New Blog Series: Packaging Particulars

Posted by Rob Helmke | Tuesday, March 12, 2013 1 Comment

Different types of plastic are better for certain applications than others, and the same goes for different styles of plastic packaging. A material or packaging type that's commonly used for products in one industry may not be a good fit for another, so an effective plastic manufacturer is a versatile one. In this new blog series, you'll learn about how different materials and packaging styles benefit different industries, and how the designers and engineers at PI change their strategies depending on the industry being served.

plastic food packagingPart One: Plastic Food Packaging

When you create plastic packaging for food, sterility and safety are your primary concerns. Your clients trust that the packaging you design and manufacture is safe enough for storing what people eat, and this isn't a responsibility to be taken lightly. For example, at PI, we have one of the highest levels of certification from the Safe Quality Food (SQF) program, which ensures that plastic manufacturers are following procedures that will allow them to produce safe and high quality packaging. So how do we do it?

First, you have to choose a hygienic, appropriate substrate. For example, in plastic food packaging, we may choose FDA approved High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) or Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), which are particularly hygienic and cost-effective materials.  The type of food being packaged and the channel through which it is sold and used also helps us determine the right substrate. For example, a tray for a frozen, microwavable meal may be made out of CPET plastics, which are safe to heat in a microwave or even an oven.

The type of plastic packaging also depends on the product, most food packaging has something in common: It has to allow people to see the food! At PI, this means we often meet the challenge of making food packaging that isn't just sterile, durable and cost-effective, but is also crystal clear. If the plastic is unintentionally cloudy or otherwise poorly processed, it compromises its strength and clarity, making it difficult to see what's inside.

Of course, these are just a few considerations that a plastic manufacturer has to take when crafting the perfect packaging for food products. And just like these, every industry has its own special requirements for designing and manufacturing packaging that's just right. Keep checking back to see what we do for other industries, and just what care goes into the packaging you use all the time.

The Secrets of Successful Packaging

Topics: Custom Packaging, Plastics