All posts by: 360 Ecopackaging

Aluminium Foil Barrier
Industrial packaging, Physical and chemical protection, Transport and logistics

Aluminium Foil Barrier

The Heat-Sealable bag, Insulating bag or Aluminium Foil barrier material is a widely used element in packaging to prevent corrosion, especially when it comes to metal packaging and electronic items.

Aluminium Foil Barrier

It is used in conjunction with desiccant salts precisely to prevent moisture from oxidizing the metal on long ship voyages, but is also used for long-term protection of machinery and other products, for example, for storage if long-term storage is planned.

 

 

COMPOSITION

This material is mainly composed of aluminum and polyethylene. Depending on the manufacturer, the proportion of each material and even the type of plastic used may vary. For example, sometimes polyester, PET plastic or polypropylene are added. As for polyethylene, it can be of high or low density.

Some barrier materials have more plastic than aluminum or vice versa. The quality and correct protection of the product will depend to a large extent on the total thickness of the barrier film from which the bags are made and how many grams it weighs per square meter, as well as the proportion of aluminum it contains. The more aluminum the material contains to the detriment of plastic, the lower the vapor transmission inside the container.

This material is waterproof and resistant to external factors such as ultraviolet rays.

 

PRESENTATION

Generally we can find this material in rolls whose measures can vary according to the customer’s needs, although it is also common to find manufacturers and companies that sell ready-made bags with the measures that the customer deems appropriate.

Aluminium Foil Barrier

The aluminium foil barrier bag can also be vacuum sealed if desired, with the help of special machines that absorb oxygen from inside the bag. In this way, the product is better protected against oxidation.

There are several ways of sealing this bag. As its name suggests, the most common way is with heat, although we can also opt for plastic closures that seal the container.

This material can also be printed, so it is common for a company to print its own corporate logo, as well as the specifications of the material and the temperature to which it must be subjected for sealing.

This material must be manufactured in compliance with DIN 55531-1, which is the German and European standard in general.

 

Other world standards equivalent to this norm that can be found are the following:

  • USA: MIL-B-131.
  • France: NF H 00310.
  • Germany (military classification): TL 8135-0003.
  • United Kingdom (military classification): DEF STAN 81-75/1.
Aluminium Foil Barrier

To conclude, it is convenient to point out the main difference between aluminum barrier material and other plastic materials that we will see later, such as shrink film or VCI. For long boat trips, adverse weather conditions or long storage periods, aluminum is the most convenient option for the correct protection of the product against plastic compounds, since it is much more resistant.

How to Choose Good Packaging
Circular packaging, Folding packaging, Industrial packaging, Transport and logistics

How to Choose Good Packaging?

In the last posts we have talked about the importance of packaging and the conditioning of the load inside it, as well as its monitoring by means of active or passive control systems (impact detectors, verticality,…).

 

In today’s post we are going to focus on the different competitive advantages that packaging can provide.

How to Choose Good Packaging

A good choice of packaging system can be key to ensure a correct shipment and savings in transportation costs, the packaging must be designed to suit the load to be transported, thus optimizing weight and volume and saving on handling and transportation costs.

How to Choose Good Packaging

The use of reusable packaging in addition to saving resources consumed by the planet is an effective cost saving, we must study whether this option is viable for our company and define which model of those on the market is best suited to our needs (reusability, weight, functionality, strength, …).

How to Choose Good Packaging

Reusable and desassemble packaging – Clipping Crate® System

As for the tangible part of what a good packaging can bring us in addition to resistance and functionality, as we have seen, cost savings is one of the main parameters to take into account.

As for the intangible part, we must appreciate that the packaging is the letter of introduction of our product, it says more in 10 seconds (quality, type, image, dimensions, weight …) than any sales manager can tell us in hours.

 

Discover here the Clipping Crate® System, a high quality reusable crate model.

 

We must use this salesperson to show our product to the consumer, even before the product comes out of the box.

 

In today’s post we have seen how the choice of something as “simple” as packaging can save us handling and logistics costs, as well as increase the value of our product by giving it an improved image.

Passive control devices
Industrial packaging, Transport and logistics

Passive Control Devices, Which One Should We Use?

After several posts analyzing and then looking at case studies of humidity control (desiccant salts) we are going to talk again, but this time in a more practical way, about passive control elements.

