“Joe! I need you to order 2,000 poly cover-bags for our shipment on the 15th!” the operations manager yells at 3:30 on a Friday afternoon. Being the purchasing agent for his company, it is inferred that Joe knows what a “poly cover-bag” is or what will be the best type, thickness, color or size to protect his product. If you know not one thing when it comes to the polyethylene packaging industry, are looking for a specific answer like “how to measure” or are plainly keeping up on recent market trends, this is the article for you.
Pallet Covers are used to protect your company’s product for the duration of transportation and storage. These days, pallet covers also serve as an effective means of advertizing as well as oversized trash bags. This article will instruct you everything your manufacturer knows when it comes to this product. Therefore, it warrantees you will be a more effective buyer!
Pallet Covers and Bin Liners are oftentimes listed on subsequent pages in packaging supply catalogs. This is done because, in most cases, a liner is plainly an inverted cover. First we’ll cover a good deal of basi principles of polyethylene habit films.
Polyethylene (PE) is a thermoplastic polymer, which is today’s most widely used plastic. Even the now almost obsolete plastic grocery bag is a form of PE. I say almost obsolete as the plastic grocery bag has begun to give way to the Non-Woven Polypropylene (PP) buying goods bag as a green alternative. There are various dissimilar sub-categories of Polyethylene; 10 to be more specific. I do not intend to bore you with a alchemy lesson (nor am I qualified to instruct one) so we will talk about the few that are used most ofttimes in the packaging industry. There are three sub-classifications you will most likely be mesmerized in, depending on your specific packaging needs.
They are linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE). LLDPE is known to have a higher resistance to punctures and higher overall strength than that of a LDPE. LLDPE is commonly employed to make thin films due to it is high strength. LLDPE may be found in stretch films, plastic wraps and almost all polyethylene markets. Negatives for LLDPE are it is littler heat-sealing abilities and production challenges. Pallet cover users specifically prefer LDPE for it is “burly” chemical characteristics. It may likewise be found in galore other apps such as playground slides and computer components. LDPE is not as dense as LLDPE and likewise has a lower tensile strength that requires a higher thickness be employed in a heap of applications. HDPE is more likely to be used in the fabricating of exceedingly thin films such as t-shirt bags or grocery bags as it relates to our industry. Outside of the packaging industry, HDPE has some dissimilar apps and is seen as a very versatile product. We will move on with the LDPE (don’t forget Joe still has to get those bags ordered!).
What color? How some MIL thick? What is a MIL? Do I need a UVI additive? Should it be a shrink blend? What size? How some do I have to buy? How much will it cost? How “green” is it? Can I get my company data printed on it? How a lot of print colors? How a heap of print sides? Is it safe in cold weather? What is a gusseted cover? What is a center-fold and m-fold? How are they packaged? Don’t worry, we’ll get there.
Our friend Joe is employed by an industry leader in the developing of dog food. His company is located in Miami, FL. Knowing the what, where, how long and size are a couple of determining components in choosing the rectify liner, or in this case cover.
Let’s say Joe has 40 lb bags of dog feed that are formulated in mass quantity, then loaded on skids and shipped to distributors all over the continental U.S. For this order, Joe will be going with a Low Density Polyethylene. If we were just looking for the lowest cost and not concerned with formally presenting something or longevity a black, LDPE, “Repro-Blend” would be the route to go. Given today’s economy coupled with our nation’s concern with staying “green”, this has become a very general choice.
The company’s owners are more concerned with merchandising and visual representation than just getting a low price. Now that we know we’re looking for a LDPE film, lets get more specific. Polyethylene resins may be “virgin” or a “virgin/repro blend” in this case. Many manufacturers only use virgin resin due to it is quality and aesthetic value. Plus they are unable to quote on Repro products, as they do not have poly regrind machinery. When looking for the most economical choice, it is always good to find if your source has the capability to formulate a product using recycled resin. Using a resin made partially of recycled polyethylene does grant your company to market it as a “green” product. Yes, it is a “plastic bag” which for some is the furthermost thing from environmentally friendly. However, if your cover will at last be used as a trash bag or disposed of shortly after being installed this may be the most economical route.
