Understanding Dim Weight

Keeping costs low while still providing the best services and solutions to customers will always be the priority of any business. Sometimes, unfortunately, new policies can make cutting costs a lot more difficult.

In an effort to update their value analysis for the space on their trucks and prevent ‘cubing out’ (when a truck runs out of space before it reaches its weight capacity), FedEx and UPS have both made the switch to dimensional weight practices, or dim-weight. This means that all boxes, not just the ones above 3 cubic feet, will be charged for either the actual weight of the package, or the dimensional weight – whichever is greater. This means that all boxes leaving your warehouse have to be measured as well as weighed, adding a whole new element of labor to your shipping process.

Dimensional weight is easy to figure out. Take the length, width and height of a package and divide it by 166 if the package is being shipped domestically and 139 if it is being shipped internationally. The equations look like this:

dim weight domestic

Domestic

dim weight international

International

Although they seem simple enough, these equations can mean bad news for businesses that use UPS and FedEx to ship products to their customers. Unless you’re using a packaging method that actively works to reduce the size of packages without sacrificing the safety and value of your product, you can be sure that prices to ship your inventory will go up.

All companies need to make sure that their shipping departments are aware of this change and knowledgeable about how to help decrease the dimensional weight of packages exiting the warehouse. Another thing to be aware of is bulging. If a box bulges due to poor handling on the shipper’s part, new fees can be incurred due to the dimensional change. If you have had issues with either a disproportionately large dimensional weight or package bulging when you are shipping, a new packaging solution is essential for your company to keep costs down.

There are a number of solutions to the issues imposed by this new policy, and the main one is to use more efficient, low weight packaging. Alternative packaging methods like bags, Surface Guard cohesive packages, and smaller cartons with less air are just a few examples of necessary solutions that will reduce your headache.

Click here to see all of the different solutions from different industry leading packaging companies that R.V. Evans has to offer. You can also visit our contact us page, or schedule a site needs analysis with one of our professional representatives.

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3 Things You Should Know About Carton Closing

Carton Closing Stapler

Carton Closing Stapler

There are a variety of ways to close and seal a carton. The method that you choose to close the cartons in your packaging process can greatly affect the condition of the product when it arrives to your customer. If the product arrives in poor condition, it not only runs the risk of being returned with a complaint, but it hurts your company’s brand. Using the correct method to close and seal cartons can reduce material costs as well as increase shipping conditions.

There are a variety of methods for closing your cartons including staples, tape, and plastic strap. All are designed for different applications. Some of the most common use of staples and plastic strap is to keep cartons sealed that may contain heavier items that would normally rip tape, whereas tape may be used in applications where higher volume production is present.

These are very basic examples of applications where these carton closing methods would be used, in all truth, each application is unique. There are a variety of factors that must be taken into consideration in order to achieve the optimal carton closing method. 3 important factors are:

1)   Storage and Shipping

One factor that comes into play is; what is happening to the product after it is packaged and the carton is closed? If it is immediately going into ground shipment and it is a heavier item, then staples may be required to ensure that the product stays in the carton. If the product is going off of the packaging line and being placed on a skid to be stacked, you may be able to get away with tape to close the carton.

2)  Production Volume

Another factor is the volume of packaging that is occurring in the application. If you are operating with very low volume, using stick staples in a carton closing stapler may be adequate. As packaging volume increases, your method needs to change to meet the demand. Staples can also come in roll format; these are collated rolls of up to 5,000 on most Bostitch rolls. If volume increases even more, tape systems can meet the demand of higher throughput. Systems like the Wexxar BEL250 are designed to seal up to 25 cases per minute.

3)  Environmental Factors

Another factor to take into consideration is the environment in which the carton is being closed. Dirty and dusty environments can leave residue on the corrugated container making it more difficult for tape to seal, but does not affect carton closing staples. Also, if there is a void around the product, you may risk damaging the product with staples.

There are a plethora of factors that come into play when deciding whether to use tape or staples. Using the correct method will provide better results, reduce wasted material and cut down on costs. Take time to identify some of the factors that may affect your end product to ensure that you are using the correct carton closing method.

Happy Packaging!

For more information you can contact us at 1-800-252-5894 or by visiting our website at www.rvevans.com

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Carton Forming and Corrugated

There are many different options that the corrugated industry provides to meet the needs of a business. However, factors that can negatively affect corrugated are often times overlooked by companies, but it is vital that companies are aware of these factors and take steps to overcome them. The environment that corrugated is in will play a huge part in how it acts and handles during the forming process. In very dry conditions corrugated will become hard and coarse, whereas with wet conditions can often times make the corrugated soft and flimsy. Those are just the obvious ones, other factors adversely affecting the quality and behavior of corrugated as well, including:

  • The type of scoring applied by the manufacturer
  • The type of corrugated material used
  • The age of the corrugated material
  • The design of the box

The number one problem a manufacturer can face is overcoming variables that disrupt the case forming process. In order to do this, there are two very simple, yet very important steps.

