How Does the Packaging Industry Work?

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a rise in shopping online for most consumers. It’s also given rise to a number of questions surrounding packaging. The number of packages we receive in the mail has nearly doubled in the average household over the past few months, but the truth is that shipping packages has been a staple of our society for quite some time. Have you ever wondered what goes into making all of those deliveries possible? There is more to the packaging industry than you might think.

What is packaging?

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Simply stated, it is the planning, drafting, creating, and manufacturing of consumer goods that are then wrapped, boxed or bottled for personal, industrial, and government markets. Packaging reaches into almost all of the other business sectors, playing a vital role in the clothing, food, and transportation industries, among others.

Who works in packaging?

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There are numerous careers in the packaging industry. From designers for packages, labels, and marketing to drivers and movers, there are a wealth of people who make the business move. Engineers design the packages, sales professionals market the products and laborers help manufacture it all. All these professionals play pivotal roles in the packaging world.

Which machines are commonly used?

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In addition, to stand computers used for design, there are a number of machines that the industry relies on.

  • Labeling Machines: Often found in retail, food, industrial, and pharmaceutical packaging plants, these appliances are able to mass-produce coding and labeling for packages and apply them to the actual product.
  • Filling Machines: Commonly found in food packaging, these are used to fill containers with grains, beans, liquids and other products.
  • Tape Machines: These machines are used in connection with corrugated boxes. They dispense tape in high volumes quickly to close packages.
  • Conveyors: The transporters of the packing world, conveyors move materials easily throughout a factory. Some operate without the use of power, relying on gravity or another momentum to propel them, while powered conveyors use electricity to move objects along their intended path.
  • Sealers: A staple in the packaging industry, the sealer is used in a variety of flexible packaging. These make sure that the packages are securely closed. Some varieties use heat or adhesive to seal.
  • Stretch Wrapping Machines: These are the reinforcers of the industry. They are intended to help keep awkwardly shaped or heavy boxes together during shipping.
  • Strapping and Bundling Machines: These are used for large quantity items that are typically stored on pallets.

These are just a few of the wide variety of appliances that may be considered a packaging machine. Don’t forget the heavy-duty equipment that makes a factory run. These systems often require specialized companies like GMI, that offer boiler and mechanical services, to keep them functioning at optimal capacity. With the speed at with a packaging line or a product line is expected to operate in order to keep up with demand across the United States, you want to make sure you have a high-quality packaging machine and that the machine operators know they’re doing. Packaging machinery can be very intricate, so it’s important that a technician visits regularly to offer technical support and maintenance to the packaging machines onsite.

What are common types of packaging?

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Though there are numerous materials and objects that can fall under this category, there are four primary types of packaging.

  • Containers: The holding receptacles that organize and protect goods and materials. There are a number of different types of containers from boxes and bags to barrels and drums.
  • Dunnage: This term refers to the materials or objects used to secure items during shipment. Think foam. These are the inserts, packing peanuts, or paper material that come within a container.
  • Pallets: The platform of the packaging world, pallets are often made of wood, metal, or plastic. They are made to be easily lifted by a forklift. Materials are placed on the pallet and then loaded for delivery.
  • Unitizers: These make many different items into a complete unit. Things like shrink wrap, stretch film, or even tie-downs are considered unitizers.

How does it all come together?

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Carefully. Packages are designed specifically by a group or individuals for specific purposes. When orders come in, these packages are then utilized to hold, protect and transport goods. People and machinery are used to fulfill packaging requirements. Then goods and delivered to the purchaser. Each industry has its own twist on the process, but they all follow the same general procedure.