where to start or how to protect them in a move? Follow our steps to success.

What you’ll need:

  • A cardboard box
  • Bubble wrap and tape
  • Foam wrap
  • Loose fill
  • Cable ties
  • Fragile/This way up labels

How to package a chandelier

  1. It’ll be easier to package the chandelier if it’s hanging. If possible, wrap it in situ or use an industrial hook. If not, be sure to place the chandelier on plenty of padding; cushions, towels and blankets work well. Laying it directly onto a hard surface is likely to damage it.

To package the chandelier, first find a suitable cardboard box. Ideally the box should be around three inches larger than the chandelier all the way round. Consider the weight of the chandelier. For heavier chandeliers a double wall cardboard box will provide extra protection and puncture resistance.

  1. Remove all light bulbs from the chandelier and pack in a separate box. Look for any other detachable pieces, if any other pieces can be removed, wrap these individually and package them in a separate box.
  2. Next, look for any sharp edges that could be damaged during transit. Wrap these with thick packing foam or use cardboard and tape to protect them. Pay attention to the top and bottom of the chandelier, the bottom is where the most pressure will be and, along with the top, it’s the part most likely to be damaged. Wrap these areas well with packaging foam or bubble wrap.
  3. Make sure the bottom of the cardboard box is well secured with tape. Cushion the bottom of the cardboard box with foam wrap or bubble wrap. Use your hands to wrap any loose wires and secure with cable ties. Lower the chandelier into the box and hold as upright as possible. Fill the rest of the box with loose fill, making sure these are well compacted so the chandelier can’t move around.
  4. Once you’re happy the chandelier is tightly secured inside the box, cover the top with layers of foam or bubble wrap. Close the box and seal with tape. Label all boxes containing the chandelier’s parts as ‘fragile’ and be sure to mark which way up the box needs to be kept. Specialist fragile and this way up labels can be used.

How to package artworks: Tips from the experts at Eyestorm

Valuable artwork is very precious, and packaging paintings or any other art requires it to be well protected. We spoke to Eyestorm, a leading online gallery and retailer of limited edition contemporary art, to get their advice.

How to package artwork

How does Eyestorm prepare a print for postage?

We flat pack our prints in cardboard and then into a custom made white box with the Eyestorm logo on it. The boxes are standard sizes, either 75 x 75 x 3 cm or 120 x 120 x 3 cm.

Can you talk us through the process of packaging and shipping them?

We’ll take the print and wrap it in tissue paper. It’s then secured onto the cardboard with corners to ensure it doesn’t move around during shipping. Another piece of cardboard is then placed on top and the two pieces of cardboard are secured together with polypropylene tape. The two pieces of cardboard are put into the white box, which is then secured with more polypropylene tape. We then use document enclosed envelopes to address the package and ship it via a 3rd party a courier.

How to package fine china

Small items, such as fine china, can be fiddly to package. No one wants to receive a chipped tea cup. Take a look at our how to package your fine china so it arrives in one piece.

What you’ll need:

  • Tissue paper
  • Bubble wrap
  • Tape
  • Loose fill
  • Polyurethane foam liners
  • A cardboard box
  • A second, double-walled cardboard box, three inches larger than the first
  • Fragile labels

How to package fine china

  1. First, make sure you’ve enough space to work. Clear a large packing table or workstation, if you do not have a large enough space, lay blankets on the floor to create a big enough surface to see all your materials and items to pack. The blankets will also help protect the fine china from accidental drops and breakage.

You’ll need a cardboard box at least one inch larger than the fine china you’ll be packing inside. You’ll need a second, double-walled cardboard box at least three inches larger than the first one.

  1. Lay out the fine china you need to pack and sort the items into similar sized groups. If your items aren’t similar shapes or are extremely fragile, separate smaller boxes will provide better protection. These smaller boxes can then be packaged inside the second cardboard box.
  2. Wrap each item individually with tissue paper and secure with tape. Then repeat this step with bubble wrap, completely cover each item in bubble wrap, and secure with tape.

With very delicate items prone to breaking, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. A lot of damage to these kinds of items occur because they bump into each other during transit.

