Tag Archives: shipping

Types of edge and corner protectors

When it comes to transporting products we all want our goods to arrive in perfect condition. If palletised or stacked, packages can be particularly vulnerable as their square edges and corners are particularly exposed to bruising or crushing. But help is at hand: as part of the wide range of packaging materials available to retailers and shippers are a plethora of edge and corner protectors.

From foam corner protectors to sturdy cardboard edge protectors, there are a vast array of solutions to this problem, both in standard and non-standard size. Here we take a look at what is on offer and how best to use them.

Types of edge and corner protectors

There are a wide range of edge and corner protectors designed to suit the needs of the wide variety of packages stacked and wrapped, palletised and shrink wrapped. Let’s start at the corners, as these are particularly prone to bangs and bashes as boxes are stacked and moved around and loaded against each other for transit purposes.

Foam U profile edge protectorsCorner protectors can be made of either cardboard or foam. Corner foam can be either a simple ‘U’ shape corners protectors or, more elaborately, full corner protectors design to protect in three dimensions, each designed for very specific uses

U shaped foam corner protectors are designed to grip tables, shelving, wooden boards or furniture for added protection during transit or storage. They are strong and absorb small impacts, as well as being temperature resistant between -40 and +100ºC.

3D foam corners, meanwhile, are designed to provide protection and extra support to the corners of boxes and palletised goods. They are simple to pop on the corners and are non-abrasive.

Both these and the ‘U’ shaped foam corner protectors are made from closed cell polyethylene foam, CFC and HFC free. They are also 100% recyclable.

How do edge protectors work?

Edge protectors, meanwhile, have a very different role to play. They are similarly used to protect the edges of boxes and palletised boxes from bumps and bashes, but they can also beused to protect the boxes from the fixings used to hold boxes together and on the pallets themselves.

General purpose edge protectors protect and strengthen stacks of boxes

They are also used to add structure and strength to palletised boxes, especially under shrink and film wrap. Together with the fixings and the wrap, these cardboard or foam edge protectors add structure and stabilise loads, so that not only are the goods protected from knocks and bangs, but won’t collapse under their own weight or puncture the cardboard when being moved.

Also available are edge protectors that are used to help support strapping and fixings. These come in both cardboard and moulded plastic, with the plastic offering able to both protect the package from the force of the strap as well as holding the strap securely in place, preventing potentially dangerous movement of the packages.

White card protectors such as moisture resistant edge protectors, also have their specialist uses. While affording protection to stackable pallet loads and held with fixings, these moisture resistant, poly-coated white paper protectors are ideal for use where the pallets are to be stored in cold and/or damp locations for a period of time, such as in a cold store.

These moisture resistant edge protectors stabilise, protect and reinforce unsteady or variable pallet loads during transport and storage. Keeping their strength in humid conditions they can also be used to add reinforcements to cartons.

How do corner protectors work?

Where edge protectors protect from knocks, fixings and add structure, corner protectors are very specifically designed to protect the corners of items such as tables, worktops, shelves and other ‘flat’ goods that have pronounced and often sharp corners.

Table corner protectors can be either plastic or foam and simply slip over the edges of the corners and prevent bumps. Foam corners grip the surface of the table and protect both the table and those handling it from sharp edges.

One solution for tables, worktops and other furniture corner protection are expanding corner protectors, that can stretch from 20 to 40mm and so can handle non-standard sized items.

Similarly worktop corner protectors are vital to preventing these expensive and often bespoke pieces of wood, stone or metal from getting damaged during routine handling. With worktops costing many hundreds – sometimes thousands – of pounds, preventing them getting bashed or chipped; damage that could write off the whole piece.

Heavy duty pallet racking protectors - corner protectors can also be used for safety

As we have seen, there is also a need for safety corner protectors, where the corner protectors not only protect the goods, but also protect those handling the goods.

While heavy duty pallet racking protectors protect vulnerable pallet racking uprights and end-frames from damage from fork lift trucks, protect corners of buildings and doorways and can be put around machines, more simple foam and plastic protectors popped on the ends of shelves and other goods stop personnel hurting themselves when handling the goods.

Foam corner protectors vs cardboard corner protectors

So where do you use foam corner protectors and where do you use cardboard corner protectors? Foam corner protectors are ideal for use where edges aren’t straight, as they are flexible as well as strong. Their ‘spongey’ consistency also makes them ideal for adsorbing small impacts and are good a gripping the surfaces of things that are made from glass, such as pictures, mirrors and glass table tops.

Foam protectors can also be coloured, offering warnings or indications of the nature of the goods being protected – as well as making sure it is clear they have to be removed for use.

Cardboard edge protection, meanwhile, is used for protection but is often more useful for handling pressure points under fixings and strapping, as well as providing additional structure, strength and stability to packages. It too can be coloured or have warnings printed on it, but typically is used in its natural state.

Some other corner protectors

There are a number of other cardboard and foam protectors available for pallets, packages and non-standard shaped goods.

Cardboard pallet corners are ideal for added protection for the corners of square palletised goods in warehouses and during transit. Solid and shockproof these carton protectors are ready to use, just apply to the corners of your product.

L profile cardboard corner protectors ideal for individual boxes

L-shaped cardboard edges are ideal for protecting individual boxes, both from damage and from fixings. They are also ideal for non-standard sized and non-palletised items.

Standard extruded mesh sleeves ideal for really delicate items for the added protection

Often used in conjunction with other protective materials, extruded mesh sleeves are ideal for protecting very delicate objects before they are boxed up. They are strong, flexible, colourful and ideal for glassware.

Self-adhesive blocks prevent movement in boxes

Self-adhesive foam blocks are protective pads that stick to the inside of cartons and protect the contents from movement or damage. Supplied in sheets one surface has a permanent adhesive protected with a peel off backing. The foam pads are pre-scored; just snap them off the sheet.


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Want to know more about our wide range of cardboard and foam edge and corner protectors?

For additional advice on cardboard and foam edge and corner protectors, mesh, blocks and all kinds of fixings, our Packaging Experts are here to help you find the right solutions and arrange next day delivery. Simply call us on 0800 542 44 28 or visit www.rajapack.co.uk.

Large cardboard boxes vs small cardboard boxes: what are the benefits?

