Listed below are brief definitions of terms commonly used in the packaging industry.
Metal, Plastic and Flexible Packaging Definitions
- Blow Moulding - Formation of a bottle from a molten plastic tube by blowing air into the mass, forcing the material to follow the shape of the mould.
- Closures - Closures are caps or lids used to seal beer and soft drink bottles and food jars and cans. Closures are made from plastic, steel or aluminium and can be screw, twist or pop-up style. Another type of closure is a plastic seal, which is used to reseal a metal can after opening. 'Closures' also refers to machinery used to apply the closures to containers after they are filled.
- Composite Cans - Cans made from paperboard (cardboard). A variety of barrier materials and fittings enable composite cans to be used for packaging food, powdered beverages, wine, spirits and perfume.
- Flexible Packaging - Covers a wide range of packaging that can be single and multi-layered and is supplied in reels or bags. It can be paper/poly/foil or nylon or a combination of materials which are supplied either plain/printed/coated and/or laminated to provide long shelf life properties. End products packaged include confectionery, snack foods, frozen foods, soups and pharmaceuticals.
- Gravure Printing - This printing medium is the transfer of ink from an etched cylinder such as a sunken surface to the substrate, eg. paper/film/foil. The equipment is a multi-station (up to nine) printing machine to print and/or coat up to eight colours on to a fast-moving web of material.
- HDPE - High-density polyethylene.
- Injection Moulding - The process of converting plastic pellets by using heat and pressure to inject the molten material into a water-cooled mould. The equipment can produce a number of products in the one injection.
- LDPE - Low density polyethylene.
- Metallising - Applying, through a vacuum process, a thin aluminium layer onto flexible plastic film substrates used to package a variety of foods.
- Offset/Lithographic Printing - This printing medium is the transfer of ink from a sensitised plate, offset to a rubber blanket then transferred to the substrate. The equipment is a multi-station (up to eight) printing machine to print and/or coat up to six colours on to sheets or a fast-moving web.
- PET - Polyethylene Terephthalate.
- PP - Polypropylene.
- PVC - Polyvinyl chloride.
- Retort - The process of cooking food in the package it is sold in eg. baby food or soups that have meat or vegetables that need to cook at a temperature to kill off the micro-organisms and avoid botulism. The temperature is generally around 121o C. Amcor is the only company today that has this capability in PET.
- Rigid Plastic Packaging - Freestanding plastic bottles and plastic fittings. The main raw materials used are PET, HDPE and PP.
- Thermoforming - The process of shaping a plastic sheet of styrene or PVC under heat and pressure.
Folding Cartons Packaging Definitions
- Carton Dimensions - Dimensions refer to the interior of a carton, measured in millimetres of Length x Width x Height. Length (L) is the longer side of the opening and Width (W) is the shorter. Height (H) is the length between the openings on either end.
- Cellulose - The main fibrous material in paper.
- Folding Cartons - Multi-layer paperboard cartons which are printed/coated and cut into carton blanks. The carton blanks also incorporate creases, which enable the carton to be formed for packaging the customer's product.
- RSC - This is the abbreviation for Regular Slotted Carton, the most commonly used style of carton. One side is glued, taped or stapled during manufacturing, making this carton well suited for easy set-up, filling, and closure.