  1. Take your smaller cardboard box and cut two pieces of polyurethane foam liner to fit snugly inside. Place one section into the bottom of the box and put your first layer of wrapped china on top of this, then cover with about two inches of loose fill. Repeat until the box is 1-2 inches away from being full. Now add the second piece of polyurethane foam, ensuring there is a gentle pressure when you close the box. Be careful not to add too much pressure as this could damage the contents.
  2. Add around three inches of loose fill to the bottom of the larger box and place the packed smaller box on top. Use loose fill to fill all the space around the smaller box. Once this is done, close the double walled box and secure all flaps and edges firmly with tape. A fragile label can then be applied to the box.

How to package wine: Tips from the experts at Yapp Wines

Shipping wine? Not sure how to prevent any damage or breakages? We spoke to Yapp Wines, online wine merchants, selling and importing characterful wines from small independent wine makers, to get their advice.

How to package wine

Talk us through the process of packaging glass bottles for shipping.

As an importer and distributor of wine in the UK, Yapp Brothers handles bottles in two distinct ways. Imports arrive in a variety of (normally flimsy) cardboard boxes of 12 bottles, but the wine is palletised (as 50 cases) and shrink-wrapped, therefore breakages are extremely rare. We then despatch orders through a UK courier and our own vehicles for next day delivery. These packages can be individual bottles, cases of six, 12 or 15. Neither we, the customer, nor the carrier wants a breakage, so our branded boxes are well-designed to withstand the fulfilment process.

How easy was it to find protective packaging that perfectly met all your shipping needs?

Not easy, but we’ve honed our packaging over 50 years through collaboration with delivery firms, packaging companies and through trial and error.

What sort of protective packaging do you use the most?

5mm thick (glued) cardboard boxes that have insert dividers and bases (all 5mm) to add additional protection. Polystyrene inserts are also used in the wine industry, but these aren’t recyclable so we avoid them.

Have you ever had any breakages related to the packaging you use?

Yes, unfortunately, breakages occur but they’re unusual thankfully. It’s expensive when it happens, not least as insurance is very limited in carrying wine bottles. For very rare bottles, specialist couriers are used. During December, we despatched over 2,000 wine packages and total breakages were in single figures (so <1%).

What is the largest order you’ve ever sent?

We regularly send out palletised loads (of 50 cases) to the many restaurants that we supply. We’ve also sent full container loads (15,000 bottles across 25 pallets) to ski resorts. On the whole, larger orders are less likely to be dropped, crushed, lost or stolen than small consignments.

How to package a bike

If you’re looking to transport a bike, then it’s important to take precautions so it’s not damaged in transit. Here’s a few of our considerations:

What you’ll need:

  • Bubble wrap
  • Thick foam tubing
  • Loose fill
  • A large, strong cardboard box, big enough for the whole bike frame, a cuboid shape is best
  • A small box or clear plastic bag to hold any loose nuts or bolts
  • Cable ties
  • A spanner or wrench
  • Allen key (for disassembling the bike parts)

How to package a bike

  1. Make sure you have a clear space to work in. Remove any extra accessories, such as lights, mudguards and bottle holders. Wrap these separately and add to the box after your frame.
  2. Remove the bike seat. If your seat is attached with a bolt, put this in the separate box or plastic bag so it isn’t misplaced. Then use the spanner or wrench to remove the pedals.

If you can, turn your handlebars 90 degrees so they align with the bike frame. If this isn’t possible, you’ll need to remove these too. Unscrew any bolts holding the handlebars in place, but don’t detach any cables. Lower the handlebars vertically so they sit in line with the front wheel.

Next remove your front wheel. If you have quick release bolts this is very simple. If not, unscrew any bolts and add them to the box or plastic bag with the others. Let some air out of both tyres before packing them.

  1. To protect your bike during transit, first you’ll need to use cable ties to attach the handlebars to the main bike frame. Use foam tubing wrapped around the bike frame to prevent scratches, secure in place with cable ties. Wrap as much of the frame in foam as possible for the best protection. Where it’s not possible to use foam, use bubble wrap instead and secure with tape.

Cover all cogs well with protective bubble wrap to avoid the sharper edges scratching the rest of the bike.

  1. Fill the bottom of the box with about two inches of loose fill and place the bike frame on top. Then slide your front wheel into the box next to the frame. Add the small box or bag holding any nuts or bolts, along with any accessories removed at the beginning.

Now fill the rest of the box firmly with loose fill. The aim is to use enough so the frame doesn’t move around too much. Once this is done, tape the box shut.

