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Articles of interest about the packaging industry:
Article: GreenBox Technology' Launched at Telepizza Restaurants Throughout El Salvador and Guatemala
In collaboration with manufacturing partner SigmaQ, Ecovention is pleased to announce the launch of Telepizza’s innovative multifunctional 'GreenBox Technology' Pizza Box. Telepizza, operated by Pollo Campero....
Article: Pizza Hut Box Gets Good Press
Pizza Hut Costa Rica has been getting good press, especially in foreign-based Internet blogs, not by tweaking their menu, but with the box the pizza comes in....
Article: Pizza Hut Costa Rica gets smart with pizza box
Multifunctional pizza box, which breaks down into plates and a small container for leftovers, is a big hit with Pizza Hut Costa Rica customers....
Article: Multifunctional “SmartBox" Pizza Box Launched at Pizza Hut Costa Rica
In partnership with manufacturing partner SigmaQ, Ecovention is pleased to announce the launch of Pizza Hut Costa Rica’s Innovative New Multifunctional “SmartBox” Pizza Box...
Article: Pizza Hut Costa Rica gets smart with pizza box
Multifunctional pizza box, which breaks down into plates and a small container for leftovers, is a big hit with Pizza Hut Costa Rica customers...
Article: Pizza Hut bites into eco-friendly pizza packaging
In partnership with manufacturing partner SigmaQ, Ecovention is pleased to announce the launch of Pizza Hut Costa Rica's Innovative New Multifunctional "SmartBox" Pizza Box. Using Ecovention's patented GreenBox technology, Pizza Hut Costa Rica's new "SmartBox"...
Article: Pizza Hut Costa Rica employs multifunctional pizza box to minimize waste
Pizza Hut Costa Rica’s has introduced the new multifunctional “SmartBox” pizza box for its pizza products, through a partnership with Central American packaging manufacturer SigmaQ...
Article: Multifunctional “SmartBox" Pizza Box Launched at Pizza Hut Costa Rica
NEW YORK, NY - In partnership with manufacturing partner SigmaQ, Ecovention is pleased to announce the launch of Pizza Hut Costa Rica’s Innovative New Multifunctional “SmartBox” Pizza Box...

Article: Sustainable packaging trend gathering pace
A new report* from independent market analyst Datamonitor identifies sustainable packaging as a growing consumer issue, revealing that, although sustainable packaging is not yet a primary motivator of purchases, it is becoming a consumer expectation...

Packaging Gateway
Article: How to Solve Printed Packaging Workflow Issues Without Changing your Whole Process
Keeping track of the accuracy of packaging components in the pharmaceutical industry can be very challenging. With so many people and departments involved it can be very difficult to ensure complete content integrity. It is extremely important that every company be completely confident that their printed packaging work flow is functioning as efficiently and effectively as possible...

Packaging World
A selection of articles about global packaging trends.

Article: Packaging Trends 2010
Brand building, improving efficiency and reducing costs are driving forces heading into 2010...

Seafood Today
Article: Food Packaging Trends
Presently, one of the trends in the food packaging world is based on change. A relentless change from rigid structure packaging (cans, bottles and boxes) to flexible substrates (pouches, bags and films) can be ...

Yanko Design
A selection of innovative packaging solutions.

SigmaQ News

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Adhesion: The attachment of one material to another, primarily by molecular attraction.

Adhesive: A substance that can be used to join two surfaces.  A typical adhesive is a liquid capable of forming molecular attractions to (wetting) the substrates and then solidifying by evaporation of volatiles, cooling or chemical reaction.

Aerosol: In packaging, a gas-tight, pressure-resistance container, a valve, a product and a propellant that forces the product from the container when the valve is opened.

Airplane tuck: A folding carton design where the two tuck flaps are both placed on one panel.

Aluminum foil: A rolled section of aluminum less than 152 micrometers (.0006 inch) thick.

Amorphous polymers: Plastics that have an essentially random arrangement of the polymer chains.  At melt conditions, all thermoplastic polymers are amorphous. 

Animal glue: A protein based adhesive derived from animal skins, bones and hooves.  It is not commonly used in modern packaging. 

Aseptic packaging: A package and product system in which the produce and package are individually rendered aseptic (sterile) and then combined and sealed under aseptic conditions.  In contrast, in a typical canning operation neither can nor food is sterile when they are brought together and sealed.  Sterility is achieved by heat-treating the sealed can.

Automatic bottom: A carton construction having a pre-glued, folding bottom with multiple folded flaps that automatically position themselves to form a composite bottom closure when the carton is erected.  Typically used for manual erections.


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Barrier material: A flexible packaging material possessing properties that limit the transmission of various gases through the material (used to keep products dry, wet or extend shelf life and assure product freshness).

Barrier packaging: The utilization of engineered materials that possess properties capable of preventing the permeation of harmful substances through material, which would result in product damage.

Biodegradable: Capable of being decomposed of by biological means.

Bag: A preformed, flexible container, generally enclosed on all but one side, which forms an opening that may or may not be sealed after filling.  May be made of any single flexible material, of multiple independent layers of flexible materials, or of laminated materials.  The term "sack," although often used as a synonym for "bag," generally refers to heavier duty or shipping bags.