Passive control devices

To verify that our fixation or control of the environment has been correct, we must use passive control devices that will tell us once at destination if the goods have suffered any stress during the trip. For this we must use impact detectors to measure accelerations and humidity and temperature detectors to measure the atmosphere in which the cargo has been transported.

 

How do I know which impact detector to use?

For this we must know well what load we are going to transport and how sensitive it is to accelerations and in which axes. Once known we must take as a unit of measurement the units “g” to know what resulting acceleration depending on its weight must support, so that the more “g” less sensitivity (loads with lower weights and volumes). For example, if we want to transport a device of 10Kg and 0.5 m3 with a normal sensitivity, we should take as an approximate reference an impact detector of 50g.  Here is an indicative table:

Passive control devices

Are there impact detectors that monitor the entire route?

For the transport of a load that we need to monitor in real time and have a database with all the transport parameters we will need to use an electronic impact detector or logger.  These devices would allow us to measure periodically accelerations, temperature, humidity… and then download this data to our pc to analyze them.

 

Once I have this device, how should I place it?

Finally, these devices should usually be placed on the longest side and at a height equal to or greater than 2/3. If you see that this device has triggered (usually it will show a red color) indicates that it has exceeded the defined tare.

Passive control devices

In the case of guaranteeing a controlled humidity atmosphere we must use humidity detectors, these devices as well as impact devices allow us to easily identify if the load has suffered any stress on the way.

 

There are control elements with several scales where we would show the maximum humidity levels to which our product has been exposed, so we will have to define on which safety scale our product should be transported.

 

As we have seen, after a correct conditioning it is essential to monitor it to have a feedback on how the transport has been developed to adjust it if necessary in subsequent shipments.

Desiccant Salts
Industrial packaging, Physical and chemical protection, Transport and logistics

Case study, Use of Desiccant Salts

In the previous post we have seen what a DIN unit is and the degree of absorption per unit, therefore we must remember that a DIN unit is equivalent to an absorption of 6g of water and that to absorb these 6g of water approximately 30g of desiccant salts are necessary (depending on the type of salt and the conditions).

Desiccant Salts

Having recalled the previous post, we consider a practical case for a part of dimensions 1150x750x750mm (length x width x height) to be transported in a box equipped with a thermoweldable bag of inner dimensions 1200x800x800mm.

 

To calculate the volume of air enclosed between the box and the part we must find the differential of volumes, therefore:

 

1,2 x 0,8 x 0,8 – 1,15 x 0,75 x 0,75  = 0,121 m3

 

Once this data has been calculated, we go to the formula:

 

n = 1/a · ( V · b + m · c + A · e · D · t )

And we calculate the number “n” of DIN units replacing each constant by its value, (to know the value of these parameters do not hesitate to visit our previous post).

The result would be n = 2 approximately, so about 60g of desiccant compound would be necessary for this packaging. We must bear in mind that it is always better to distribute these salts proportionally so that the atmosphere always maintains homogeneous humidity levels, so whenever possible we will use several bags distributed homogeneously.

Desiccant Salts

As we have mentioned in previous posts, it is important to define the volume of air that we want to maintain with low humidity levels in order to calculate the number of DIN units that will be necessary. Once we know this information, our supplier will tell us the exact grams of salt that we will need depending on its composition.

Most Popular Container Packaging
Circular packaging, Folding packaging, Industrial packaging

Most Popular Container Packaging

We continue our review of the different packaging products that can be found in the market. This time, it is the turn of some of the most widely used container packaging worldwide, such as pallet collar and pallet boxes.

 

They are made of pine boards joined by galvanized steel hinges and supported on a pallet. Sometimes, and for greater reinforcement, two boards are placed on each side instead of one. Currently, many manufacturers also opt for OSB for the manufacture of these pallet collars, as it is a resistant and economical material, although we can also find plastic and cardboard collars.

They generally have the dimensions of the European pallet (1200 x 800 mm), although there are other standards.

Their main characteristic is their versatility, since, being stackable thanks to their hinges, the customer can superimpose the ones he considers convenient to obtain a box with the appropriate height for his needs. In addition, they are used in a wide range of sectors and provide great stability when moving loads.

