We've put together a breakdown of some of the most common packing methods utilized in the rigid packaging industry. In this latest addition to Packaging Crash Course, we will describe in detail the following methods:
- Tumble Pack
- Stack Pack
- Layer Pack
- Partition Pack
- Bulk Module Pack
These packing methods will help enhance your shipping experience from start to finish.
The most simple and common form of packing is the tumble pack. This method of packing can be for plastic containers and closures and metal closures. It involves the unorganized filling of a container, often a corrugated box, of plastic or metal finished parts. The result of this packing method is clustered containers or closures in a rushed assembly with components touching each other in a bulk fashion.
In some cases, the carton is lined with a polyethylene (PE) bag to prevent contact between the finished product and the outer carton to maintain component integrity.
Stack Packing is another method utilized in the packaging industry that offers a more uniform style of packing. This method can be for packing finished plastic bottles and jars but can be used for metal packaging as well.
A bottle or jar is packed upright and placed on top of one another. Within the container, there is very little to no room between the finished product and the container to minimize movement during transport and for efficient carton stacking on a pallet. In some cases, this will allow pallets to then stack on top of one another for efficient storage and transport.
The goal of this packing method is to keep finished parts from breakage, scuffing, and additional damage to other components within a carton. This method achieves a uniform arrangement of finished parts for a tight packing structure, minimizing unnecessary damage during transport.
Layer packing involves an additional packing element that resides horizontally within a carton on top of a finished product and below a finished product - defining a layer. This partition is often a sheet of corrugated cardboard, paper, or foam that creates a barrier between finished glass, plastic, or metal parts.
In the case of bottles with foam partitions, horizontal packing is the usual method, where the foam sheet weaves (or is snake packed) around finished parts. The weaving method ensures that each finished part within a container is protected from one another, preventing unintentional contact that may cause damage. Layers of foam are placed at the very bottom and tops of corrugated cartons to avoid bottles from touching the outer carton.
Partition packing consists of a finished part residing within an individual cell. These cells are often made out of paper-based, heavy card-stock or corrugated cardboard, and extend the full length and width of a carton, creating a grid of cells.
Similar to layer packing, this method can protect a single finished glass or plastic part on all sides, preventing contact between each item within a carton. This method is especially useful to protect decorated containers that may include hot-stamped, silk-screened, or spray-frosted components. This is a highly desired method of packing because it offers the most protection per unit out of all methods introduced in this list.
This packing method utilizes the least amount of materials and is often associated with glassware. This method consists of finished glass parts assembled onto a plastic sheet off the manufacturing line and then are heat shrink-wrapped into a tight grouping creating a module.
Multiple Modules are arranged onto a pallet where they undergo another round of heat shrink-wrapping to ensure modules do not move during loading, transport, and unloading from a transport vessel.
For more information on bulk module packs and bulk module pallets, click here for a comprehensive overview from our Quick Question Monday article: What is a Bulk Module Pallet?
This list was a quick rundown of some of the most common packing methods utilized in the packaging industry. Some of the methods mentioned can coexist together for enhanced product shipping protection from manufacturing, product filling, and to its final destination on a store or home shelf.
For a quick reference on packing methods, save our cheat sheet below by clicking here: