A Packaging Problem

One of the problems we face is that during shipment some of these finishes are damaged from the jostling and vibration caused by transportation to various parts of the world. What type of packaging can we use to reduce damage to the parts?


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Q. Our company plates hardware parts with decorative finishes. One of the problems we face is that during shipment some of these finishes are damaged from the jostling and vibration caused by transportation to various parts of the world. The parts are not transported in bulk but are individually wrapped in paper and in some cases are placed in an “egg carton like” container. What type of packaging can we use to reduce damage to the parts? L. I.

 

A. Protecting finished goods from damage during shipping is an ongoing battle. If you stop to think about this for a minute, you realize almost everything we use in our daily lives and in our business world are shipped by truck, plane or train. Most of the time the items arrive in good condition. I am not an expert in packaging but there are a couple things I have learned from practical experience and observation over the years.

Wrapping individual objects in paper is often practiced to minimize this damage but if the wrong type of paper is used you can actually create greater havoc then by not wrapping. Some papers can be very abrasive and can cause damage to surfaces. The same can be said for egg carton-like holders. The papers and the cartons accumulate dust that over a period of time will act as an abrasive on the surfaces.

Another approach, if the parts are of high enough value, is to use specifically designed cardboard cartons that will firmly hold the parts in place. The carton has to be designed in such a way that contact points are on none visible surfaces of the part or assembly.

Perhaps the most important point is if you are having problems like this, you should consult a packaging engineer who is familiar with different types of materials and package design. I have been involved with a number of situations in which a packaging engineer saved the day. 

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