Another important feature is that they are collapsible, making them a very efficient alternative for saving costs in logistics (storage and transport).

This form of packaging is also economical, resistant and durable, as they can have a useful life of up to 10 years. Therefore, it is a product that does not require a large investment and can be amortized. It is also easily replaceable, since, if a fence is damaged, it can be quickly replaced by another of identical characteristics.

Accessories can also be added to the frames, such as dividers with different heights and interior dividers made of wood and plastic, as well as corner brackets for greater stability when stacking the frames, supports, label holders or hooks.

Pallet collar - Modular Packaging

Pallet boxes are corrugated cardboard boxes placed on a wooden or cardboard pallet, widely used in the food industry, but also in other sectors due to their versatility.

 

Corrugated board can have up to three corrugations and can have different thicknesses, depending on the type of corrugation as shown in the table below:

Pallet Box

This type of packaging is mainly used for commercial exhibitors, being an economical means to place in supermarkets as a product container and as an advertising method, since cardboard is a material in which it can be easily printed. Different recesses or shelves can be incorporated for product placement.

Their dimensions vary depending on the standard pallets, generally the European one (1200 x 800 mm) and the American or universal one (1200 x 1000 mm).

They consist of a pallet, a base, four sides and a lid. As with pallet collars, another of its characteristics is that it can fold itself.

Thus, the sides, already joined, are folded on the base, placing the lid on top and saving storage and transport costs.

 

Pallet cardboard box

As you can see, the innovations in packaging are mainly focused on logistics and cost savings without neglecting the quality provided by conventional packaging.

 

These, together with the Clipping Crate, are examples of how this sector has evolved over the years and give us a sample of how the packaging of the future will be, between flexibility, design and resistance.

Industrial packaging, Maritime packaging, Physical and chemical protection

Desiccant salts, absorption capacity and normalization

Dehydrating or Desiccant salts, they are used more and more frequently for the packaging of cargoes, especially in maritime transports, but … are we using the right amount of desiccant salts? what is a DIN unit? do all desiccant salts absorb the same amount of moisture? In this post we will try to answer all these questions.

Dessicant Salts

To calculate the amount of DIN units of salts needed to ensure a “dry” environment, we will base ourselves on the DIN 55474 standard, which empirically defined as:

 

n = 1/a · ( V · b + m · c + A · e · D · t )

Where “n” is the number of DIN units, “a” the amount of water vapor absorbed per unit of salt, for 20 % RH a = 3 g; 40 % RH a = 6 g; 60 % RH a = 8 g, “V” the volume inside the packaging, “b” the humidity per unit volume of interior air, “m” weight in kilograms, “c” grams of humidity per kilogram of weight, “S” packaging surface in square meters, “e” correction factor, for 20 % RH e = 0.9, for 40 % RH e = 0.7 and finally for 60 % RH e = 0.6, “D” permeability in grams per square meter and finally “t” the storage time.

To summarize, in general, one DIN unit is equivalent to an absorption of 6g of water, to absorb these 6g of water approximately 30g of desiccant salts are necessary (depending on the type of salt and the conditions).

 

Thus we can take this table as a reference:

Desiccant salts

As we have already mentioned in this blog, there are many types of desiccant salts depending on their chemical composition, so we must always know their absorption capacity and the amount of DIN units per unit mass.

Dessicant Salts

As a conclusion we must assume to take as reference the DIN units and from this we will be able to calculate the grams of each salt that we need. Starting from these DIN units we will never make a mistake with the amount of salts needed.

Desiccant/Dehydrating salts
Maritime packaging, Physical and chemical protection, Transport and logistics

Desiccant Salts

Desiccant salts, also called dehydrating salts, are chemical compounds that absorb moisture and water in very different ratios, depending on the amount of desiccants and their chemical composition, and can regenerate if subjected to a temperature above 150ºC.

There are different types of desiccant, the most common are:

 

  • Silica gel

These are small solid pellets of silicon dioxide obtained from sodium silicate. Despite being a chemical compound, it is not toxic or flammable by itself, although one of its components is highly toxic to humans if ingested or in contact with it for a long time, as it could cause silicosis. This is cobalt chloride, which is used to determine the amount of moisture in the gel. In this way, it causes the gel to change color when wet, varying from blue (dry) to pink.