How to package unusual items

[i] https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Worldwide-Retail-Ecommerce-Sales-Will-Reach-1915-Trillion-This-Year/1014369

 

Getting your business ready for the Christmas rush: ensure you have the packaging you need for the festive period

Christmas is fast approaching with only 3 weeks left to go! Our packaging experts at Rajapack have put some useful information together to help your business run smoothly over the festive season.

black-friday-christmas-present-web

It all started with a record-breaking weekend

We’ve just passed Black Friday on November 25th, where you may have picked up a bargain or two on the high street or the internet, which ran through to Cyber Monday on November 28th.  Last year UK shoppers spent £3.3 billion over that weekend, and forecasts for this year were expecting £5 billion in the busiest online trading day ever!

Following Cyber Monday, the run up to Christmas is now in full swing as many businesses see demand surge right through to Christmas Day.  Last year UK retailers took £24 billion across November and December, a 12% increase on 2014, which is expected to grow even more this year.

Just what can you do to ensure you’re prepared?

If you’ve been trading for more than 12 months then you should have a good record of what happened in 2015; total orders taken, extra hours required, and how much packaging, stock and supplies you used.  Look back over last year’s results for each month and it should give you a starting point for what to expect in 2016.

Find out when orders began to increase and work this into your planning.  Did orders rise by 50% in mid-November, and then again by 200% by December? By noting these changes, you should get a good sense of what to expect so you can order enough supplies to fulfil your orders.

rajapack-uk-packaging-warehouse-web

The Rajapack UK packaging warehouse stocked up for Christmas

Many small businesses don’t have the space to store lots of materials or packaging on site, so ordering from suppliers that offer next day delivery can help you be more flexible, buying materials and packaging when you need it.

Make sure you’ve got your packaging boxed off

The right packaging is essential to give your customers a good experience when they receive your parcel, ensuring it arrives safely and well presented. We’ve shaped our services so that all our customers can benefit from our expert advice, flexibility as well as our wide range of packaging, so you can stay focused on your business.

Just a few of the things we offer include:

  • 99% of all our packaging products are in stock, always.
  • Next day delivery offered as standard.
  • Credit arrangement terms are available after your first order, so you can pay by invoice.
  • Expert packaging advice, to ensure you’re using the right packaging for your products.
  • A wide range of Christmas packaging, including personalised bags and tape to ensure your products stand out.

Key delivery dates

Finally, we’ve compiled some key dates below so you don’t miss anything when it comes to posting your parcels out this year.

Parcel Service Last posting date to arrive for Christmas
Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed® Thursday 22 December
1st Class and Royal Mail Signed For® Wednesday 21 December
2nd Class and Royal Mail Signed For® Tuesday 20 December
DHL – Last Posting Date Wednesday 21 December
DPD – Next Day Service Thursday 22 December
Parcel Force – Next Day Thursday 22 December

Ordering your packaging this Christmas

For ordering your packaging from Rajapack UK, our last order dates are:

  • To ensure your packaging arrives in time for Christmas, place your order by Thursday 22nd December, we’ll deliver the next day on Friday 23rd.
  • We offer a Saturday morning delivery service on 24th December, available at an additional cost for orders placed on Thursday 23rd.
  • We’ll be open as normal between 27th & 31st, with normal deliveries resuming on 3rd January 2017.

For full details of our Christmas opening times, to request our latest catalogue or browse our Christmas packaging range, simply visit www.rajapack.co.uk or contact our team on 0800 542 44 28.

Spotlight on: Envelopes and Mailing Bags

If you’re a regular visitor to the Rajapack blog then you’ll know that recently we’ve been focusing on new developments in packaging; product launches, the latest technology, and new packaging processes that are all making packaging more efficient and eco-friendly.

This week, we’ve decided to go back to basics with a focus on one of the oldest and widely used packaging items in history – Envelopes!

all-envelope-types

Enve-what?

One of the most common packaging items in the world, envelopes protect their contents in the post, ensuring they reach their recipient safely and securely.

Though envelopes can be dated back to around 3500BC, the first commercial envelope-making machine was not developed until 1845.  It was then another 50 years before pre-gummed envelopes were produced commercially.

Envelopes have continued to evolve over time as our needs have changed drastically – they now need to protect much more than just paper letters or documents! There are now hundreds of types of envelope available for all kinds of uses, offering benefits such as protection from water, bumps and shocks.

At Rajapack we stock over 30 different types of envelope, available in hundreds of sizes.  We’re going to run through the four main types below, what benefits they offer and what they should be used for.

 

Bubble Envelopes & Jiffy Bags

These padded envelopes offer the most cost-effective protection what’s inside.  They usually feature strong padding around the inside edges (layers of fibre, air filled protective bubbles or foam) for extra protection against damage in the post.

Any impact will be absorbed and cushioned by the thick outer layer, ensuring the contents stays safe and secure in transit. As padded envelopes have continued to evolve, they have become more lightweight, meaning a lower cost of postage, while maintaining a strong level of protection.

jiffy-and-bubble-envelopes

Jiffy bags are an envelope make that you’ve probably heard of before, being one of the most widely recognised brands of envelopes in the UK.  Named after the Jiffy Packaging Company who launched the product in 1964, they still manufacture them at the same site to this day.  They’ve been designed to be puncture resistant and come in two styles; the bubble bags contain air retention bubble wrap for longer protection, whilst the padded Jiffy bags have a lining of fibres that expand with use.

We find that padded envelopes and mailers are best when you need extra protection for your items in the post.  They are most commonly used for smaller products (an A4 envelope or less), but larger padded envelopes are available; heavy duty bubble envelopes go up to 52cm x 66cm in size, great for when you need to post large, flat items securely.

Bubble envelopes and Jiffy bags are suitable for packaging many different types of items, including jewellery, books and brochures, right through to items such as CDs, DVDs, and clothing.  Whether you choose Jiffy bags, bubble envelopes or padded mail bags, every one is designed to be lightweight to protect your products while keeping postage costs down.

 

Cardboard Envelopes & Mailers

These rigid envelopes are designed to ensure that the contents of your envelope won’t bend out of shape in the post.

card-backed-envelopes

The stiff cardboard construction forms a rigid frame around the envelope, offering a solid layer of protection for small, flat products.  And because they’re made of card, they’re generally very light and cost effective to mail (though be sure to check the size dimensions of the envelope).  These envelopes are ideal for packaging things like calendars and booklets, or important documents such as contracts or certificates.

For larger, thicker items such as books, brochures, CDs, or DVDs, carton envelopes (or panel wrap cardboard mailers) are perfect. They’re designed to fully enclose these thicker items, and are available with an adjustable spine, so you can put any thickness of book in them and they’ll seal securely.  To minimise postage costs, they’re exceptionally lightweight too – we currently offer the lightest cardboard mailers in Europe!

 

Plastic Mailing Bags

These items provide sealed protection for their contents and are very popular with online retailers and mail order companies.  Whilst being very thin, small and lightweight, they provide waterproof protection and are perfect for sensitive items as well as soft goods, such as textiles and clothing.

plastic mailers

Quick and easy to use, they all come with a tamper-poof peel and seal strip for security, ensuring that once they’ve been sealed they can’t be opened and resealed without ripping the bag.

Plastic mailing bags also present a unique option that other envelopes don’t – they are available completely see through!  For companies mailing catalogues or other documents that need an added layer of protection, clear mailing bags mean no extra effort required to re-print or re-label envelopes.

Plastic mailing bags can also double up as waterproof protection for other packages – easily fitting around a box, bag, or smaller envelope that need an added layer of polythene protection.

 

Office Envelopes

Finally, the most common type of envelope and probably the one you’ve used the most – the office envelope.   Made of paper and usually coloured white or manilla, these envelopes are used by almost every business, every day, for posting documents & letters.

office-envelopes

Office envelopes have size standards that have been adopted internationally under ISO 216, meaning that most countries use the same sizes of office envelopes.  A law on the standardisation of page sizes dates back to 1798 in France, making it easier for companies to do business internationally.

The sizes that are used are all scaled to each other, making use and manufacture easier internationally.  A C1 is twice the size of a C2, a C2 is twice the size of a C3 etc.  Here’s a full list of all the size dimensions – the most common type for businesses is DL size.

They’re available with a window in the front, meaning that your letters can slip straight in with the postal details on – no need to duplicate this on the envelope if the address is the letter itself.

Peel and seal or self seal options are available, both speeding up the process of sealing and sending.  Peel and seal typically have a longer shelf life as the gum is protected by a layer of paper.

Though there are standard sizes and colours, the quality of office envelopes can’t be guaranteed simply because they are so popular.  Usually coming pre-gummed, the thickness, quality of the paper, finish, and adhesive on the seal can all vary greatly.