Barrier: The ability to stop or retard the movement of one substance through another.  In packaging, the term is most often used to describe the ability of a material to stop or retard the passage of atmospheric gases, water vapor and volatile flavor and aroma ingredients.


a) The printed area beyond the cut edge or score. Bleeds are added to a graphic design so that printed areas extend completely to the edge of the finished package, label or wrapper, regardless of any register variation during printing or die-cutting. 

b) To diffuse or run when made wet, as may occur with dyes and inks.

Blocking: An undesired adhesion between touching layers of a material, as might occur under moderate pressure and/or temperature during storage or use.  A common problem with plastic roll stock, stacked plastic sheets and tapes.

Blowing agent: An agent used to generate gas, either by chemical reaction or evaporation, to cause a resin to expand into a cellular structure.  Low-boiling point hydrocarbons and halogenated hydrocarbons are commonly used as blowing agents.

Blow-molding: Forming bottles and packages from plastic by expanding a parison or preform in a hollow mold.  The parison is ordinarily a tub, formed on the machine that accomplished the blow-molding.  The parison is extruded in extrusion blow molding and is injection in injection blow molding.

Blown-film extrusion: The manufacture of thin plastic films by extruding a bubble of plastic and then inflating the bubble. In film manufacturing the extrusion and inflation are a continuous process. 

Brightness: A measure of the reflectance of light. Two objects may both be described as being red; however, the one the reflects the greatest amount of received wavelength will appear to be brighter. Brightness, when used to describe the reflectance of all wavelengths (white light), is used to specify papers.  Brightness is expressed on a scale of 0 to 100.

Burst strength: A measure of the ability of a sheet to resist rupture when pressure is applied to one of its side by a specified instrument under specified conditions.  It is largely determined by the tensile strength and extensibility of the paper or paperboard.  The Cady tester and the Mullen tester are the most common burst testing devices.  Testing for bursting strength is common to determine grades of corrugated and solid fiberboard. 


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a) The thickness of a material such as paper, film or foil, measured under specified conditions. 

b) The precision instrument used to measure thickness.

 is the name of certain types of containers typically made from paperboard which is also sometimes known as "cardboard". Many types of cartons are used in packaging. Sometimes a carton is also called a box. Cartons can be made from many materials: paperboard, various plastics, or a composite. Some are "food grade" for direct contact with foods.

Many cartons are made out of a single piece of paperboard. Depending on the need, this paperboard can be waxed or coated with polyethylene to form a moisture barrier. This may serve to contain a liquid product or keep a powder dry.

Cavity mold
: A mold for shaping metal or plastics having a cavity form. A female mold. 

Cellular plastic: A plastic that has been expanded with a gas, resulting in a product having increased volume and decreased density.

Changeover: The resetting or reconfiguring of a machine or production line to run a different product or package. 

Choked neck: A narrowed or constricted opening in a glass container. 

Clarity: Degree of transparency.

CNC milling machines: Computer controlled vertical mills with the ability to move the spindle vertically along the Z-axis. This extra degree of freedom permits their use in diesinking, engraving applications, and 2.5D surfaces such as relief sculptures. When combined with the use of conical tools or a ball nose cutter, it also significantly improves milling precision without impacting speed, providing a cost-efficient alternative to most flat-surface hand-engraving work.

CNC router: A computer controlled machine for composites, aluminum, steel, plastics, wood and foams. It is a specific version of a CNC tool. The CNC router is run by a computer. Coordinates are uploaded into the machine controller from a separate program. CNC router owners will have two programs, one program to make designs and another to upload designs to the machine and run it. They can be controlled directly by manual programming, but the full potential of the machine can only be achieved if they are controlled from files created by CAD/CAM software.

Co-extrusion: Occurs when the extrusion process takes place using more than one extruder, and each extruder uses a different kind of resin or resin combination. The resulting film maintains, in separate layers, the characteristics of each resin or resin combination that were processed in each extruder.

Cohesion: The tendency of a mass to hold together.  The internal bond strength due to the mutual attraction of molecules for one another within a material.

Cohesive seal: A seal produced by an adhesive that adheres only to itself and requires only contact pressure to bond. Also known as cold seal. 

Compression set: The extent to which a cushioning material fails to recover its original form when a load has been removed from it after being imposed for a given period.

Computer to Plate (CTP): An imaging technology used in modern printing processes. In this technology, an image created in a Desktop Publishing (DTP) application is output directly to a printing plate.

Conditioning: Holding paper or other packaging materials under controlled conditions so that it attains a specified moisture content and temperature.  Preparing packages for test by regulating the moisture content and temperature of the packaging material.

Collar sealed: A style of heat seal where a molded fitment is sealed into the perimeter of a pouch or bag between the front and rear panels of the bag or pouch.

Core: A cardboard tube used for winding a variety of materials (flexible packaging, paper, labels, fabrics, etc.) and for other packaging needs, such as luxury bottle cases.  

CCorona discharge:: An electrical, surface treating method whereby the atmosphere (corona) around the substrate is ionized, discouraging oxidation and reducing surface tension for improved ink adhesion.

Corrugated fiberboard: A paper
-based material consisting of a fluted corrugated sheet and one or two flat liner-boards. It is widely used in the manufacture of corrugated boxes and shipping containers.