The benefits of getting the right sized box are clear: your goods will fit snuggly in, will be well protected and ready to be stored, transported, posted or archived. Here we take a look at what kinds of cardboard boxes are available in what sizes, how to choose the right ones for storage, postage or archiving and take a look at the benefits of large boxes and small boxes.

Small and big cardboard boxes

Large cardboard boxes vs small cardboard boxes: what are the benefits

The chief benefit large cardboard boxes have over small ones is that you can put many small cardboard boxes inside large boxes, shipping smaller items in bulk and giving the goods therein the protection of, essentially, two boxes.

However, large boxes and small boxes come in a wide variety of not only sizes but also formats and sizes, each designed to offer the perfect storage and/or transport solution based around the goods being shipped.

Naturally, for large and bulky items, you will need a large cardboard box – triple walled cardboard boxes. It’s great if, say, you have engine parts to dispatch.  Similarly, 700mm double-walled boxes are designed to stack on pallets – they are standard Euro sized – and are ideal for the storage or transportation of all those items in smaller boxes.

Small boxes on the other hand have a varied array of uses. These come in a variety of sizes and can have reasonably secure lids – making them ideal for sending items through the post, as well as for packaging, storage and, as we shall see, archiving.

How do you store any item safely in archive boxes?

Storing items safely in archive boxes is a vital part of any business. Even in the digital era, it is essential to keep hold of paperwork pertaining to everything from tax to HR to publications and more – and this specific form of storage requires a specific form of box: the archive box.

Archive boxes are designed to be sized to accommodate the standard kinds of paper used in modern offices and, with their sturdy construction and closable lids are ideal for keeping out moisture, damp, dirt and dust – as well as stopping sunlight damage fading what is written on the paper.

To safely store items in archive boxes, you need to choose a box that fits your needs – so for easy access archive box folders have a closable lid and a finger hole for easy access. They can take A4 pages up to around a ream and are ideal for storage on shelves.

For archiving these box folders – for when they are no longer containing current paperwork that you need ready access to, but which you still need to keep – there are a range of cardboard archive boxes that can hold up to five archive files at a weight of 20kg. These have a closable lid offering great protection and handles for easy storage and retrieval.

Also in the pantheon of archiving boxes are Bankers Box transfer files, which are ideal for accessing information and publications that are needed often. They can be easily labelled and shelved and have easy access for users. Bankers Box transfer files can also be archived, in special Bankers Box two-piece cardboard archive file boxes, which are also ideal for storing lever-arch files, ring binders and foolscap magazines. Remember always label your boxes so that you – and others – knows what is where.

For all other archiving demands – from lose papers, to files to magazine and more – there are Snapcase two-piece cardboard archive boxes, which are designed to allow for maximum storage and easy access. They come with handles and a strong base so are ideal for moving things around and the sturdy lid adds protection. And lids are really important, as we shall see shortly.

What are the best boxes for postage?

Thanks to the growing hunger for buying things online, the cardboard box is most popular, and is the most practical – you can buy specialist boxes for postage. The best boxes for postage have to offer a range of things: they have to offer strength and protection for the goods inside, they have to be durable enough to withstand handling and transit, they have to be tough enough not to come apart when being bumped and they have to provide ample space for labelling for addresses and postage franking.

What are the best boxes for storage

With this in mind, there is quite a choice to be made when looking for a box for postage for your items.

The basic postal box is made from ridged flute corrugated postal board, which offers strength and protection for the goods inside when in transit. They also have an easily closed, locking flap that is secure, as well as neat and smart looking. These boxes offer all that you could hope for in a postal box: strength, durability and a sealed lid.

With the growth of ecommerce, ever more complicated and unusual things are being mailed, so postage boxes also come not just in a range of sizes, but also in a range of formats. For starters there are flat ones, made of the same tough corrugated card, designed for anything flat – and can be a great alternative to mailing bags.

Find the right sized box

Book boxes, meanwhile, are specifically designed for the postage of books, complete with sealable flap and sides to protect the books in transit.

If you are looking to post delicate items such as mugs or electronic devices, glass ware or ceramics then you need to choose postal boxes that will offer added protection. This is where foam-lined postal boxes and deluxe crash-proof postal mug boxes come in to play.

Foam lined boxes have a strong cardboard outer layer, but inside is lined with non-abrasive polyurethane foam that will completely surround what is in the box. Giving it excellent protection from the rigours of postage.

Mug boxes, meanwhile, not only have a crash-lock base, but also an inner cardboard fitting that holds the mug in place throughout the postal process with no need for void fill.

If you need a large box for posting then you need to choose a triple walled, corrugated box which provides delicate items with the shockproof, robust protection they need in the post.

One of the downsides of ecommerce is that things sometimes need to be sent back – and quick pack returnable boxes with adhesive strips are ideal for this. They offer easy and fast assembly, simply push the opposite corners towards each other and the base flaps lock together automatically. These strong and secure crash-lock base boxes close with an adhesive strip so there is no need for tape or glue.

The boxes are easy for customers to open and re-seal; simply pull the tear strip to open then secure the box using the second adhesive strip and it is ready to be returned.

Sometimes a postage box needs to be, well, not a box. For flat items such as maps or charts, textiles or prints, or long or cylindrical objects, postage tubes offer a great postage solution – they are strong both laterally and longitudinally and come with a tough plastic end cap that protects the ends and adds strength to the whole tube.

The benefits of cardboard boxes with lids

While end caps are essential to the integral strength of a postal tube, cardboard boxes with lids also offer many benefits for those looking to post, transport and store items. Cardboard boxes with lid features are ideal for storage, postage and transit as the lid protects the items inside from impact, moisture, dust and dirt. It also stops things falling out.

Having a lid on your box also means that you can stack them on top of the other. The lid also provides an ideal canvas in which to write what the contents is or to put an address label or postage franking if it is for posting.


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Storing items in extra-large cardboard boxes

Extra large carboard boxes have to be innately strong to support themselves and to handle the kind of heavy loads that you want to store or transport in them. For this reason, extra large cardboard boxes are constructed from triple walled, corrugated card and can handle loads of up to 500 kg – the weight of a small cow.

