Inside Packaging Part 3: Plastic Trays

Posted by Rob Helmke | Tuesday, February 26, 2013 2 Comments

Plastic trays are a common packaging type that are highly customizable and applicable for a wide variety of uses.

A Firm Grip

All plastic trays we thermoform are custom-molded to perfectly support whatever product they need to hold. Because trays can be made from such a wide variety of plastics—a wider variety than any other packaging type—the way they hold your product can vary, too. For example, drill bits, markers and chocolates can simply rest in the tray's cavities. Other products, however, like medical syringes, need to be held more securely. The tray can be manufactured so each cavity is precise enough to create a tight “snap fit” for the product being packaged.  This makes trays a popular choice for shipping, as your product is extremely secure.

plastic trays food packagingA Different Type of Plastic Packaging

Unlike plastic packaging types like clamshells and blisters, plastic trays aren't always suited for retail packaging. They're more expensive than blisters, and because they're often not made using clear plastic, they don't provide the same product visibility. The trade off for that, though, is that they don't require any heat sealing, they don't have any hinges or closures, and you can make them with a broader range of materials—while they might not always be perfect for retail, they do their other jobs remarkably well.

Getting the Perfect Fit

Because plastic trays are so often designed to provide a snug fit for your product, the packaging manufacturer has to be particularly careful while making it. If the mold is off by even thousandths of an inch, the final result won't be able to properly secure the product.  At PI, we've worked with a wide variety of plastic tray tooling, from the simplest to the highly complex—we just do our best to make it look easy.

The Secrets of Successful Packaging

Topics: Custom Packaging, Design, Plastics