Step 1: Identify and understand. Having a firm understanding of what factors can affect the case forming and closing process, along with how you can overcome these issues is the first step.

Step 2: Find a solution that meets the needs of corrugated rather than forcing the corrugated to meet the features of the machine. Whether customers require an automatic or manual process, a solution can be found. One mistake that manufacturers will make is that they will try to alter the corrugated in order to work with the machine when it should be the other way around. The R.V. Evans Company is equipped to handle cases such as Regular Slotted Cases (RSC), Half Slotted Cases (HSC), and Centre Special Slotted Cases (CSSC) / All Flaps Meet (AFM) boxes.

The process of case forming is a series of small steps that come together to form an effective and efficient process.
Wexxar/BEL has designed and manufactured a series of machines to help overcome these issues. With Servo driven machines, sensors at each step of the process ensure that the step is completed successfully before moving the box onto the next step. This prevents boxes from becoming jammed and holding up operations.
A key step in the beginning of the case forming process is known as First Case Separation. This is done first and foremost followed by the four steps involved with the actual forming of the case.
Wexxar/BEL has outlined the four steps involved in the case forming and erecting process here:

  • Step 1: Prior to separation the cases are pushed through the magazine to the separator head and against the injector blade.
  • Step 2: The separator pushes the first case downward into the caliper slot, which ensures only one box can be separated from the next.
  • Step 3: The separator retracts, releasing the case. This frees the box from the rest of the magazine. The box tilts forward and is available to be injected onto the pins.
  • Step 4: The mechanical jaw closes on the case, which is injected upward on to the pins. The outer surface of the case is metered by domes and onto the pins.

The Pin and Dome concept was originated by Wexxar/BEL. It is used after the injection system to open the box. It uses pins onto which the major and minor flaps of the case are injected. The pins slide into the flutes of the corrugated which is guided into place by domes against which the outer liner slides when the case is pushed upward. The pins and domes are situated along a mechanical jaw, which uses a hinge mechanism to open the box. This system is very successful based on the fact that it can identify and compensate for external factors that are affecting the corrugated. As mentioned earlier, it can erect cases that are dusty, wet, or have irregular surfaces.

Hot Melt Systems
Hot Melt Systems use hot glue and compression to create a strong bond. One much stronger than can be achieved using a mandrel. There are two types of Hot Melt Systems.

  • Internal compression module: It presses the end flaps into place on all four corners.
  • Swinging compression module: It swings into the case and uses active compression to compress the box closed by compressing the corners in.

Tray Formers
There are two main types of Tray Formers.

1) Vertical
2) Horizontal

These two types are exactly opposite, performing the same process in the reverse direction. Vertical Tray Formers use vertical magazines in which blanks are placed. These blanks are driven down at which time hot melt glue is applied. A mandrel strikes the box horizontally, driving the box through the machine and forming it. Horizontal Tray formers use horizontal magazines in which blanks are placed. These blanks are driven down at which time hot melt glue is applied. A mandrel strikes the box vertically, driving the box down and forming it.

Automatic Tray Locker
The Automatic Tray Locker is another type of Tray Former that forms a tray using a die-cut blank by sequentially folding the corner flaps and folding the two sides in using the tab lock feature. The tab lock feature is where the sides tuck over the other flaps and hold them into position using tabs and slots. The nice thing about this function is that it has an easy-to-load magazine that begins down near the bottom of the machine (easy to reach for employees), and travels upward to where they are dispensed at the top of the machine. The boxes then move into the case forming processes being delivered downward in front of the mandrel. The mandrel is equipped with a Servo sensor in order to either decrease or increase your production speed based on whatever speed suits your packaging process the best.

Self-locking tray former
The Self-locking tray former does exactly what it is supposed to do, lock self-locking trays. For most businesses, this is a manual process done by an employee at a table who is repeatedly locking these cases into place. As production and demand increase, automation can be introduced into the process through this machine, saving plenty of time and manual labor.

Summary
There are many different options out there for case forming and erecting. There are also many different factors that can negatively affect your production process costing you valuable time, money, and resources. Be sure to find the appropriate machine to overcome the environmental and potential issues in your process.
For more information on how you can improve your packaging process, contact the R.V. Evans Company at 1-800-252-5894 or visit our website at www.rvevans.com
You can also email us at sales@rvevans.com or connect with us through our social sites.

Happy Packaging!

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Source: http://www.rvevans.com/Packaging-Solutions/PDF/wexxar-case-tray-forming-101.pdf