Monthly Archives: May 2016

Retail Packaging: Four Ways To Reduce Your Costs

Whether your company produces office supplies, electronics gear, tools or another item, reducing your retail packaging costs is always an important consideration. There are actually several ways to ensure that you spend as little as possible on packaging without sacrificing quality.

1. Select Affordable Materials

Packaging can eat up a large amount of your operating budget every year, so selecting retail packaging materials that don’t break the bank is essential. Fortunately, thermoplastics, such as those we use at Indepak, can help you reduce your costs in a few ways.

First, thermoplastic in general is quite affordable and we can form a sheet of thermoplastic into any shape you might need for your retail packaging. Second, because thermoplastic is lightweight, you don’t have to pay as much to ship your products to various retail stores. We also can use combinations of thermoplastic and other materials, which might also bring down the cost of your retail packaging.

2. Design A Package That Reduces Waste

Reducing waste is good for everyone, and not only is it a positive step for the environment; it also benefits your bottom line. We often meet with clients whose current packaging is really larger than it needs to be. When you have less packaging, this saves you money, but it doesn’t mean that this smaller package won’t still protect your product. Our team can design retail packaging that uses the smallest amount of materials necessary.

By choosing the best possible materials for your retail packaging and through careful design, we can craft a package that displays your product beautifully and protects it from tampering and damage without being wasteful. Again, thermoplastics are an excellent option because you can create strong retail packaging that fits over your package precisely. Not only will you pay less because you chose a smaller package, these smaller packages will fit better in shipping boxes, which can further reduce your shipping costs.

3. Use Sustainable Materials

In some cases, using materials that contain some post-consumer materials or opting for bio-based materials can be an excellent, cost-saving option. Using thermoplastics that contain some post-consumer or recycled content can be very affordable. In addition, we can design a label that showcases that you used sustainable materials. Many consumers specifically look for products that are as eco-friendly as possible, so using sustainable materials can give you an edge over the competition and boosts your sales.

4. Choosing A Packaging Service With Many Options

As a business owner, you deal with a myriad of different suppliers and vendors. It can be more affordable, however, to select vendors that offer multiple services. This can save you time as well as money. At Indepak, not only do we design and produce retail packaging, we also offer package fulfillment, inventory management and shipping services for our clients. Our goal is always to provide a total solution for each client, and this can often be much less expensive than using many different companies for different services.

Interesting Tidbits From The History Of Food Packaging

While cavemen probably worried little about food packaging, for many centuries, humans have spent a good deal of time researching, designing and improving food packaging. As time has progressed, food manufacturers have enjoyed more and more packaging options including the plastic food packaging we produce here at Indepak.

Ancient Greeks and Egyptians created many types of glass jars and containers to hold food and liquids as far back as 1500 BCE; however it was Napoleon who in many ways jump started a revolution in safe food packaging. In the early 19th century, Napoleon offered 12,000 francs to anyone who could design a way to preserve and carry food safely for his troops.

Not surprisingly, it was a French chef named Nicolas Appert that rose to the challenge. Known as the father of canning, he developed a food packaging method that protected food by sealing it and then placing the sealed jar or packaging into boiling water. Keep in mind, this development came about several years before a link before Louis Pasteur revealed his groundbreaking theory that heat could be used to kill bacteria.

Within just a few years, glass jars and metal tins were being sealed using this method and this became the standard for food packaging. While the development of plastic food packaging would be years away, the first paperboard food packaging was developed around 1817, and before the turn of the century, paperboard cartons were used to hold cereals, crackers and cookies.

When it comes to plastic food packaging, the first step into that world arrived in 1908 with the invention of cellophane. This substance was developed by a Swiss chemist and by the 1920s; this substance was being produced in Europe as well as the United States. Because it is difficult for substances such as grease, bacterial, oils or oxygen to permeate cellophane, this because an excellent option for food packaging.

It was around this period of history, that the use of plastic truly began to take off. While strides in the development of plastic occurred during the 19th Century, by the 1920s, plastics were a common site in most households. In fact, the first plastic injection molding machines were developed in the mid-1920s. These were not as efficient or versatile as the equipment we use today, but they were able to create plastic food packaging more quickly than ever before.

By the 1950s, milk cartons and frozen food packaging were being created using plastics and the plastic food packaging industry kept expanding exponentially. As a manufacturer of plastic food packaging, we entered the scene in 1967 as a small family-owned business. We are still family-owned, but our business has grown to become a leading thermoforming company in the Northwest United States.

Using plastic materials for food packaging has many advantages. Plastic food packaging is inexpensive to create and very lightweight, which reduces shipping costs. Through the process of thermoforming, we can create virtually any size or shape of plastic food packaging, and we select food-friendly and beverage-friendly plastics that protect and preserve your products safely.

If you need plastic food packaging, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our innovative design team will create plastic food packaging that meets all of your needs as well as staying within your budget.

The Equipment We Use As A Thermoforming Company

As a thermoforming company, we use a wide variety of equipment to create custom plastic packaging, thermoform trays and much more. We use multiple lines of high-speed equipment and this variety of equipment allows us to offer the best possible packaging solution for each and every client.