Cheaper, thinner envelopes can suffer from print see-through, and no business wants their correspondence on show – especially when you’re sending private and confidential documents.  Ensure your envelopes don’t suffer from this oversight and insist on high quality envelopes to ensure you give your customers a great impression – they’ll be opening them after all!

 

Sealing Up

At Rajapack, envelopes continue to be one of our best selling products – we ship over 7 million a year to businesses of all types across the UK!

If you’re looking for envelopes for your items, if you currently have a supplier and are looking to cut costs, or are simply after some packaging advice, then please do get in touch; give us a call on 0800 542 44 28 or send us an email.  We have experienced packaging experts on hand, ready to help and advise you in any way they can.

Spotlight on Rajaprint: Custom Printed Tape

It’s been over a year since we launched Rajaprint, our online packaging tool for customers to create their own bespoke printed packaging.  We’ve chosen to feature it in this post as we’re offering some unmissable discounts on orders, with full details below.

Custom tape has been so popular that we’ve decided to revisit what makes custom packaging so important, and find out exactly how much custom tape we have printed!

custom-tape

Custom packaging can increase profits

Over the past few years, we’ve seen custom packaging become more popular as many businesses are looking to every avenue to maximise the customer experience.  Personalisation and customisation have always played an important role in this, but it’s only recently that we have seen this extend so far into the world of packaging.

We saw more evidence of this first hand at the Internet Retailing Expo in April, where many business owners we spoke to were looking for ways to give their products added stand out.  It’s also a topic we’ve covered on the blog before, looking in detail at how custom packaging can increase profits for businesses.

Giving customers more control over their packaging

Last year we developed Rajaprint Tape following feedback from customers that custom packaging was going to be the next packaging must have for many.   It can provide many benefits to SME businesses, who don’t want the large expense of specialised branding campaigns.

Rajaprint gives customers complete control over their customisation, allowing them to tailor it exactly how they want.  Just some of the features include:

  • 11 different types of tape, with over 124 different options
  • A wide range of tape materials including Vinyl, Polypropylene, Cross Woven, & Low Noise
  • A simple 3 step process, all completed online
  • Quick turnaround time, typically 2 weeks from sign off to delivery

So just how popular is Rajaprint custom tape?

In short, very! We’ve worked out that the amount of custom tape we’ve printed for our customers, and it’s staggering, take a look at some of our fun facts below.  In just over 12 months:

  • We’ve printed over 1,500 miles of custom tape – that’s enough to stretch from Land’s End in Cornwall to John of Groats in the Highlands and back again!
  • We’ve printed over 300 different bespoke tape designs through Rajaprint for our customers in just over a year, and many have returned for repeat orders.
  • Our most popular type of tape has been standard vinyl tape, it’s ideal for many applications. Polypropylene has been a close second, followed by low noise (perfect for packaging in libraries!)
  • The most popular colour has been white – lots of our customers use white tape for added stand out on their traditional brown packaging.
  • Company information and logos has accounted for over 75% of our custom prints! Business details, branding and straplines on packaging tape can all help to enhance the experience for the recipient.

Rajaprint has gone from strength to strength since we launched, it’s why we extended it to include Rajaprint bags last year – so many customers are looking for new ways to stand out from the crowd with tailored packaging.

custom-tape-and-bags

Custom printed packaging at unbeatable prices

Right now, we’re offering up to 40% off orders with free tape customisation in one or two colour print (with orders over 360 rolls).  For those repeat orders, we’re also offering free artwork, so if you’re looking for a bit of extra impact and personality from your packaging, then please get in touch today, we’d love to help.

 

A Guide to Packaging Machines

We’ve just got back from exhibiting at the Internet Retailing Expo, where packaging machines were a hot topic.  Many businesses we spoke to could see real benefits from automating their packaging processes; speeding up their productivity, saving money on materials, and reducing their impact on the environment.

We answered so many questions about machines that we’ve decided to put together this guide, to give you an introduction to packaging machines, what they can offer, and the types of machines available.

all-packaging-machines

A stretch wrap machine, Mini Pack’r, a strapping machine and a Fillpak TT

We’ve split out the contents below, so you can easily jump straight into any section.

Why automate your packaging processes?

Cushioning products, bagging, strapping boxes or wrapping pallets are all processes that can be made faster, cheaper and more efficient by packaging machines.