The corrugated medium and liner-board are made of container-board, a paper-like material usually over ten mils (0.010 inch, or 0.25 mm) thick. Paperboard and corrugated fiberboard are sometimes called cardboard, although cardboard might be any heavy paper-pulp based board.


a) A line or mark made by folding any pliable material, or similar mark, however produced. 

b) To form a crease in a sheet of any material, usually for the purpose of providing a bending line. 

Crown closure: A metal closure that crimps over a bead on a bottle finish.  The major application has been for carbonated beverages.


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Debossing: An impression made by impacting the front of the paper stock or substrate with excessive pressure, resulting in a sunken appearance of an image or character that moves away form the view and into the stock. To emboss would provide the opposite result, giving a raised or outward appearance to the material.
: A term used in compression testing to indicate the deformation or reduction in dimensions made in the testing direction between established pre-load and ultimate failure load.

Density: Mass per unit volume. Films with a low density offer more coverage per weight of film.

Die-cutting: The main method or standard means of die cutting involves the use of metal dies to give paper or substrate products specific shapes or designs that cannot be accomplished by a straight cut on a web press or a guillotine cutter. By using knife-edge cutting blades formed into a pattern or die, a machine presses the die into the material to produce the desired shape. Almost any shape can be created and applied to a diverse array of raw materials. Labels, envelopes, folders, cartons, and documents are only a few of the many printed products that can be die cut for added functionality.

Dimensional stability
: The ability of a material to retain its dimensional shape under given processing or use conditions.

Double wall board: A corrugated board construction composed of three liner-boards and two fluted mediums.  The board is stiffer and stronger than single wall and is used for containing heavier products such as major appliances. 

Dry-bond laminating: A laminating method where two substrates that are not readily permeable to adhesive solvent vapors are joined.  An adhesive is applied to one substrate, and then the coated surface is dried of all volatiles.  Depending on the adhesive formulation, the remaining adhesive solids will be tacky or can be made so by nipping the substrates against a heated combining roll.

Dry-end treatment: In paper-making, any treatment, such as clay coating, that is applied after the paper is formed and partly or completely dried.


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Embossing: Embossing refers to the creation of an impression of some kind of design, decoration, lettering or pattern on another surface like paper, cloth, metal and even leather, to make a relief. In regular printing or an engraving, plates are pressed against the surface to leave an imprint. In embossing however, the pressing raises the surfaces adding a new dimension to the object.

Embossing is an elegant process that changes the nature of the material that has been embossed. More often than not it elevates the standard and quality of the product. A notary’s embossed seal can give much weight to a regular piece of paper. Similarly, an embossed wedding card immediately changes the entire meaning conveyed by the invitation. The recipient is informed not only about the wedding but also that it is going to be a high profile wedding and an elegant ceremony.

: A material that has high elongation properties.  Most packaging elastomers are synthetic polymers, except for  natural rubber.

Exempt solvents: Descriptive of evaporative solvents not currently subject to air pollution regulation.

Export packaging: Preparation of an item or product for overseas shipment (typically by ocean freight) through utilization of crating, cushioning and flexible packaging materials.

Extender base (Extender): A non-pigmented compound used in screen printing to increase ink volume without reducing viscosity. Ordinarily, it is a buttery semi-paste that has no effect on ink color except to reduce its intensity of hue.

Extrusion: Technique for producing film. A mixture of resin and plasticizer is fed through a heated barrel where it is made plastic by heat and pressure by a continuously moving screw. The plastic mixture is forced out through a circular die, blown into a bubble, and then wound onto a roll at the end of the bubble.


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Ferrule seal: A metal seal that is clamped around the finish of a glass bottle. 

Film: A general term for plastics having a thickness of 0.010 inches (10 mils) or less.

Fin seal: A type of seal resulting from sealing together the contiguous edge areas of two sheets, usually by heat, resulting in a fin-like protuberance. 

Fitment: An injection molded “spout or valve” that is typically heat-sealed to a flexible packaging material.

5S is the name of a workplace organization methodology that uses a list of five Japanese words which, transliterated and translated into English, start with the letter S. The list describes how items are stored and how the new order is maintained. The decision making process usually comes from a dialogue about standardization which builds a clear understanding among employees of how work should be done. It also instills ownership of the process in each employee.

The 5S's are:[1]


Phase 1 - Seiri Sorting: Go through all tools, materials, etc., in the plant and work area. Keep only essential items. Everything else is stored or discarded.


Phase 2 - Seiton Straighten or Set in Order: There should be a place for everything and everything should be in its place. The place for each item should be clearly labeled or demarcated. Items should be arranged in a manner that promotes efficient work flow. Workers should not have to repetitively bend to access materials. Each tool, part, supply, piece of equipment, etc. should be kept close to where it will be used (i.e. straighten the flow path). Seiton is one of the features that distinguishes 5S from "standardized cleanup".


Phase 3 - Seiso Sweeping or Shining or Cleanliness (Systematic Cleaning): Keep the workplace clean as well as neat. At the end of each shift, clean the work area and be sure everything is restored to its place. This makes it easy to know what goes where and insures that everything is where it belongs. A key point is that maintaining cleanliness should be part of the daily work - not an occasional activity initiated when things get too messy.