It is best to pick large cardboard boxes that come in Euro or Chep/UK pallet sizes, as this makes them much easier to store and transport en masse. They are also strong enough to with stand the strapping needed to palletise such boxes, especially if you put strapping protectors on them.

These boxes are the expert’s choice when shipping large goods such as machine parts, domestic appliances, builder’s tools and construction products.

The best shipping boxes to use for certain items

Increasingly in the ecommerce era the packaging is as important as the goods contained therein. Not only does the box in which goods are shipped protect the items in transit, but also can offer part of the experience of receiving the item itself – especially if it is a gift for someone else.

So join us as we take a look at what kinds of shipping boxes and gift boxes there are for everything from everyday objects to special gifts such as books, mugs, pictures and more.

The best shipping boxes to use for certain items

Ecommerce has seen something of a resurgence in the fortunes of the cardboard box. Getting goods ordered online to where they need to go requires the best shipping boxes, which come in all shapes and sizes, to both protect the goods in transit and, increasingly, to offer a nice ‘unboxing’ experience for the recipient.

From book boxes designed to accommodate the latest in publishing, to mug boxes and picture boxes, packaging for shipping is now spoiled for choice. So how do you choose?

What is available runs from simple flat cardboard boxes for everything from magazines to more delicate items such as electronics right through to specialist boxes for things like computers or keyboards through to bespoke packages designed for much more specific purposes.

These boxes come in a range of sizes, but can also be used with packaging materials to further protect the goods and help them fit snuggly in the box.

But the humble cardboard box is more complex than you may imagine. While they come in standard sizes as seen, they also come in a variety of other forms to make packing – and unpacking– goods slightly easier for both the shipper and the customer.

Double wall, flat telescopic cardboard boxes

Telescopic boxes offer flexible ways to package

For example, there are telescopic boxes which feature a main body with a lid that slides over it. This allows for the packaging of items that are of non-standard sizes and shapes, as well as meaning that package and shippers need only minimal different types of boxes for a wide range of goods.

However, these are just the beginning: for specialist products, or to offer a good fit, there are many other boxes to choose from.

What are the different types and sizes of book boxes? 

Book boxes designed to get tomes delivered in mint condition

Amazon started in Jeff Bezos’ garage back in 1994 – at number 5, Bellevue, Washington on 5 July 1994 to be precise – selling books. And today, books remain a large part of what is send through the mail. To protect these valuable and beautiful things there is a growing range of bespoke book boxes that are specially designed to make sure your rom-coms, classics or reference works arrive in mint condition.

The different types of book boxes available are designed around basic book sizes – as well as accommodating CDs, DVDs and box sets – while offering some flexibility as to the thickness of the book or box set.

As well as this there are a range of ways that the boxes can be sealed shut.

Book boxes are cleverly designed one-piece cardboard contraptions that fold beautifully over the book to make it easy to package up and just as easy to undo when it arrives.

Thanks to its clever design, these boxes can adjust in height to accommodate a single book or multiple books, as well as single or multiple CDs or DVDs, boxsets and more.

Brown book boxes

Book boxes can be glued, taped or strapped together

Sealed closed with an adhesive strip, glue, tape or strapping, book boxes are secure and tough for postal or courier transportation, offering shock protection, especially on the corners. And no one wants a book with bent corners, do they?

Brown book boxes with adhesive strips and red tear strip

Self-adhesive tape on book boxes makes them easy to seal

Some book boxes come with their own adhesive tape built in, making it even easier to assemble them around the goods being shipped and stuck down.

What are the best shipping boxes for pictures?

Shipping pictures comes with its own set of challenges and picking the best box for your pictures depends on their size and shape.

Shipping boxes for pictures are another specialist box that again is designed to protect very fragile items. Flat and often self-sealing, these boxes are designed to protect pictures – which feature delicate glass, wooden frames and often delicate paper prints – on the move.


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Similar in design to book boxes, shipping boxes for pictures are one-piece cardboard constructions that fold over the goods – again with some flexibility as to thickness of the picture frame – that offer excellent shock and scratch protection.

These packing boxes for framed pictures, too, can be self-sealing or can be sealed using tape or strapping to hold them closed until the recipient is ready to open them up.

What are the different types of cardboard gift boxes?

As said, increasingly the packaging in which things are delivered – especially gifts – is all part of the unboxing experience: not least if it is an actual gift ordered by one person and sent to another.

Cardboard gift boxes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, colours and styles to suit a wide range of gift giving.

Jewellery gift boxes

Cardboard jewellery boxes add a touch of class

One of the most obvious gifts that finds itself inside a cardboard gift box is jewellery. Cardboard jewellery boxes offer protection, but with tastefully coloured card and lined with linen and padded packing, these boxes are ideal for not only protecting the items in transit, but presenting them beautifully when they arrive where they are heading.

Luxury magnetic wine gift boxes

Wine is also a gift – and there is a box perfect for that

But not all gifts are jewellery shaped. Wine is also being sent as a gift, along with all manner of other things – and there is wide range of gift boxes to suit all these lovely things.

Pillow gift boxes

Pillow gift boxes for small delicate items

But how do you seal these elegant boxes closed? Tape and strapping may be secure, but could spoil the elegant effect you are going for. To solve this problem, many gift boxes now have magnetic seals built in.

Magnetic gift boxes

Gift boxes come with magnetic seals to avoid using tape and straps

These boxes have a flat magnet on their lid flap and a flat metal plate built into the face of the box, so that when the lid is closed it seals shut with enough force to keep it closed in transit, but not so tight that it can’t be popped open by the lucky recipient.

When is the best time to use a mug box?

Easifold, fast assembly mug postal boxes

While we all like to get jewels, wine or other lovely gifts, there is also a roaring trade in mugs and mug boxes have been specially created to make sure these fragile, ceramic items can be transported safely and securely.

The best time to use a mug box is when trying to ship such a mug. Increasingly, with the commoditisation of printing, people can have also sorts of fun things printed on mugs and this roaring trade has been boosted greatly by ecommerce.

But there is a choice to make when looking at which mug box to use for your product.

Deluxe crash-lock postal mug box

Deluxe crash-tested boxes for mug are also available

Like book boxes and shipping boxes for framed pictures, mug boxes are easy to fold around their prized content and have been specially designed and tested with a double thickness base, triple thickness sides to protect fragile handles and rims, and reinforced corners to defend against knocks in the post.