Just some of the benefits that machines can bring include:

  • Speeding up your packaging and warehouse processes, increasing efficiency.
  • Reducing the amount of materials used and waste produced, cutting costs.
  • Freeing up space in your warehouse, for more stock or to increase productivity.
  • Helping to reduce the impact of your business on the environment.
  • Giving your business more control over your packaging, improving flexibility.

If you are packaging more than 10 packages per day, then it’s likely that a packaging machine could save your business time and money.  Many machines are available to rent too, so there are no large, upfront costs to worry about.

If you’re packaging a very low number of items though, or wrapping specialist products, then an automated packaging machines might not be right for you, or something manual like a Fillpak M could be an option.  Our experts are always happy to help, and if you’re unsure whether machines could make a difference to your business, contact us today.

How can packaging machines help?

A large number of packaging processes can be automated, including wrapping, strapping, sealing and cushioning.  At Rajapack we categorise packaging machines into three different types, by the function that they perform:

In this guide we’ve explained what each type does, how it can be used, and what it can be used for, to help you see if a machine could be right for you.

Protective Packaging Machines

Ensuring your goods arrive at their destination safely and in one piece is essential to any successful business.   To protect loose items during shipping, paper or air void fill is perfect for cushioning and protection.

products protected by void fill

Air cushion & paper void fill being used to protect items.

Protective packaging machines produce void fill quickly and easily, as and when it’s needed, rather than purchasing it pre-made (such as loose fill, shredded tissue paper or bubble wrap).

The packaging materials that feed into the machines (such as plastic or paper) can be ordered in economical rolls, which means less shipping cost to your business and more storage space for you.

Air Cushion Machines

These compact little machines produce cushions of air for insulating and protecting your items.  Simply load a roll of bags onto the spindle, select your cushion settings, and you can instantly produce void fill on demand when you need it.

Machines such as the Mini Pak’r have a tiny footprint (H33cm x W36cm x D28cm) or the Opus Mini (H28cm x W30cm x D28cm) and can be used almost anywhere.  Simple to use, they can produce cushions fast and efficiently and are perfect for small to medium packaging operations.

For larger businesses, machines such as the Fill-Air Rocket™ Machine are easily able to cope with high volumes of air cushions, and give you more control over the sizes of you can produce, from tiny 2cm ones, to large air cushions as wide as 18cm.

air-cushion-machines

The Mini Pak’r Void Fill Machine & Opus Air Cushion System

Paper Void Fill Systems

Paper void fill machines offer another cost effective, eco-friendly way to create void fill.  Studies have shown that consumers prefer to receive paper packaging materials in their parcels for environmental reasons.  The machines take reams of paper in, and deliver strong, crimpled paper which can be used to wrap, cushion, block, or brace packages securely.

These machines are ideal for high volume operations (up to 1.4 metres of paper void per second) and though larger than the air cushion systems, they offer greater flexibility.   If you package over 50 products a day, they are almost guaranteed to save you time and money, and typically cut down materials use by 30% within the first 3 months.

More advanced models include features such as remote controls, foot pedals, and paper length programming.  The PadPak range is suitable for the blocking and bursting your products.

paper-void-fill-machines

A Fillpak M manual system, PadPak Junior, and the more advanced PadPak Senior for high speed packaging lines.

Paper void fill machines are available in a number of different sizes to suit a range of budgets and demands.

The lower cost models such as the Fillpak M are suited for small volume operations.  They dispense paper manually through a funnel, giving you complete control over the amount of packaging needed.  For moderate volume operations, machines like the Padpak Junior are well suited for lines packaging at least 30 items per day.

Fully automated, high volume machines such as the PadPak Senior are perfect for fast packaging lines and are able to flow paper through continually.  Paper lengths can be pre-programmed to ensure that the right amount of void fill is always dispensed.

 

Our Guide to Void Fill Machines

Our packaging machine experts at RajaSystem have developed a quick and easy online guide to see whether a void fill machine could be right for you.

We’ve selected the best paper, air, and foam void fill solutions that we have to offer and built them into this helpful guide.

void-fill-machines-guide

Simply answer a few questions about how many parcels you pack and how you protect them, and our system will determine the most suitable void fill machines for you.

We pride ourselves on ensuring our customers are using the most cost effective packaging for their needs, and with the release of this guide we hope to give you another way to do just that.

 

Closure Packaging Machines

Once your products are packed and in a box, that box needs to be properly secured whether it’s going on a pallet for loading or simply being shipped as is.  A closure machine straps or wraps packages to ensure that what’s packed and sealed won’t split open or leak out during delivery.