Phase 4 - Seiketsu Standardizing: Work practices should be consistent and standardized. Everyone should know exactly what his or her responsibilities are for adhering to the first 3 S's.


Phase 5 - Shitsuke Sustaining the discipline: Maintain and review standards. Once the previous 4 S's have been established, they become the new way to operate. Maintain focus on this new way and do not allow a gradual decline back to the old ways. While thinking about the new way, also be thinking about yet better ways. When an issue arises such as a suggested improvement, a new way of working, a new tool or a new output requirement, review the first 4 S's and make changes as appropriate.


A sixth phase, "Safety" is sometimes added. It is reasonable to assume that a properly planned and executed 5S program will inherently improve workplace safety, but some argue that explicitly including this sixth S insures that workplace safety is given primary consideration.


It is important to have continuous education about maintaining standards. When there are changes that affect the 5S program such as new equipment, new products or new work rules, it is essential to make changes in the standards and provide training. Companies embracing 5S often use posters and signs as a way of educating employees and maintaining standards.

Flexography: is a printing process which utilizes a flexible relief plate that can be adhered to a printing cylinder. It is basically an updated version of letterpress. It much more versatile than letterpress in that it can be used for printing on almost any type of substrate including plastic, metallic films, cellophane, and paper. It is widely used for printing on the non-porous substrates required for various types of food packaging. It is also well suited for printing large areas of solid color.

Foil stamping (hot stamping): The reproduction of graphics such as logos, polished metal, or highlighted spot areas requiring a high quality reflective image can be effectively achieved by using foil films rather than metallic inks for the end result. Metallic inks, which are similar to standard printing inks, provide a subdued metallic appearance. The natural tendency of the ink to be absorbed into the stock contributes to a duller looking effect.


Foil stamping or hot stamping (as it is called when heat is applied) requires a metal plate with an engraved image. The plate strikes a foil film, transferring the foil coating from the roll film onto the substrate that is to be imprinted. The substrate then receives the high-density metallic finish, resulting in a reflective image with a bright and dense metallic appearance. A wide selection of foil colors, finishes, and effects are available such as gold, silver, and colored metallics; marble, leather, wood, snakeskin, and pearl finishes; and geometric multi-dimensional patterns.

Folding cartons

A carton is a type of packaging suitable for food, pharmaceuticals, hardware, and many other types of products.

Folding cartons are usually combined into a tube at the manufacturer and shipped flat (knocked down) to the packager.

Tray styles have a solid bottom and are often shipped as flat blanks and assembled by the packager. Some also are self-erecting.

High speed equipment is available to set-up, load, and close the cartons.

Four color separations: The term applied to films, either negative or positive, totaling four in number, each having the total image elements for one of the four colors used in four color process printing. The separations may be made by use of a process camera or more sophisticated electronic scanner devices.


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Gate: In injection molding, the small opening that connects a sprue or runner along which molten plastic flows from the extruder to the cavity in which the part will be formed. 

Gang die: A cutting die, most typically as used for folding carton manufacture, that will cut a number of cartons from the press sheet with each pressing, as opposed to a one-up die that cuts a single carton. 

Gauge: Thickness of a plastic film (1/1000"=.001"=100 gauge).

Glassine: A smooth, dense, translucent paper made from highly beaten chemical pulps.  The dense packing of finely divided fibers results in very low porosity.  Often used where resistance to grease is required; hence it is often called greaseproof paper. 

Gloss: The amount of light reflected from a film at a given angle in ratio to the total light striking the sample. The more light a film reflects, the higher the gloss of the film.

Grammage: The weight in grams of 1 square meter of material.   Grammage can be used to describe either a film or sheet material or the rate of application of a liquid adhesive or coating.

Graphic design: A creative process – most often involving a client and a designer and usually completed in conjunction with producers of form (i.e., printers, programmers, signmakers, etc.) – undertaken in order to convey a specific message (or messages) to a targeted audience. The term "graphic design" can also refer to a number of artistic and professional disciplines that focus on visual communication and presentation. The field as a whole is also often referred to as Visual Communication or Communication Design. Various methods are used to create and combine words, symbols, and images to create a visual representation of ideas and messages. A graphic designer may use typography, visual arts and page layout techniques to produce the final result. Graphic design often refers to both the process (designing) by which the communication is created and the products (designs) which are generated.

Gravure: A high quality printing process capable of producing printed images which have a continuous tone effect similar to a photograph. The gravure process utilizes a metal printing cylinder onto which the image is etched. The gravure cylinder can be created with analog or digital plating processes. During the printing process, the gravure cylinder revolves in an ink fountain where it is coated with a very fluid ink. A stainless steel blade (doctor blade) clears the ink from the unwanted areas, leaving the ink in the depressions of the cylinder. The substrate passes between the gravure cylinder and an impression cylinder covered in rubber. The substrate passes between the two cylinders and the ink from the cells is deposited onto the substrate. Gravure is a direct printing method so there is no need to utilize fountain solution to keep the non-image areas clean. Eliminating this variable allows for better print quality control and jobs can be run at higher speeds. Some applications can be run as high as 3,000 feet per minute.

Greaseproof paper: A type of paper that is impermeable to oil or grease and is normally used in cooking or food packaging. Normally greaseproof paper is produced by refining the paper stock and thus create a sheet with very low porosity. This sheet is supercalendered to further improve the density creating a paper called glassine. The glassine is treated with starches, alginates or CMC in a size press to fill pores or treat the paper chemically to make it fat repellent. Basis weights are usually 30-50 g/m².