Kiefel Technologies produces an array of thermoforming equipment, and we have several pieces of equipment from the KMD line. For instance, the KMD Speedformer is a top choice for a thermoform company to use. These pieces of equipment are capable of quickly mass producing packaging and packaging components using a wide variety of materials. These materials include PVC, PS, EPS, PE and several other types of thermoplastic.

There are actually several different models of the KMD Speedformer, and each machine can do an amazing amount of work for a thermoforming company. Large, thin sheets of thermoplastics are loaded into the machine, which then heats, forms, cools and trims the packaging in just a few minutes. Each one of these KMD machines will have several “stations” built within it. The beginning station is the Film Reading station, which is where the process begins and the thermoplastic enters the machine.

From there, the thermoplastic moves on to the Heating Station, where the materials are heated to just the right temperature before they move on to the Forming Station. After that, it is time for the newly created products or packages to head to the cutting station, where the excess thermoplastic is trimmed. After that, your packaging quickly moves on to the Stacking Station, while the thermoplastic that was trimmed away (known as the skeleton) winds out of the machine.

Our thermoforming company uses these KMD machines to create highly specialized thermoformed trays as well as clamshells and other types of packaging for specialty food companies, retail firms, medical companies and many other industries.

Aside from its fast production process and dependability, one of the features we love best about the KMD line is that these machines are quite energy efficient, and reducing our energy use is always a big priority here at Indepak. As we are a thermoforming company located in Portland, a city known for its commitment to environmentalism, it is quite important that we reduce energy use and waste in every way we possibly can.

In addition to the KMD Speedformer, which is ideal for creating many types of packaging, Kiefel also produces other types of thermoforming equipment for a thermoforming company. For instance, the Thermorunner, is designed specifically to create all different sizes and types of cups and containers. This includes plastic drinking cups, yogurt pots, fruit cups, pots for agricultural use and other similar items.

Kiefel was founded in 1945 by Paul Kiefel, and the company began producing its first thermoforming machines in 1962. The KMD series has been around since the late 1990s and production of the KMD Speedformer began in 2002. The cup-forming machines were released a year later.

If you would like to take a look at the Kiefer KMD Speedformers in action, Kiefer has posted a variety of videos up on You Tube. These informative videos are a lot of fun to watch, and you are sure to be impressed by these massive thermoforming machines. If you need the services of a thermoforming company, give the team at Indepak a call. We have been creating custom thermoformed packaging and products for our customers for more than 40 years and can come up with an ideal packaging solution for your unique company.

3 Industries That Need Thermoformed Trays

While we create all kinds of thermoformed packaging and products here at Indepak, designing custom thermoform trays is one of our specialties. Virtually every industry has a need for different types of thermoformed trays and we can create trays for any industry. Here are just three industries for which we often create these handy trays.

The Specialty Foods Industry

Food packaging, in general, definitely needs some special attention. While virtually any type of thermoplastic can be used to make thermoform trays, we must be careful to select materials suitable for coming into contact with food. Once we’ve selected the best type of thermoplastic for the job, we can begin to design the thermoform trays.

These thermoformed trays might be used to store food items such as cookies and crackers, which will then be slid into a paperboard container. We also can create thermoform trays suitable for frozen meals, and each compartment within the tray will be crafted precisely to hold each food item securely. Safety and security are always at the forefront of our design process, especially when it comes to products such as food or pharmaceutical products.

Medical & Pharmaceutical Firms

When it comes to medications, typically blister packages are the ideal choice, and these are similar to thermoformed trays in that they are designed with cavities which hold individual doses of medicines. With a blister pack, a foil or foil and paper seal is affixed to the little thermoform trays that hold the medicine and this ensures that the product is free from moisture and safe from damage or tampering.

Of course, creating packaging for medications is not the only task we accomplish for our pharmaceutical and medical clientele. We design a variety of thermoformed trays for these clients, such as those that might hold various instruments or perhaps syringes and bottles of medicine. This type of packaging is low particulate packaging and is intended for both downstream sterilization applications as well as non-sterile applications. We provide these clients with detailed record keeping and this will ensure traceability down to the box level.

Thermoformed Trays & Industrial Firms

There are many different types of thermoformed trays needed for various industrial companies, many of these trays require tight tolerances and often must possess anti-static properties. A company might need thermoform trays designed to hold a variety of parts or perhaps business-to-business tote trays for automation applications.

At Indepak, we understand the unique needs of industries such as the electronics industries or other high-tech companies and we can create thermoformed trays that will work throughout every step of your production process. Our materials include thermoplastics that are conductive as well as dissipative, and our team of expert engineers can identify the best possible materials for your thermoformed trays.

These are just a few industries that we serve and just a few companies that might have need of thermoform trays. Thermoformed trays also can be a great option for a wide variety of retail companies and even agricultural firms.

Of course, we also design many other types of packaging in addition to our thermoformed trays. We even create parts and products using thermoplastics. Because of the versatility of thermoplastics, we truly can create just about anything using these materials. If you need thermoformed trays or any other type of plastic packaging, don’t hesitate to send us an email or give us a call today and we can start developing a plan for your product packaging.