Polyethylene pallet covers may be fabricated in a wide array of colors. They likewise may be “Opaque” or “tinted”, which of course, refers to the color density. The pantone color scheme (PMS) is the most mutual color scheme applied to choose these colors. As with anything, the more bells and whistles you add, the more your costs rise. If your product will spend a outstanding deal of time sitting at it is destination prior to being unpacked, an opaque color with art will have to be an option to consider. In Joe’s case, the proprietor wants both a good looking cover and increased marketing potential. White is always a outstanding background for any print or logo to stand out on. So Joe must suggest white opaque film be used.
Shrink covers and bags are used to cover anything from a 30′ boat to a 2″ wide toy. A shrink cover is made of a film that does just that when heat is employed to it. In a heap of apps the material is covered with a shrink film and moved through a heat tunnel. Other companies will use a heat gun to shrink the material around the product. If the decision is made to go with a shrink cover, further and added tools will need to be purchased. Heat tunnels and heat guns do come with a high initial investment. Shrink merchandise include; bags, covers, tubes and films. These items are installed to keep the pallet load secure and clean for the duration of transit and storage. Joe’s product is wrapped with stretch film prior to having the pallet cover installed. When this is the case, a shrink cover is not quintessentially needed, as the load is secured by stretch film.
We learned earlier that Joe’s company is located in Florida and it transports allround the country. This is applicable info as we get started to talk about a couple of additives many times applied in the fabricate of pallet covers. If the company was located in Minnesota, and the product sat in sub-freezing temperatures for long periods of time, EVA would be needed. EVA (Ethyl Vinyl Acetate) is an additive to prevent hardening and cracking due to the cold. Another mutual additive option requested in pallet cover production is UVI (Ultra Violet Inhibitor). This is necessitated if a covered load will be exposed to the sun, wind or salt spray for long periods of time. Purchasing an opaque cover does provide a degree of resistance to the sun’s damaging rays. However, if you genuinely need to be convinced that the cover will protect your product from color changes due to fading, or you with to reduce bag deterioration, then the addition of a UVI is a must. Depending on the size, color and type of material, a variable amount of the additive is combined in the production of covers. For each amount there is a sameness duration assigned to the cover’s shelf life. A 6-month UVI additive and 12-month UVI additives are the most mutual amounts requested, as most productions are either used or sold for the duration of the primary 12 months. In Joe’s case, the dog feed bags are only exposed to the sun for the duration of transit. This, coupled with the fact that he has already chosen a white opaque film, will provide plentiful shelter from the sun’s rays.
Now that we’ve narrowed down the materials to be used, let’s talk about measuring and a couple of more formulating options. How to measure for a pallet cover, or to determine the cover size required means that we firstborn need to measure our palletized product. A gusseted pallet cover is specifically applied for 48″x48″ pallets and a great deal of other similar sizes. Gusseted covers are very frequent as they are form fitted to the product supplying a nice clean look. We will cover this type of cover first. Simply measure the height, width and depth of the pallet (for depth number always use the shorter side). Once you have the width (the wider side) measured add 1″-2″ for ease of installation. Next, find the depth and again add 1″ -2″. To find the length of the cover measure the height of the pallet and add 1/2 of the depth. In example: a pallet that measures 48″ wide by 48″ deep by 48″ tall would result in a pallet cover size of 51″ x 49″ x 72″. This size is very mutual and stocked by a good deal of distribution companies. Consider adding a couple inches to the height if you would like the pallet cover to be long sufficient to cover a part of the pallet itself. If your cover will be in windy conditions it may be a good idea to order the cover a bit longer, then use a bundling film to secure the bottom of the cover to the wood pallet.