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Handle-ware: Glass or plastic bottles having attached handles formed as part of the molding process.

Haze: A value related to the light transmittance of a material such as plastic film.

Heat sealing: Joining plastic films by controlled application of heat and pressure to the area to be sealed.

Heat-transfer printing: A decorating method that uses heat to melt and transfer a pre-printed thermoplastic ink pattern from a carrier film onto the object to be printed.  A heated die is pressed against the carrier film to effect a transfer of the decoration.  A major application is to transfer pre-printed decorations onto plastic bottles. 

Hologram: Another foil product for the hot stamp process. A hologram is a 2 or 3-dimensional image developed photographically with the use of lasers as the light source and special optics to create the graphics or photo images. The image is transferred to special foil film ready to be stamped onto a selected material. A random hologram has a spectrum of color changes when viewed from several angles.


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Impact resistance: The resistance to impact of a film.

Impulse sealing: A heat-sealing technique in which a surge of intense heat is momentarily applied to the area to be sealed, followed immediately by cooling.

Injection blow molding: A method of manufacturing plastic bottles and jars in which a preform or parison is injection-molded rather than blow-molded.  The preform is transferred to a second mold, where compressed air is used to expand it to the full container shape.

Injection molding: A method of molding plastic materials in which the polymer melt is injected into a closed mold, the cavity shape of which is identical to the desired part shape and which encloses the part on all surfaces.

Injection stretch blow molding: Injection blow molding in which the preform is mechanically stretched during the blowing cycle.  The mechanical stretching imparts orientation and thus improves the material's strength properties.

Internal overhang: The overhang of the edge of a box or container over one of the internal deck boards of a pallet.  Excessive internal overhand at the load-bearing walls of a box or container can significantly reduce the available stacking strength of a unitized pallet load.

Insulated packaging: Packaging with high thermal insulation capacity.

ISO (International Organization for Standardization): The world's largest developer and publisher of International Standards.

The ISO 9000 family of standards are related to quality management systems and designed to help organizations ensure that they meet the needs of customers and other stakeholders. The standards are published by ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, and available through National standards bodies while meeting statutory and regulatory requirements. ISO 9000 deals with the fundamentals of quality management systems, including the eight management principles on which the family of standards is based. ISO 9001 deals with the requirements that organizations wishing to meet the standard have to fulfill.

Third party certification bodies provide independent confirmation that organizations meet the requirements of ISO 9001. Over a million organizations worldwide are independently certified, making ISO 9001 one of the most widely used management tools in the world today.



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Kraft process: The extraction of cellulose fiber from the parent wood mass by dissolving the binding linings with alkaline sulfate chemicals.  The Kraft process, when used with long-fibers softwoods, yields the strongest of the wood-based papers.

Kraft liner: Linerboard for corrugated cardboard, consisting of at least 80% long wood fibers (the rest being used paper), it provides very high strength.

Kraft paper: Paper with very high strength, mostly made of kraft pulp, to which used kraft paper may be added.


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Lacquer adhesive: An adhesive resin that is dissolved in a solvent.

Laminating: The process of applying a film to either one side or both sides of a printed document. The use of lamination serves several purposes:

  • Lamination adds luster or gloss to a printed product.
  • It provides stability to the sheet, allowing it to be more durable or stand upright.
  • It provides protection to sheets that are handled frequently or may encounter moisture.
  • Many laminated documents are waterproof, tear proof, and tamper proof.

Lean manufacturing
 or lean production, which is often known simply as "Lean", is a production practice that considers the expenditure of resources for any goal other than the creation of value for the end customer to be wasteful, and thus a target for elimination. Working from the perspective of the customer who consumes a product or service, "value" is defined as any action or process that a customer would be willing to pay for. Basically, lean is centered around preserving value with less work. Lean manufacturing is a generic process management philosophy derived mostly from the Toyota Production System (TPS) (hence the term Toyotism is also prevalent) and identified as "Lean" only in the 1990s.[1] [2] It is renowned for its focus on reduction of the original Toyota seven wastes to improve overall customer value, but there are varying perspectives on how this is best achieved. The steady growth of Toyota, from a small company to the world's largest automaker,[3] has focused attention on how it has achieved this.


Lean manufacturing is a variation on the theme of efficiency based on optimizing flow; it is a present-day instance of the recurring theme in human history toward increasing efficiency, decreasing waste, and using empirical methods to decide what matters, rather than uncritically accepting pre-existing ideas. As such, it is a chapter in the larger narrative that also includes such ideas as the folk wisdom of thrifttime and motion studyTaylorism, the Efficiency Movement, and Fordism. Lean manufacturing is often seen as a more refined version of earlier efficiency efforts, building upon the work of earlier leaders such as Taylor or Ford, and learning from their mistakes.

Liner-board: A paperboard, frequently called liner, used on either one or two sides of fluted medium paper to manufacture corrugated board.  Liner-boards are usually made from Kraft pulps or fourdrinier machines.