For extra protection there are other specially designed boxes that features a crash-lock base, as well as an inner cardboard fitting that holds the mug in place obviating the need for void filling packaging material.

 


Gifting etiquette: Exploring Brit’s gift-giving habits

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Want to know more about our wide range of shipping boxes for specific items?

For additional advice on the best shipping boxes for specific items, our Packaging Experts are here to help you find the right solutions and arrange next day delivery. Simply call us on 0800 542 44 28 or visit www.rajapack.co.uk.

The difference between shrink wrap vs stretch wrap

Shrink wrap and stretch wrap are both perfect packaging solutions – both are tear resistant, water-proof, dust-proof and help hold bundles of items together for storage, transport and retail. But what are the differences and how can each be used? Let’s find out.

The difference between shrink wrap vs stretch wrap

The difference between shrink wrap vs stretch wrap

Shrink wrap is a staple of the packaging and warehousing industry and, as we have seen in previous blogs, it can be used to cover everything from small goods to helicopters – but it isn’t the only way to cover goods to protect them in transit and storage. There is also stretch wrap. So what’s the difference and what can they be used for?

Both are used to package up separate products to keep them together for transport and storage. Both are made from the same thing – polythene, typically – and both are usually good at protecting the products.

Product Advice Guide - Stretch Film PalletisingThe key difference comes in how the wrapping is done and why. Stretch wrap sees the products wrapped tightly in the wrapping film until everything is secure. The stretch film is stretched to about 300% of its natural size in this process and, when in place, tries to shrink back to its original side – creating a firm hold on the goods.

The same applies with shrink wrap, only it is then heated to 100 to 150ºC and allowed to cool – where it then shrinks even further to form an even tighter fit round the items.

Why would you do this? It is all about what you want to do with the goods. Stretch wrap is generally more for transport, typically, found wrapping boxes and more to keep them together on pallets for transport. While shrink wrap is generally more often used for displaying your product, to contain products in the retail, food and pharmaceuticals businesses to protect goods for sale. You may have well already seen goods pilled high in supermarkets, and items wrapped in boxes on pallets.

What is shrink wrap film?

Shrink wrap film is made from a kind of plastic known as a polyolefin – the most common forms of which are Polythene and PVC. It is a strong, often transparent – although doesn’t have to be, as we shall see – and offers protection to heat, cold, moisture, dust and other contaminants.

When heat shrunk over goods and pallets, it provides a puncture proof and secure way to hold items together for storage and transport and is an ideal way to package things.Continuous shrink wrapContinuous shrink wrap rolls are ideal for wrapping outsized and irregular loads

For pallet loads, the ideal way to deploy the wrap is from a roll that offer a continuous sheet of shrink wrap material that can be wrapped around as many times as needed and round all sorts of irregularly shaped or tall pallet loads. It is also available in extra wide for really big loads.

Shrink wrap roll with perforationsShrink wrap roll with perforations

For more standardised loads, shrink pallet covers on a perforated roll can be torn off, slipped over the load and then heated and shrunk into place. For best results raise the pallet to a position where you have easy access to the underside – then pull the cover down underneath the corners of the pallet.

These are made from 120 micron low density polythene and come in range of sizes. To work out the cover height that you need: Load height + 1/2 width + 140 mm. For example, if your load is 1160 mm high (including the pallet) on a standard 800 x 1200 mm pallet, you need a cover with a minimum height of 1160 + 400 +140 = 1700 mm.

So how do you actually apply the shrink wrap? A shrink wrap machine can be used to both wrap and shrink smaller items. These are ideal for retail products as the clear wrap displays items professionally, and is highly secure and tamper-proof as the film takes the shape of the product.Shrink wrap machines

For larger loads, the equipment needed to do the wrapping involves specialist machines that can spin the pallet and wrap the goods and heating equipment to do the heat shrink.

Once wrapped, the packages need to be heated to shrink the wrap. This is done using heat guns. These come in a range of sizes and shapes to suit all budgets and work by burning butane to produces ambient heat. This shrinks the wrap but is gentle enough not to over heat the products therein.


Tip: Do you know how to use a heat gun?

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What is stretch wrap film?

To all intents and purposes, stretch wrap is the same as shrink wrap – only you don’t heat it to shrink it. When wrapped around pallets and products using a stretch wrap machine, the wrap is stretched to some 200 to 300% of its static length. Once applied it then tries to pull itself back into its original dimensions, tightly gripping the products.

There are several kinds of stretch film. Blown stretch film is tear and puncture resistant and is suitable for use in deep freeze storage and comes in six thicknesses and two widths – and can be black or transparent.

There is also cast stretch film, which is clear, tear resistant and will cling to itself and products for secure hold. By sticking only to itself, it prevent products on pallets from moving while in transit. This pallet wrap is very popular in the food industry.

Cast stretch film

Cast stretch wrap sticks to itself and is popular in the food industry

Cast stretch wrap is very versatile. For wrapping consignments weighing less than 500kg use standard 15 or 17 micron film. For consignments weighing up to 700 kg use the stronger 20 micron film. For additional strength and tough conditions use the 30 micron film and to conceal the contents of your pallet use the black cast stretch film.

So how do you put stretch wrap on? Well firstly, it depends on how many pallets or items need  wrapping! For more than 15 pallets a day, use a stretch wrap machine to speed up end of line wrapping. Otherwise stretch-film dispensers or mini stretch film rolls would be more suited.

Looking for more packaging information?

Our Packaging Experts are here to help you find the right solutions. Simply call us on 0800 542 44 28 or visit www.rajapack.co.uk.

How to use a heat gun for shrink wrapping

Using a heat gun to wrap and package goods is quite straightforward. Shrink wrapping offers a sturdy, protective and professional way to pack goods for storage, transport and even for sale. But to get the best from the material, the wrap needs to be heated so that it can shrink – and that means using a heat gun. Here we take a look at how to choose the right wrap for your needs and then how to use a heat gun to make it work.

Can I use a heat gun for shrink wrapping?

Yes you can use a heat gun for shrink wrapping, it is ideal for professional and effective packing. Shrink wrap is a highly efficient way to protect goods for transit and storage. But for it to work effectively the goods in question have to be wrapped – in the wrap, and then heated so that the film shrinks into place – holding its contents tightly and securely.