A centerfold cover is commonly used for larger, longer pallet loads. For this cover we again need to find our width, length and height. For a pallet 48″ wide x 96″ long x 48″ high, we will measure the width plus 1/2 the depth, add 1″ – 2″ and use that number for the overall height of the bag. To find the length of the bag we measure the pallet length (96″) then add 1/2 of each side depth (24″+24″) this gives us a length of 144″, we then add 4″ – 6″. This gives us a centerfold cover size: 150″ x 74″. The further and added 4″ – 6″ in length are added for ease of installation, as this is necessitated for more spectacular pallet loads. Most manufacturers’ size capablenesses restrict them from developing a gusseted cover for a pallet this size. The centerfold cover is different from the gusseted cover in that it is 2 dimensional and once in a while known as a lay flat bag or cover. Since we are installing a lay flat cover over a 3 dimensional pallet little amounts of extra material stay at the top of both ends. This extra material is commonly referred to as “dog ears” and doesn’t affect the functionality or longevity of the cover. However, if you have a huge load and would like a cover without “dog ears” and cannot go with a typical gusseted cover, an M-Fold cover is another option.
An M-Fold cover is necessitated on big pallets when constructing limitations do not grant a centerfold or mutual gusset to be used. This cover is termed an M-Fold as it is the look devised when the cover is folded in half. We will again need to find the width, depth and height of our palletized product. The length of our cover will again be the length of pallet plus 1/2 of each width and 1″ – 2″ further and added inches. The next dimension will plainly be the height of the pallet plus 1″ – 2″. The final dimension is one 1/2 of the depth plus 1″ – 2″. For example: a pallet 72″ wide x 96″ long x 72″ high would be 96″” + 36″ + 36″ =172″, then 74″ and 36″. Resulting in a 172″ x 74″ x 36″ “m-fold cover. A mutual bread bag may help you to visualize the cover. Turn the bag on end and view one end of the bag as the top of your pallet. You will see one open gusset on each side of the bread bag. One negative to the M-Fold cover is it is capacity to catch and hold water in the exposed gussets. Making a couple of revolutions with a roll of bundling film may eliminate this issue. I have likewise had clients invert the covers to eliminate this problem. Doing this will improve functionality. However, the m-fold gusset is now exposed, which may or may not be aesthetic concern for you. Since Joe’s palletized dog feed bags are placed on a 48″ x 48″ pallet and stacked 48″ high, he will be going with a 51″ x 49″ x 72″ gusseted pallet cover. Now that we have the size and type of material, let’s determine on a thickness.
MIL thickness of course refers to the cover’s thickness as it is measured in millimeters. When choosing a thickness, always do not forget the characteristics of the material being applied (briefly discussed earlier). We recognise that we are using a LDPE and that the load will be secured with stretch film under the cover. We also know that the outdoor exposure and transit times will be minimal. Mil thicknesses of 1 to 6 are most mutual for one-time use LDPE pallet covers. Most formulating facilities may create polyethylene pallet covers from.0006 to.010 (commonly referred to as.06 MIL to 10 MIL). For Joe’s company, a 1.5 MIL will be used, as aesthetics and marketing are more of a concern than durability. Using a lower thickness may offset the cost of having a more costly color, printed cover.
When requesting a quote always be sure you’re comparing “apples to apples”. Some manufactures deal only in “full gauge” and others use “industry standard” or “nominal”. If a company uses the latter, a 1.5 MIL product could in truth be fictitious +/- 10% which would result in an end product anyplace from 1.35 MIL to 1.65 MIL (usually the lower). A full gauge product is just that, and you will always receive the full 1.5 MIL. This may be checked in house once you receive the product with a micrometer. We now are ready to order a White Opaque Gusseted 51″ x 49″ x 72″ x 1.5 MIL (Full Gauge) pallet cover. Next, let’s talk about Joe’s printing options.