Litho Printing: Litho printing is also known as lithography or lithographic printing or planography or planographic printing. Litho printing works on the basic principle that oil and water do not mix. Unlike relief printing and intaglio where the image and non-image areas are at different levels, in lithography there is only one surface.


In intaglio and relief printing the image areas to be printed are raised and the non-images areas form the base surface, which is lower than the image areas. However, in lithography the image areas and the non-image areas are all on the same level. The printing surface is flat.


In lithography a flat stone is treated in a manner so that the image areas attract the oil-based inks and the non-image wet areas repel the oil-based inks. When the stone is pressed against the surface to be printed on, the oily inked image areas leave an imprint of the desired design.

Lug closure: A screw-type closure where the thread is interrupted rather than continuous.  The closure is effected by a short camming action.  One advantage is that application is very fast, since the closure needs only a few degrees of rotation.  In contrast, a normal continuous-thread screw closure might require 360 degrees or more of rotation to effect a seal.


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Manufacturer's joint: In corrugated containers, the joint made by the box maker in the manufacture of a corrugated container.

Matte finish: A low-gloss or no-gloss finish.

Microflute: Corrugated cardboard with very small corrugations of less than 1 mm for non-sensitive products, offering little by way of cushioning, easily printable and therefore normally used for retail packaging.

Migration: General term for transfer of substances between media. Migration is a particularly important issue in food and pharmaceutical packaging.

Milling machine: A machine tool used to machine solid materials. Milling machines are often classed in two basic forms, horizontal and vertical, which refers to the orientation of the main spindle. Both types range in size from small, bench-mounted devices to room-sized machines. Unlike a drill press, which holds the workpiece stationary as the drill moves axially to penetrate the material, milling machines also move the workpiece radially against the rotating milling cutter, which cuts on its sides as well as its tip. Workpiece and cutter movement are precisely controlled to less than 0.001 in (0.025 mm), usually by means of precision ground slides and leadscrews or analogous technology. Milling machines may be manually operated, mechanically automated, or digitally automated via computer numerical control (CNC). Milling machines can perform a vast number of operations, from simple (e.g., slot and keyway cutting, planing, drilling) to complex (e.g., contouring, diesinking). Cutting fluid is often pumped to the cutting site to cool and lubricate the cut and to wash away the resulting swarf.

Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP): A packaging method in which the atmosphere contained within a package has been changed to contain carbon dioxide, oxygen and nitrogen in proportions different than those of normal air, in order to increase shelf life.


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Net weight filling: A filling method where the appropriate amount of product is weight and then deposited into the container.


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Offset printing: Offset lithography is the most widely used print process. About 40% of all print jobs are produced with offset printing. It is an indirect printing process which means that an image is transferred, or offset, from one surface to another. A printing plate mounted on a cylinder transfers the image to a rubber blanket mounted on another cylinder. The image is then transferred from the blanket cylinder to the substrate as the substrate passes between the blanket cylinder and an impression cylinder. The image on the plate is "right reading" and when the image is transferred to the blanket it becomes "wrong reading". When the image is transferred to the printing surface it becomes right reading again.

One-up die: In carton manufacture, a die constructed to cut a single carton.  One-up dies are usually constructed to verify dimensions and register.  Gang or production dies will normally cut multiple cartons with each impression.  In rare instances, a carton may be so large that the production die itself is a one-up die.

Opacity: The ability of a material to stop the transmittance of light.

Open time: The amount of time between when an adhesive is applied and when the substrates to be bonded are brought together.

Orientation: The process of mechanically stretching plastic film or parts in order to produce an alignment of molecules.  If done in one direction, the film is said to be mono-axially oriented.  If done in two directions, the film is bi-axially oriented.  Orientation markedly improves many physical properties.


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Packaging is the science, art and technology of enclosing or protecting products for distribution, storage, sale, and use. Packaging also refers to the process of design, evaluation, and production of packages. Packaging can be described as a coordinated system of preparing goods for transport, warehousing, logistics, sale, and end use. Packaging contains, protects, preserves, transports, informs, and sells.[1] In many countries it is fully integrated into government, business, institutional, industrial, and personal use.

The purposes of packaging and package labels

Packaging and package labeling have several objectives[2] 

  •  Physical protection - The objects enclosed in the package may require protection from, among other things, shockvibration, compression, temperature [3], etc.
  • Barrier protection - A barrier from oxygenwater vapor, dust, etc., is often required. Permeation is a critical factor in design. Some packages contain desiccants or Oxygen absorbers to help extend shelf life. Modified atmospheres [4] or controlled atmospheres are also maintained in some food packages. Keeping the contents clean, fresh, sterile [5] and safe for the intended shelf life is a primary function. 
  • Containment or agglomeration - Small objects are typically grouped together in one package for reasons of efficiency. For example, a single box of 1000 pencils requires less physical handling than 1000 single pencils. Liquidspowders, and granular materials need containment. 
  • Information transmission - Packages and labels communicate how to use, transport, recycle, or dispose of the package or product. With pharmaceuticalsfoodmedical, and chemical products, some types of information are required by governments. Some packages and labels also are used for track and trace purposes. 
  • Marketing - The packaging and labels can be used by marketers to encourage potential buyers to purchase the product. Package graphic design and physical design have been important and constantly evolving phenomenon for several decades. Marketing communications and graphic design are applied to the surface of the package and (in many cases) the point of sale display. 
  • Security - Packaging can play an important role in reducing the security risks of shipment. Packages can be made with improved tamper resistance to deter tampering and also can have tamper-evident[6] features to help indicate tampering. Packages can be engineered to help reduce the risks of package pilferage: Some package constructions are more resistant to pilferage and some have pilfer indicating seals. Packages may include authentication seals and use security printing to help indicate that the package and contents are not counterfeit. Packages also can include anti-theft devices, such as dye-packs, RFID tags, or electronic article surveillance [7] tags that can be activated or detected by devices at exit points and require specialized tools to deactivate. Using packaging in this way is a means of loss prevention. 
  • Convenience - Packages can have features that add convenience in distribution, handling, stacking, display, sale, opening, reclosing, use, dispensing, and reuse. 
  • Portion control - Single serving or single dosage packaging has a precise amount of contents to control usage. Bulk commodities (such as salt) can be divided into packages that are a more suitable size for individual households. It is also aids the control of inventory: selling sealed one-liter-bottles of milk, rather than having people bring their own bottles to fill themselves.