PVC shrink wrap

To do this you need a shrink wrap heat gun. The film is made from polyolefin plastic, most commonly polythene and PVC. It is a strong, often transparent and offers protection to heat, cold, moisture, dust and other contaminants. It is also puncture proof and offers a secure way to hold items together for storage and transport and is an ideal way to package various items.

But to get the best out of it the polyolefin plastic needs to be heated so that, as it cools, it shrinks to tightly wrap the goods. But be careful when you heat shrink wrap, as it requires care – so as not to damage the plastic and the goods beneath.

PVC heat shrink rolls shrink at 80 degrees Celsius and have a retraction rate of 40%. It isn’t recommended for food packaging.

How to use a heat gun for shrink wrap

So how do you shrink wrap goods and pallets of goods for transport or storage? For goods on a pallet, or mixed goods that are of non-uniform size and shape, a good starting point would be to use a shrink wrap roll.

Using shrink wrap on an easy to use roll, is a simple method to help palletising or collating. The shrink wrap roll can then be simply un-rolled, and the polythene wrapped around the goods as needed. Allowing for the change of contours and shapes, this helps hold together the goods ready to be heated and shrunk into place to create that all-important tight support and protection.

Shrink wrap on a roll comes in a range of sizes to allow for a variety of sized pallets, goods and needs. Including extra wide for those particularly big or awkwardly shaped products.

It can be found as both a continuous roll of film, this helps to accommodate non-uniform and varied sized and shaped loads. The film can also be manually cut to size, or it is available as a perforated roll, which can be torn off easily for use in sections to cover the load.

To work out the cover height that you need: Load height + 1/2 width + 140 mm. For example, if your load is 1160 mm high (including the pallet) on a standard 800 x 1200 mm pallet, you need a cover with a minimum height of 1160 + 400 +140 = 1700 mm.

Palletising, individual shrink wrap pallet coversAlternatively, it comes as  shrink wrap bags, available in a roll, or shrink wrap pallet covers that can be slipped over the items or pallet ready to be shrunk into place.

Individual shrink pallet covers are available in two sizes – the smallest pallet covers are suitable for pallets with a maximum height of 1160mm and the large pallet covers are suitable for pallets with a maximum height of 1760mm. Manufactured from 120 micron low density polythene, the film is also available as shrink pallet covers perforated on a roll and on a continuous roll.

Prepare your loads by ensuring it is tidy as possible, then secure the load on your pallet, pull the shrink film cover over the whole load. For best results raise the pallet to a position where you have easy access to the underside – then pull the cover down underneath the corners of the pallet.

With shrink wrap pallet covers or bags, pull the bags down over the goods into place.

Then the heating begins. To get the best out of the shrink wrap it needs to then be shrunk into place by using a heat gun. This is done using a shrink wrap gun.

A shrink wrap gun is a heated gun that uses butane or propane gas to create a flame, which is contained in a safety housing which gets hot and radiates heat onto plastic wrap. It is crucial that no contact occurs between the flame and the film – or the film will ignite and burn.

These tools are safe and light enough to use all day long. It is available as part of a complete kit, complete with gas canister, lengthy hose and gun. Some systems are also mobile – featuring a film gun and trolley kit, complete with a portable propane bottle – so that the wrapping can happen on the move within the warehouse or packaging area.

RIPACK 3000 heat shrink film gun and trolley kit

A great example is the RIPACK 3000 Shrink film gun, which is safe and easy to use. The flame is never in contact with the nozzle, which stays cool avoiding any risk of burning. The flame fans out to cover a large area making the shrink process quick and easy.

This heat shrink gun is ergonomic, lightweight (1.22kg) and designed to keep operator fatigue to a minimum with its soft grip handle. The RIPACK 3000 is supplied in its own case and includes a regulator, 8 metres of hose, adjustment spanner and instruction manual. There is a spare igniter store in the handle. The case is sturdy enough to be used as an operator platform. Powered by propane gas (not included).

Want to know more about heat guns?

For additional advice on different packaging films, wrapping machines and heat guns, our Packaging Experts are here to help you find the right solutions and arrange next day delivery. Simply call us on 0800 542 44 28 or visit www.rajapack.co.uk.

Posting parcels to your customers

Posting parcels to your customers

For shipping and deliveries within the UK or internationally, businesses can either use the Royal Mail or a courier to send their postal boxes, pallet loads or even items in small mailing bags – if they do not have their own dedicated fleet. For small businesses it is convenient to ‘pop it in the post’, or for larger businesses to arrange shipping and deliveries with couriers.

Unfortunately accidents can happen, if any damages occur during transit it’s likely that the retailer can be found accountable – despite it necessarily not being their fault. It might also mean retailers may have to incur the costs associated with the order.

As far as the customer is concerned, they placed an order from your business and they received a damaged product, regardless of it leaving your warehouse on time, and in tip top condition.

A happy online shopper is one that has received their delivery in the post, and of course, as expected. We are captivated by videos and pictures of unboxing or when a parcel is perfectly packed – who wouldn’t want to share their latest purchase.
Posting parcels to your customers - a happy online shopper

However, if a delivery is delayed or if the parcel is received in poor condition, this would probably result in a very unhappy shopper. And this customer is likely to share their disappointment on social media with a sad or angry Emoji, instead of a smiley cheery face.

In such a competitve market, customers are spoilt for choice and are not afraid to return their orders and look elsewhere.

Whether you have your own fleet of delivery vans, or not, here are some pointers to help you improve the efficiencies of your delivery and to help ensure a happy customer.

#1 Deliver directly to letterboxes

When the size, weight or value of goods permit, use envelopes and mailing bags or postal boxes that can fit through post boxes or letter boxes.  Online retailers can improve efficiency by using letter-box design available packaging suited to products, but also, to reduce costs. This also decreases the number of touchpoints that could go wrong before it safely reaches the customer’s hands.