Closure machines come in two types; Strapping, which is perfect for reinforcing boxes and large loads, and Stretch Film, which tightly wraps around and secures pallets.

strapping-and-stretch-film-wrapped-pallet

Box secured with Strapping & Stretch Film Wrapped Pallet

Strapping Machines

If you’re shipping goods that need extra reinforcement, then you might already use strapping to add another layer of security to your shipments, with something like a hand strapping tool.

Strapping machines automate this process, cutting, wrapping and sealing strapping around packages quickly and efficiently.   A typical machine can wrap and strap a box in under 10 seconds, and fully automatic models work completely hands free via a foot pedal.  A strapping machine ensures that each seal is consistently secured and guaranteed to hold.

semi-and-fully-automatic-strapping-machines

A Semi-Automatic & Automatic Strapping Machine

If you’re manually strapping over 50 packages a day, then it’s likely that the addition of a machine could save you significant time and money.

Stretch Film Machines

If you’re wrapping whole pallets of goods using something like a stretch film dispenser, then a stretch wrap machine might be the solution to speed up your operation.

These machines are able to automatically wrap an entire pallet of goods as soon as it has been dropped onto their base.  The speed at which they do this varies, from entry level machines which are simple to setup and use, to industrial programmable machines, which can be customised to your consignments.

robot-serie-6-stretch-film-robot

Robot Serie 6 – Stretch Film Robot

If you are after more flexibility, then a stretch wrap robot might better suit your needs such as the Robot Serie 6.  Extremely versatile and packed with technology, it is able to wrap just about any size or shape product.  Extra features mean it can easily wrap unstable loads, and improve efficiency by using less stretch film, effectively saving you materials costs.

Stretch film machines are suited to businesses who need to secure and ship large quantities of palletised goods, and are commonly used by larger warehouse operations.  If you’re currently wrapping over 50 pallets per day then a stretch film machine could speed up your wrapping process.

 

Shrink Wrap & Heat Sealer Machines

Shrink wrap and heat sealer machines are designed to package and protect items by sealing them in bags.  They do this by wrapping them in PVC or shrink film, keeping them free from dust and dirt in storage or protecting them from damage during delivery or while on display.

Both systems can produce bags of almost any size; for smaller items such as jewellery or electronics, CDs or books, to larger more awkward items (typically up to 800mm in width).

Being able to produce your own bags offers many benefits; bags of any size can be quickly made to order, and materials can easily be stored on-site so that bags are always on hand when needed, saving time.

Shrink Wrap Machines

Shrink Wrap systems are perfect for packaging or presenting retail products, such as large books, mirrors or pictures, typically up to 800mm wide.  The shrink wrap forms a tight puncture resistant film, protecting items against water and dust.  These systems are ideal for businesses who are looking for a lower cost solution but still seeking a professional result.

The PACKER range of shrink wrap systems are designed for low volume operations.  Coming complete with a sealer, bag dispenser and hot air blower, these systems are all you need to begin professionally bagging your products.

packer-shrink-wrap-system

PACKER complete shrink wrap film system

Heat Sealer Machines

Heat sealers offer a more industrial, high volume solution if you need to seal large quantities of bags quickly and easily.  Small and compact, they can fit into an existing packaging operation and can be mounted on a stand with a foot pedal for hands free operation.

For smaller, low volume businesses that only require bags up to 500mm wide, ‘push to seal’ units are ideal which operate with a built in cutter, saving time when bagging up smaller products.

small-volume-heat-sealer

A Small Volume Heat Sealer

For larger quantities (typically up to 800 bags per 8 hours), we offer industrial sealers such as the Opti-seal Industrial Sealer.  This can seal bags up to 790mm wide and features adjustable sealing and cooling times, for various different films and bags.

industrial-heat-sealer

An Industrial Heat Sealer, able to seal up to 800 bags a day.

Accessories are also available for heat sealers, such as foot pedals and desktop stands, that mean you can customise the machine to your operation.  Spares kits can also be bought which make it easy to maintain and service your machine.

Buying, Renting, & Maintaining

Buying a packaging machine can usually mean a big initial investment, which can be difficult for small or medium sizes businesses to justify.  It’s why many of our packaging machines are available to rent, with no high up-front costs, though your first step would be to demo a machine before committing further.