engineering, also Package engineering is a broad topic ranging from design conceptualization to product placement. All steps along the manufacturing process, and more, must be taken into account in the design of the package for any given product. Package engineering includes industry-specific aspects of industrial engineeringmarketingmaterials scienceindustrial design and logistics. Packaging engineers must interact with Research & Development, Manufacturing, Marketing, Graphic Design, Regulatory, Purchasing, Planning and so on. The package must sell and protect the product, while maintaining an efficient, cost-effective process cycle. 

Pallet: A portable platform on which groups of packages are unitized into a single load to facilitate efficient distribution.  Pallets may be made of plastic, metal, fiberboard or other materials. 

Paneling: A condition occurring when the body of a filled and closed can has been partially flattened or pulled inward due to a handling or processing condition.

Pearlescence: A "pearl-like" appearance produced by adding powdered titanium dioxide and mica pigments to various inks. As a general rule, the smaller the particle size, the more opaque the coating and the larger the particle size, the higher the luster of the "pearl-like" finish of the ink.

Permeability: The property of a film or package that permits the diffusion of gases and liquids through an essentially continuous film or container.

Phenolic: A thermoset plastic made by the reaction of phenol and formaldehyde.  Phenol formaldehyde or phenolic plastics are also known by the trade name Bakelite.

Pigment: Substances that impart color. Finely divided solid, organic or inorganic coloring material insoluble in the medium in which it is applied. Pigments must be bound to the receptor surface by dispersing in a vehicle or binder, such as resins in screen printing inks.

Ply: A single layer, as would be found, for example, in a multilayer laminate.

Polyethylene or polythene (IUPAC name polyethylene or poly(methylene) is the most widely used plastic, with an annual production of approximately 80 million metric tons.[1] Its primary use is within packaging (notably the plastic shopping bag).

Polymer: A chain-like compound of high molecular weight formed by the linking together of simple molecules under suitable conditions. When two or more monomers are involved, the product is called a copolymer.

Polypropylene (PP): A thermoplastic, made by the chemical industry and used in a wide variety of applications, including packagingtextiles (e.g. ropes, thermal underwear and carpets), stationery, plastic parts and reusable containers of various types, laboratory equipment, loudspeakers, automotive components, and polymer banknotes. An addition polymer made from the monomer propylene, it is rugged and unusually resistant to many chemical solvents, bases and acids.

Pouch lamination film: Pouches that resemble envelopes and are sealed on one edge. They come in many sizes to accommodate standard items such as letterheads or business cards or they can be made into any custom size.

Press sheet: A single sheet of paper or paperboard of the size that will fit a specific sheet-fed printing process.

Primary package: The first wrap or containment of a product.

Principal display panel: The panel that will be used to carry the primary information concerning the product.  The principal display panel and the information that is required to appear on this panel are legally defined by national packaging codes.

Process colors: Cyan, magenta, yellow and key color (CMYK), used in package printing to produce photographic images.  The key color is normally black.

Process printing: A printing method that will reproduce full-color images. 

PVC: A thermoplastic material composed of polymers of vinyl chloride; a colorless solid with outstanding resistance to water, alcohols, and concentrated acids and alkalis. Compounded with plasticizers, PVC yields a flexible film, widely used in the manufacture of clothing and packaging films.


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Regular slotted container (RSC): A corrugated box cut from a square or rectangular blank and having all cuts, scores or creases in either machine or cross direction.  It is the most economical container to make and requires no extra tooling to produce.

Relief printing: A printing method that uses a plate on which the image is formed by those portions of the plate that are raised above (stand out in relief to) the main plate surface.  Flexography, letterpress and letter-set are relief printing processes.

Removal torque: The rotational force required to remove a screw to remove a screw-threaded closure. 

Resin: The basic binder in an ink. A solid or semi-solid material of vegetable origin or obtained synthetically by solvent extraction, which can be dissolved to a liquid state, suspended in a vehicle to make an ink or coating, and which, upon drying, forms the solid part of the dried, printed film.

Reroll stock: Aluminum billets intended to be rolled into foil.

Retarder: An additive for screen printing ink that slows down the drying time. It is usually composed of solvents that have a slower evaporation rate than the solvent intended as a dilutent for the specific ink system.