Benefits to the customer:

  • No missed delivery and redelivery needing scheduled
  • No parcels left in unsecure places or left outside and subjected to adverse weather conditions affected by the weather
  • No misshaped or unpresentable parcels from oversized packaging

Benefits for the retailer:

  • No additional postal costs from using packaging too large for the size of the product
  • No unnecessary or additional void fill needed to protect the product
  • No admin time rescheduling deliveries and drivers redelivering parcels
  • No storage space needed to hold the redeliveries

Royal Mail letter, parcel and postal tubes sizes

Source: Royal Mail

The European standard EN 13724:2002 standardises the size of letter boxes across Europe, this ensures all post within the set dimensions can be successfully posted through customers’ doors. Unfortunately, the UK did not adopt this regulation1 meaning letter box dimensions do slightly vary. Despite this, to increase the deliverability a business must adhere to the strict postal size and weight restrictions letters and parcels from the Royal Mail and the UK standard delivery information from the Post Office, and also, make sure the efficiency and the quality of the packaging is the most suited.

#2 Efficient and quality packaging

You won’t have as much control over the journey and conditions of your deliveries if you use a delivery company. To help the success of your deliveries, some steps can be taken such as understanding how to use packaging labels and hazard labels, informing the carrier how the parcel should be handled or even making sure the parcels are sealed correctly by knowing how to use packaging tape. Even if your business has its own delivery vehicles – you can still benefit by making sure the most effective and appropriate packaging is used.

Efficient and quality packaging

  1. To reduce packaging costs: Insert your measurements into our box finder or bag finder, and the right sized cardboard box or bag will be displayed. Meaning, products will not shift in packaging that’s too big, no extra void fill needed to fill spaces, or damages from the loose-fitting packaging – which will also make the parcel look unpresentable.
  2. Innovative packaging materials: Simplify packing with multi-purpose and versatile packaging materials. Packaging with integrated protection, such as mailing bags with adhesive strips (no tape is required), foam postal boxes, with protective inner foam lining or book boxes, will completely wrap around securing the products.
  3. Custom-made and bespoke packaging: Designed to fit specific products so packaging dimensions can be maximised. Bespoke packaging also reduces the need for additional packaging, as with most bespoke packaging the protection is included into the design – preventing contact with the main outside packaging layer and the product itself.

For advice on your packaging operation, contact our Packaging Specialists on 0800 542 44 28, or email sales@rajapack.co.uk.

1 https://www.safe.co.uk/safezone/2011/09/the-european-standard-for-letter-boxes/

How does shrink wrap work?

Shrink wrap is one of the quickest and easiest ways to package and protect goods. What shrink wrap is used for typically is wrapping especially awkwardly shaped items – from individual packages to boxes on a pallet. It can even be used to wrap up helicopters. It is weather proof and dust proof, while the transparent option easily allows the goods underneath to be identified.Shrink wrap is so versatile it is even used to wrap up US Navy helicopters for transport (Image: Wikipedia)Shrink wrap is so versatile it is even used to wrap up US Navy helicopters for transport (Image: Wikipedia)

But what is shrink wrap made of, how does shrink wrap work and is shrink wrap recyclable? Here we answer these questions and find out how to use it on a practical level in the warehouse, using the right shrink wrap and shrink wrapping equipment to get the job done.

How does shrink wrap work?

Shrink wrap and what shrink wrap is used for covers everything from simple packaging, to holding items together, to protecting them.Shrink wrap collates and protects

How shrink wrap works is something that requires a look at the very molecules that the shrink wrap is made from. To make the plastic film that is used to shrink and wrap items, plastic polymer molecules  – long chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms, essentially  – that usually all tangle round each other are heated and stretched so that they all form into straight rows. Once cooled they maintain this aligned structure.

Heating the film again, once wrapped around the goods being packaged, the molecules move about (thanks to all that lovely heat energy being pumped in) and they get all tangled again: making the film as much as 50% smaller.

The shrinking can take place in one direction (uni or monodirectional) or in both length and width (bidirectional) and requires the film to be applied over the goods using a special frame – called a tenter frame – and applying heat correctly. To do it correctly requires the right shrink wrap equipment.

What is shrink wrap?

Shrink wrap is a plastic film that can be stretched over awkwardly shaped items and heated to shrink to tightly fit its contours and crevices as if stuck to it – all without any kind of adhesive.

Shrink wrap pallet covers, film and rolls

This protective packaging comes in sheets and on rolls

So, when was shrink wrap invented? The process of heating and stretching polythene sheets and cooling them and then reversing the process was first trialled in the US as a potential packaging process in the 1960s. It was then refined and had its first commercial use in 1981 in the US.

As to who invented shrink wrap, its provenance is murky. It is claimed that the process was actually invented in the 1960’s at WR Grace and company, by Robert D. Lowry, John Dreyfuss and John W. Harrison of Winchester Massachusetts in the US. The process was then refined and rolled out for industrial use by Global Wrap LLC in the US in 1981.

What is shrink wrap made of?

The molecular structure of Polyethylene, Image: Wikipedia

The molecular structure of Polyethylene (Image: Wikipedia)

Shrink wrap is made of plastic. What type of plastic is shrink wrap made from depends on how it is to be used, but typically it is made from plastic polymer – usually low density polythene or, sometimes, PVC. It can also be made from biaxially orientated polypropylene, a more complex version of polythene. What they all have in common is that they are made of long chain molecules that, in their natural state, tangle round each other like spaghetti.

The molecular structure of Syndiotactic polypropene (Image: Wikipedia)

The molecular structure of Syndiotactic polypropene (Image: Wikipedia)

How to use shrink wrap

Shrink wrap can be used to cover all sorts of things. To use shrink wrap, you need the right plastic shrink wrap film and the right equipment: usually at the very least a heat gun. You may also need a frame to hold the film.

Perforated shrink wrap pallet covers available on a roll

When shrink wrapping pallets of goods, individual shrink wrap pallet covers are available if you want to cover standard sized pallets of goods – available as sheets and on rolls. For more awkward shapes, this protective packaging comes in rolls and sheets, which can then be wrapped or put over the goods and then heated, often with a hand-held heat gun.

How to heat shrink wrap

So, how does heat shrink wrap work? As we have seen, heating pre-stretched polymer sheets allows the ordered molecules to move about and re-order themselves as a tangle of molecules, occupying a much smaller volume and causing the sheet to shrink.

In practice, this means that putting, say, a shrink wrap pallet cover over a pallet, and heating it the cover will start to contract and pull tight over the goods.