Our machines can be rented from as little as £15 per month and include free delivery, installation, and after care support.  This means that you can focus on integrating the machine into your operation, without having to worry about the long term financial commitment.

One final factor to consider when adopting an automatic packaging machine is what happens if they go wrong or need repair?   For your total piece of mind, we can arrange on-site call outs in case of any problems, so you can ensure minimal downtime in your operation if any problems do occur.

Our Expert Opinion

Finally, we caught up our resident machines expert, Chris Sheehan to get his thoughts on the impact packaging machines can make.  Chris has helped his fair share of customers make the transition to a packaging machine and believes:

“The first step for most customers is realising that they actually have a need for a machine. Once this happens, selling the benefits and finding the right machine for a customer’s needs is actually quite straight forward.”

“Investing in a packaging machine isn’t just about saving on the price of using machine consumables and rental of the machine compared to their current protective packaging. Using traditional packaging products can take up more than three times as much space in your warehouse as a roll of film or a block of paper. And we all know that warehousing space is at a premium, so every bit of it counts.”

“The same can be said for packing speed and productivity. Having a machine available to produce void fill, air cushions or bubble on demand at a work station means a reduction in time to pack – meaning orders go out the door quicker. It can also result in a reduction of temporary staff in peak periods of the year.”

To find out more about Packaging Machines and if they might be right for your business, or for a no obligation demonstration, please get in touch with our experts. Call us free on 0800 142 26 46 or email machines@rajapack.co.uk.

Introducing the RajaSafe™ Impact Protect Box

With so many of us shopping online, the need for innovative packaging solutions has never been greater. Under the Sale of Goods Act, products damaged in the post are the responsibility of the seller, not the buyer, which can leave many businesses out of pocket. The bottom line is that inadequate packaging costs your business money. And even if your packaging is up to scratch, unscrupulous, heavy-handed couriers can be unavoidable.

It’s difficult to estimate the number of parcels that are damaged in transit each year. With giant postal sorting warehouses continuously running conveyor belts full of packages, sometimes accidents are unavoidable, and packages can accidentally slip off the line.

As the No 1 in Europe for packaging solutions, Rajapack has been working to solve this problem. So it gives us great pleasure to announce our revolutionary RajaSafe™ Impact Protect system.

Boxes with bounce

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Our team of technologists have been working on developing and improving this innovative new packaging solution. Corrugated card is combined with isoprene and styrene-butadiene compounds. This creates resilient, pressure absorbing properties which give the boxes a slight bounce on impact.

RajaSafe™ Impact Protect technology is designed to give maximum protection to heavier, bulky items, such as flat-screen televisions, as these can be the hardest to handle. The ‘bounce’ is engineered to be more apparent the heavier the package, as these are generally the items requiring the most protection.

We showcased the new range of RajaSafe™ Impact Protect boxes at the Packaging Innovations 2016 show earlier this year. We carried out demonstrations to show the degree of bounce for each item placed inside the boxes, and we were blown away by your feedback.

“This new technology from Rajapack demonstrates one of the greatest innovations in the packaging industry since the introduction of personalised packaging. As a company we are acutely aware of the need for affordable, contemporary, resilient packaging solutions; RajaSafe™ Impact Protect is the technology this industry has been waiting for.”

– Anabelle Fool, MD, CBB Systems

How it works

At Rajapack, we are committed to creating eco-solutions that can be recycled or in this case reused. The main component of our RajaSafe™ boxes is styrene-butadiene, an artificial rubber compound commonly used by large tyre manufacturers. Heralded for its abrasion resistance, this compound, as well as giving our boxes their boing, adds a resilience that was never before available with cardboard. This means the boxes are sturdy enough to be used long past the lifecycle of an ordinary cardboard box.

We use Solution-SBR, created through an anionic polymerization process, to coat the inner wall of our cardboard boxes.  Using Solution-SBR gives us greater control over the polymer, allowing us to tailor it to our needs. This compound is what gives the boxes their bounce, and offers maximum protection to the items inside.

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Rajapack is constantly striving to create a better product for our customers, with RajaSafe™ Impact Protect technology we hope to bring you peace of mind. We will be offering this technology in our postal box range, and are currently working on introducing it to our complete range of cardboard boxes to include more bulky items such as TVs or guitars. When combined with our other innovative packaging solutions, the RajaSafe™ Impact Protect system is guaranteed to be your number one shipping solution.