Printing your logo and company info, on the pallet cover may genuinely take vantage of an often-overlooked syndication opportunity. Every manufacturing facility is different in their printing capabilities. However, most have the capacity to print on at least one side of the cover in one color. Some makers may fabricate a two-sided print using assorted colors. One-sided print is very effective if the pallet is placed with the rectify side facing potential customers, i.e. the flat bed trailer, marketing store or store yard. The selective information displayed in the print is genuinely up to the customer. Having a company logo / business card on an electronic file may always speed up the process. No matter what is placed on the cover, make sure to see the final proof and do not sign off on it until you are satisfied.
Pallet cover print is installed by using a “plate” which is a rubber stamp made from your artwork. This plate comes with an further and added one-time fee. The plate costs cover any graphic art that may be required, as well as the cost of creating the habit rubber stamp. The distance from the art to the top and bottom of the cover are selected, as well as the distance amongst each print. The print is distinctively employed randomly to the bag meaning that it starts and stops in a dissimilar emplacement from one bag to the next. Lead-time for a printed cover may be anyplace from 1-5 weeks depending on the manufacturer and the detail requested. Joe wants a great selling piece, but is on a budget as well. So he will go with the one side, one color random print. We now have a Gusseted Pallet Cover in White Opaque with 1C1S Random print 51″ x 49″ x 72″ x 1.5 MIL (full gauge). Now that Joe has the vitals selected, how a heap of will he have to purchase?
Minimums on a pallet cover like Joe’s are ordinarily high and may require a big firstborn investment. Many makers will require a minimum run of at least 3,000 lbs, but a heap of may be more than willing to run a minimum of 1,000 (often referred to as 1M). All makers think in terms of poundage rather than number of covers. To convert Joe’s covers into poundage, we will need to do some quick math. For a cover 51″ x 49″ x 72″ x 1.5 MIL we add the firstborn two numbers, multiply by the third number, take that number and multiply it by.0015 then divide by 15.
100 x 72 = 7,200, 7,200 x.0015 = 10.8, 10.8 / 15 =.72 pounds per cover
Now, if we recognise that our manufacturer is dealing in “Industry Standard” or “Nominal” rather than full gauge, we will need to adjust the math a bit. Change the.0015 to.00135 to represent the actual MIL thickness.
100 x 72 = 7,200, 7,200 x.00135 = 9.72, 9.72 / 15 =.648 pounds per cover
If our chosen manufacturer has a 3,000 lb minimum (3M) we divide 3,000 by our full gauge weight,.648. Resulting in a minimum order size of roughly 4,600 pallet covers.
It is standard in the packaging industry for makers to overrun or under-run a product +/- 10%. The final order may have +/- 460 covers. Knowing the conversion to poundage is likewise helpful when determining the number of covers per roll. 100 bags on a roll at.648 pounds each would put us around 65 lbs a roll, which ought to be beauteous manageable. Smaller roll sizes may require an up-charge based on poundage. Skid weights of 1,200 to 1,700 pounds are most common. If your salesman says his or her habit order minimum is 2 skids, the number of covers may be found by doing a lot of quick division. In this case we’ll say skid weight is 1,400 lbs, so we divide that by the 65 lbs per roll giving us 21.5 or 22 rolls. We then take 22 rolls x 2 skids, 44 x 100 covers per roll = a minimum order of roughly 4,400 covers. Manufacturers will specifically have price breaks at 3M, 5M and 10M pounds. Depending on the usage, it may be a good idea to find out how much may be saved by upping the order size. Joe knows that his manufacturer’s minimum poundage is 3M.
We now recognise the “ins and outs” of polyethylene pallet covers, and are ready to get a great deal of price quotes!
(Joe’s quote request)
(LDPE) POLYETHYLENE PALLET COVERS
51″ X 49″ X 72″ X 1.5 MIL (Full Gauge)
WHITE OPAQUE, PRINTED 1C1S
100 COVERS PER ROLL
DELIVERED INTO MIAMI, FL
QUANTITY: 4,400 covers
* Please indicate next price breaks
* Delivery required by the 13th of this month
Whether dealing with a manufacturer, manufacturer’s rep, distributor or industrial supply company knowing the questions to ask just might help you land a better price.
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