How to use heat shrink wrap involves the following steps:

  • place goods on the pallet and loosely cover with a shrink wrap pallet cover
  • make sure it covers everything
  • gently heat with a heat gun evenly, moving round and round the pallet to ensure even shrinkage
  • when tight, stop and allow to cool.

Heat guns are relatively light and portable but must be handled with care

How to use a heat gun for shrink wrap is perhaps the hardest part of the process. It needs a specialist gun, which burns propane or butane to create a hot flame.

RIPACK 3000 heat shrink film gun kit

However, it is crucial that the flame doesn’t contact the film nor the goods being wrapped. For this reason, the flame heats a plate at the business end of the heat gun which radiates heat onto the plastic.

Carefully heat the shrink wrap from a distance to avoid damaging the film

How to recycle shrink wrap

With more attention than ever on the impact of plastic on the environment, many ask can shrink wrap be recycled? So is shrink wrap recyclable: in short it is. Being made of low density polyethylene – or polythene – means that the answer to is plastic shrink wrap recyclable is yes. Polythene is widely recycled and can be put into the recycling waste and reused.

To recycle it, simply keep it once you have removed it and either put it in the standard recycling or, if you find you have a lot of it, there are companies that will come and collect it and take it away to recycle. They will shred it and melt it down to make polythene beads which may very well end up being used to make new shrink wrap.

Want to know more about shrink wrap and shrink wrapping equipment?

For all your packaging advice, our Packaging Experts are here to help you find the right solutions. Simply call us on 0800 542 44 28 or visit www.rajapack.co.uk.

Label it – the ultimate guide to shipping labels

How to label a package

Famously, letters used to arrive on Arthur Wellesley’s doormat having being simply addressed ‘Number 1, London’. While this worked for the Duke of Wellington, today’s ecommerce merchants need to include far more detail than that for packages to not only arrive where they are supposed to, but also to pass seamlessly through the international shipping network.

Here we outline all you need to know – from the basics to the details – of how to label packages for shipping, so that they get where they need to go, get there when they are promised and get there in one piece.

How to label a parcel

Knowing how to label a parcel for delivery has two distinct, yet equally important, attributes: the current name, address and shipping details and the correct kind of label, positioned accurately and firmly.

How to fill out a label

Understanding how to fill out a label depends on the country that it is being sent to, however, the rule of thumb for domestic UK parcels, according to Royal Mail, is that the name and address go on the bottom left-hand corner on the front of the package and is structured with name, building or house number and street, town, city, postcode – all clearly printed or hand written on separate lines in left-aligned text with no full stops or commas.

How to fill out a shipping label

How to fill out a shipping label

For packages going further afield, vendors need to think carefully about how to fill out a shipping label. This differs from simply sending a parcel as you need to factor in the shipping method specified by the customer. If they have selected priority shipping, you need to mark your package accordingly and pay the right postage/shipping fee.

If you are using a courier you will also need to print out their labelling as this will feature all the barcoded information that they need to get the package through their systems from collection to delivery.

How you fill in the shipping label will depend largely on the carrier and can usually be done via their website and printed out. See the section below for some examples as we look more in depth at shipping labels.

How to label a package

Before we take a more detailed look at shipping labels, it is worth pausing to look at how to label a package so that the label stays attached. While getting the details right is crucial, making sure that the label stays affixed is also key.

The best way to do this is to print the shipping details onto bespoke shipping labels and to make sure that they are properly attached.

You will also have to mark the package with what it contains: outlining whether the contents is fragile, perishable, corrosive, flammable and so on. You may also want to label your parcel “this way up” if the goods need to be kept level.

While many shipping companies will require the details of what is being shipped – especially if you’re dealing with international freight – these types of labels also help the goods arrive in prime condition: something vital to your business.

Document enclosed labels with the words ‘Documents enclosed’ printed on the actual label have the dual purpose of denoting what products are found in the parcel, as well as displaying the delivery address for the courier.

Plain printed and green doc enclosed

Documents enclosed envelope labels: putting all the details in a handy adhesive wallet is a great idea

There is also an extensive range of other labels to denote contents and handling instructions, such as ‘Fragile’, ‘Handle With Care’ – which are there to help keep the product ship shape during transport, as well as to inform the carrier of the special requirements or to warn of any dangers or issues with the contents.

Shipping labels

‘Fragile’ and ‘This Way Up’ are just some of the ways to label your package

And for extra safety, there are even TiltWatch packaging labels, where the indicator turns red if the parcel has been tilted 90 degrees or more.

Specialist Tiltwatch packaging labels available at RAJA

TiltWatch packaging labels: a handy way to see if your package has been kept the right way up

How to label a box for shipping

As we have seen, learning how to label a box for shipping is key to getting your package to the right person, at the right time and in mint condition. Shipping labelling is vital to making this happen.

What is a shipping label?

A shipping label differs from an address label in that it not only features the address of where the package is to go, but also specifies the contents of the container being shipped.

When looking at how to write a shipping label, you must make sure that it contains the sender’s address, the recipient’s address, its weight, the contents of the package and, if the merchandise is subject to any form of inspection – especially when it crosses borders – the inspection information must also be included.

Labels also include information relating to the method of shipping – be it priority, standard and so on – the carrier, the date sent and tracking information for the shipper.

What does a shipping label look like?

If you’re unsure on what a shipping label looks like, below is an example, but yours will feature the specific information you need to display dependent on what you are shipping and how.

What does a shipping label look like

How to put a shipping label on a package

The shipping label should be on one side of your package – ideally the top if there is a ‘This Way Up’ label on the package – and should be sized so that it fits entirely on that side. Ensure you put a shipping label on a packaging without it being folded over the edges or parts of the label being on the sides, as important information might not be seen or it might prevent it from being scanned!

If you use self-adhesive labels, make sure that they are firmly applied, with no missed corners sticking up, as this could cause the label to be accidentally removed or damaged.

Some shippers also like to cover their labels in transparent tape or insert them into an affixed plastic wallet such as a Documents Enclosed Envelope to protect them from moisture and other damage. This is good practice, but make sure that the whole label is displayed and that the label can be read easily.