Retort: A large pressure-cooking chamber used for thermal processing of packaged food products. 

Retortable pouch: A flexible package able to withstand the rigorous temperature and pressure conditions of a commercial retort.  Retortable pouches, or retort pouches, are constructed of a laminate composed of polyester, foil and a polyolefin heat-seal medium.  The military is the main consumer of retorted foods.

Reverse printing: Printing on the reverse side of transparent film so that the printing will be on the inside of the package and will be observed through the film.  Reverse-printed films are usually laminated so that the printing is locked between two plies.  Reverse printing takes advantage of the glossy exterior surface of the printed film. 

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is the use of an object (typically referred to as an RFID tag) applied to or incorporated into a product, animal, or person for the purpose of identification and tracking using radio waves. Some tags can be read from several meters away and beyond the line of sight of the reader.

Radio-frequency identification comprises interrogators (also known as readers), and tags (also known as labels).

Most RFID tags contain at least two parts. One is an integrated circuit for storing and processing information, modulating and demodulating a radio-frequency (RF) signal, and other specialized functions. The second is an antenna for receiving and transmitting the signal.

There are generally three types of RFID tags: active RFID tags, which contain a battery and can transmit signals autonomously, passive RFID tags, which have no battery and require an external source to provoke signal transmission, and battery assisted passive (BAP) RFID tags, which require an external source to wake up but have significant higher forward link capability providing great read range.

Roll lamination film: Can consist of a layer of film that is applied to the front side of a document or it can be two layers of film in which the document is sandwiched between the layers and sealed by the use of various processes.

Run speed: The instantaneous opening rate of a machine at a point in time.


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Saturation: The strength of a color. 

Secondary package: A package or containment of a primary package.

Six Sigma is a business management strategy originally developed by Motorola, USA in 1981.[1] As of 2010, it enjoys widespread application in many sectors of industry, although its application is not without controversy.


Six Sigma seeks to improve the quality of process outputs by identifying and removing the causes of defects (errors) and minimizing variability in manufacturing and business processes.[2] It uses a set of quality management methods, including statistical methods, and creates a special infrastructure of people within the organization ("Black Belts", "Green Belts", etc.) who are experts in these methods.[2] Each Six Sigma project carried out within an organization follows a defined sequence of steps and has quantified targets. These targets can be financial (cost reduction or profit increase) or whatever is critical to the customer of that process (cycle time, safety, delivery, etc.).

Slip cover: A friction-fit cover (usually metal) that slides over a matching metal can base.

Solvent-evaporating inks: Inks which are generally dried after printing by allowing petroleum-based solvents to vaporize either in ambient or elevated temperature condition.

Substrate: The material on which some action, such as printing, coating, adhesive bonding and so on, is being performed.


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Tamper-evident closure: A closure system having an indicator or barrier to entry, which, if breached or missing, can reasonably be expected to provide visible evidence to consumers that tampering has occurred.

Thermoplastic: Any fully reacted polymeric material that can be repeatedly softened to a melt form and re solidified to a solid shape without significant change in properties.  Structurally, thermoplastics are characterized by the absence of cross-linking between polymer chains.  Most packaging polymers are thermoplastics.

thermoplastic, also known as thermosoftening plastic,[1][2] is a polymer that turns to a liquid when heated and freezes to a very glassy state when cooled sufficiently. Most thermoplastics are high-molecular-weight polymers whose chains associate through weak Van der Waals forces (polyethylene); stronger dipole-dipole interactions and hydrogen bonding(nylon)[3]; or even stacking of aromatic rings (polystyrene). Thermoplastic polymers differ from thermosetting polymers (Bakelite) as they can, unlike thermosetting polymers, be remelted and remoulded. Many thermoplastic materials are addition polymers; e.g., vinyl chain-growth polymers such as polyethylene and polypropylene.

Tier: One layer of cases or packages on a pallet load. 

Torque: A force causing rotation.

Total productive maintenance (TPM) is a new way of looking at maintenance, or conversely, a reversion to old ways but on a mass scale. In TPM the machine operator performs much, and sometimes all, of the routine maintenance tasks themselves. This auto-maintenance ensures appropriate and effective efforts are expended since the machine is wholly the domain of one person or team. TPM is a critical adjunct to lean manufacturing. If machine up-time is not predictable and if process capability is not sustained, the process must keep extra stocks to buffer against this uncertainty and flow through the process will be interrupted.. One way to think of TPM is "deterioration prevention" and "maintenance reduction", not fixing machines. For this reason many people refer to TPM as "total productive manufacturing" or "total process management". TPM is a proactive approach that essentially aims to prevent any kind of slack before occurrence. Its motto is "zero error, zero work-related accident, and zero loss".

Tuck flap: A folding carton closure made by extending and scoring one major flap so that it will tuck over into the carton to form a closure.


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UV coating: Coatings that consist of monomeric substances and a photo-initiator that are polymerized in the presence of ultraviolet light. 


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Water based inks: Inks containing a vehicle whose binder is water soluble or water dispersible.

Water resistance
: The resistance of a packaging material to deterioration or change when in contact with water.

Wet-end treatments
: Treatments or additives to papers and paper boards that are done to the paper furnish or to the formed web prior to being passed through the dryers.