Types of Packaging

Protecting goods is very important. Food, electronics, clothes, furniture and other consumer goods all come in packaging meant to protect them during transportation and storage. There are different types of packaging solutions and materials with each type of good, selected for form, function or even marketing purposes.

Paper and Carton Packaging

Paper and carton packaging are used for different types of goods such as food, electronics, toys, shoes, kitchenware and even other packaging materials. Many different shapes and forms of packaging are produced to meet a variety of needs.

Wrapping paper, inflated paper, sheets, boxes, tubes, pallets, interlayers, corners, edges and custom protective systems are chosen based on the dimension and shape of the packed good. Cartons are cut and modeled to fit and protect products and ship them in the most cost effective way.

Paper can be used to laminate other materials in order to make them stronger. There is also anti-corrosive paper that can be used to wrap goods or to laminate other materials.

Types of Film Packaging

There are multiple types of films used in the packaging industry, most commonly polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyolefin and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) films. The films usually come on a roll and are used to wrap goods, cover goods, protect boxes and make other packaging products such as bags, tubes, bubble wrap and sheets.

Films can be used for lamination, printed or perforated. They can be anti-corrosive, anti-static, shrinkable or non-shrinkable, and slippery or non-slippery and are thus suitable for a variety of packing needs.

Sheet Foam Packaging

Foam used for packaging can be produced on a roll or in sheets of different thicknesses. The foam is used to wrap goods or make bags (usually laminated with high-density PE), corners, edges and custom systems. The corners and edges are used to protect flat glass, furniture and sharp edges. Foam can be cut and modeled on the product's shape to fix and protect it. It can be anti-static and has good insulation properties.

Custom Textile Packaging

There are some goods that are best protected by textiles. For example, there are custom-made textile insertions used in the automotive industry to protect car parts during transportation. The textile insert is put on a metal frame that fits into a metal container. There is also textile material used for box covers.

Plastic Boxes and Containers

Multiple types of plastic boxes and containers are used in all industries. For example, in the food industry there are plastic containers for goods like ketchup, yogurt, milk and juices. Plastic boxes are mainly used for transporting goods and are reusable. They can be stacked and then folded when empty to save storage space and can be recycled.

Packaging Systems and Solutions

Packaging companies offer different types of systems that can be divided into two categories: special solutions and packaging machines. The special solutions are used for valuable products that do not have a regular, simple shape. For example, parts of airplanes or expensive decorative glass objects need special solutions to be packed. The goods fit perfectly into the packaging and are protected against damages.

Packaging machines are used for wrapping (wrapping the stretch film on the pallet), strapping (applying and sealing straps on boxes), sealing (with tape for boxes and with heat for films) and shrink wrapping (applying PVC or polyolefin film on products or boxes). There are also machines that inflate film, paper and instant foam.

Importance of Packaging in Marketing

The old adage says that you should not judge a book by its cover, but in product marketing the way a product is packaged can make or break a sale. One of the important functions of packaging is to communicate something about the company's brand. Not only must packages be designed in an attractive and useful manner, but they must address other consumer concerns. For example, many consumers are concerned about sustainability as well as the use of BPA in plastic food containers and water bottles.

As a result, many companies are redesigning product packaging to appeal to consumers who prefer products that are environmentally friendly. Many products now market themselves as being BPA free in their packaging. Similarly, packaging made from recycled materials and ones that can be reused or recycled themselves are in greater demand, particularly in the food industry.

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About the Author

Richard Dixon is an Aircraft Maintenance Technician. Dixon studied airplanes during high-school and 2 years of college. His passion for writing brought him into Demand Studio's team of dedicated people.