In conclusion

So, for anyone who isn’t the Duke of Wellington, these are our top tips for labelling packages for shipping. Remember to clearly show the name and address, show the sender, the contents, weight, priority and customer’s requirements – and make sure that everything is on the label and is firmly secured to the package and, where you think necessary, protected with tape or a cover.

Also consider how to mark your packages with relevant labels, which will help to get it to their destination in mint condition, so look at where best to use ‘Fragile’, ‘This Way Up’ and other labels to help instruct carriers and customers on how to handle the package with care.

For more information, why not read our Labelling Packaging for Shipping guide or visit www.rajapack.co.uk to see our entire range of packaging labels, or call our team of experienced Packaging Specialists on 0800 542 4428.

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

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 RAJA 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 strapping 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.

Handheld strapping machines perfect for bundling products

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.

Your guide to choosing the right Strapping

Strapping is an excellent solution for securing shipments during transport or for medium or long-term storage. There are 3 main uses of strapping; to fix to a pallet, 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.

But with so many different types of strapping available, how can you make sure you’re using the right type?  This post will explain exactly how, offering advice and tips on selecting the right strapping for you.

The many uses of strapping

What is strapping?

After a cardboard box has been sealed with tape, even if it is a sturdy cardboard box, strapping can be applied to secure it fully.  It wraps all the way around the parcel, and the join is bonded or welded together to provide a tight, strong seal that can’t easily be broken.

It can easily be applied no matter the package size, on everything from standard size cartons to large export boxes and pallets.  It’s particularly useful when fixing a couple of cartons together – it’s then considered as one parcel so reduces shipping costs.  It’s also ideal for bulky and heavy items, where something stronger than normal packaging tape is needed for a secure fit.

Strapping machines and tools

Strapping can be applied manually using strapping tools or with the use of a strapping machine for a fast and efficient process.  Top tip! If you use a strapping machine no additional tools or seals are required to fasten the strapping, the machine will automatically friction weld the strapping to the seal.

For manual strapping, equipment is required to create tension in the strapping and seal it securely.  For businesses shipping varied products ranging in shape and size, a tensioning tool combined with sealer tool and seal will complete the packing process, and the handy feature of using it vertically means you can reposition yourself for awkward loads.  Combination strapping tools are available which simplify the process combine both a tensioner and sealer into a single tool, to only be used horizontally it makes packing straightforward for securing same-size and shape products, seals are also required.

Palletise your loads using strapping

Hand strapping machines are ideal for a variety of packages; they’re highly versatile for different size and product variations, mobile and can be used vertically and horizontally.

For packaging lines that need to strap large volumes of packages then a strapping machine is highly recommended.  Semi-automatic strapping machines and automatic strapping machines are available, with the high performance automatic machine able to produce up to 65 straps per minute.  They greatly speed up the strapping process by automatically tensioning and sealing the strapping, reducing the time it takes to seal boxes.

How to choose the right strapping for your product

There are several types of strapping available and to get the best results you need to ensure you choose the correct type that offers the benefits needed for your packaging operation.

Here are just a few questions to ask yourself before starting to buy strapping are listed below – these should give you a good idea of the strength and properties of strapping that you’ll need to ensure they support your shipments:

  • What is the application and how do you intend using it?
  • What is the weight, and is it a static or dynamic load?
  • Will the strapped shipments have to withstand any particular weather conditions?
  • Will the strapping be done manually with tools or will it be done automatically with a machine?
  • How far is it going and will long will it be strapped for?

The different kinds of strapping available

We’ve summarised the different types of strapping below, so you can learn the properties and advantages of the different materials, listed in increasing order of resistance.  This should help you make the right decision when buying strapping – and if you’re still not sure, then please do give our team a call on 0800 542 44 28 and we’ll be happy to help.

The different kinds of strapping available

Polypropylene Strapping

PP or polypropylene strapping is very light and versatile, making it ideal for sealing, reinforcing and securing lighter loads.  With elastic properties, it does not deform or corrode and resists bumps and scrapes making it ideal for use on pallets that will be stored for long periods of time or shipped long distances.

PP or polypropylene strapping

It offers a resistance of up to 250kg and its light, plastic properties make it easy to work with. It can be sealed with self-locking plastic buckles and security seals. Top tip! If you are using a manual, automatic or semi-automatic strapping machine, only polypropylene machine strapping can be used.

Polypropylene strapping

Extruded Polyester Strapping

PET or Extruded Polyester Strapping is the strongest type of plastic strapping available, making it ideal for fixing heavier loads and pallets.  Because it’s made from polyester it can be secured very tightly, with a small flex in the material that can be tightened when sealing.

PET or Extruded Polyester Strapping

It has strong resistance to moisture and UV rays which make it ideal for long-term storage where high strength is required for long periods of time.  It offers a resistance of up to 340kg and can be used to replace steel strapping in many situations.   Made from a minimum of 80% recycled materials, it’s more eco-friendly than other strapping materials, and can be sealed using tensioners and sealers.

Extruded polyester strapping kit and dispensers

Steel Strapping

Among the strongest strapping available, steel strapping is tough and perfect for heavy, rigid loads with sharp or rough edges like iron or concrete that won’t compress.  The properties of steel strapping mean that it won’t flex like other materials can do – this is why it’s ideal for solid, bulky loads.  Top tip! Recommended that the person packing wear industrial gloves for protection.

Steel strapping

This super-resistant strapping is ideal for very heavy loads of up to 740kg can be sealed securely with or without seals. This industrial strapping can only be used with steel strapping tensioners, sealers and combination tools.

Steel strapping

Corded Polyester Strapping

The most resistant of strapping materials, corded polyester strapping is ideal for fixing and sealing delicate or fragile products.  Its light, textile material means it’s easy to work with, it won’t rust, rot or mark surfaces, and is best used manually with tensioners and sealers.

Corded polyester strapping

It offers extreme resistance for loads of up to 950kg and is highly resistant to tearing making it ideal for heavy loads.  Also, by dividing it over the length, a knot can be made in the strapping to further increase the security of an item after it’s been sealed.

Corded polyester strapping kit and systerms

If you’d like more information about the strapping we have to offer, manual tools, strapping machines, systems or advice on which strapping is right for your operation, simply get in touch with our team of packaging experts who are on hand to help.

Simply visit www.rajapack.co.uk