Desiccant Salts
  • Bentonite

Is a very fine-grained (colloidal) clay of the montmorillonite type containing bases and iron. The name derives from a deposit found at Fort Benton, USA. The particle size is less than 0.03% of the average grain size of kaolinite.

Desiccant Salts
  • Calcium chloride

In addition to its use in pharmaceuticals and food, this compound is used as a desiccant, given its moisture-absorbing qualities. It is less common than silica gel, although it does not contain toxic elements and has a higher degree of moisture absorption. The problem is that it is not advisable to use it in spaces that are not hermetically sealed, since it runs the risk of liquefying, with the consequent elimination of its absorption capacity.

Desiccant Salts

Measures

 

There are four different units for measuring desiccants. The most commonly used due to their standardization are grams, but we also find NFH, DIN units and MIL units.

These would be the equivalences between them, taking as a reference the most used measurements:

Equivalency table

We recommend the use of one half kilo bag (16 DIN units) of desiccant or dehydrating salts per cubic meter. As a guideline, we can indicate that for a 20 feet container it is advisable to use 20 bags of 1 kg. These data are estimates since, depending on the cargo to be transported (sensitivity to oxidation and/or corrosion mainly), the proportion of salts should be adjusted to maintain the relative humidity at the established rates.

 

Packaging

 

The desiccant can be purchased in bulk or packaged in breathable bags for use in containers or inside packaging.

The bags are made of non-woven textile so that moisture passes through them and can be picked up by the compound. Now, certain desiccant manufacturers have begun using another material called Tyvek, which is used primarily in home and building construction to prevent moisture.

This material is made of high-density polyethylene and nonwoven olefin fiber, so it is highly breathable and its uses are very diverse. Although it looks like paper, we must not forget that it is plastic when it comes to recycling.

As we mentioned at the beginning of this section, desiccant bags are frequently used in containers for shipping goods by sea.

Salt compounds and moisture can cause damage to the goods. For this reason, many containers come with special cables or rings for the placement of desiccants.

In this case, a hook or hooks, usually made of plastic or metal, are added to the bags to attach them to the walls of the container. If the container has no means of hanging the bag, many manufacturers incorporate a special adhesive to attach the bag directly to the inner side walls.

 

Other remarks

 

There is a chemical compound called dimethyl fumarate, DMF, which is also used as a desiccant.

Years ago the Finnish doctor Tapio Rantanen discovered that it can cause severe allergic reactions and large skin eczema, even in very small proportions, after the marketing of this product in sofas by a Chinese company, with the aim of preventing the furniture from deteriorating with humidity, resulting in several cases of affected people in several countries around the world, including Spain.

For this reason it is very important to make sure that the desiccant that we are going to use is free of this substance and that it has passed the pertinent controls that indicate it.

It is also common to find in the desiccant packages cards indicating the moisture content of the salts, thus warning if it is necessary to replace the package in case they no longer absorb water vapor.

Indicator cards

These cards work by changing color, in such a way that when their blue color disappears and turns to a light pink, as in the case of silica gel, it means that the desiccant salts have already exhausted their absorption capacity.

 

In conclusion, you will have to choose the type of desiccant that you believe convenient and in the right measure depending on the volume of the load and how it is packed. It is always advisable to use it, since humidity is present everywhere and in certain regions and countries more than in others, but above all it is an indispensable requirement for sea and river transport, combining it with other types of materials for adequate protection.

Packaging for exporting automotive products
Circular packaging, Industrial packaging, Transport and logistics

Packaging for Exporting Automotive Products

Packaging represents a strategic factor in the supply chain. Even more so in times of uncertainty like the ones we are living in.

Automotive companies and the ancillary industry know that optimizing their investment in packaging reduces costs, time and storage space. A key aspect considering the difficulties the sector is going through due to the shortage of microchips, the war in Ukraine and the rising cost of energy.

 

Packaging solutions for the automotive industry

The automotive industry works with tight deadlines. It is crucial that all components in the chain arrive on time and in perfect condition at the assembly line.

 

Custom Packaging

Automotive manufacturers’ vehicles are made up of parts with different weights, volumes, shapes and sizes. At 360 Eco Packaging we design each packaging according to the type of part to be protected, the means of transport and destination, incorporating as many as possible in order to optimize the logistics process to the maximum.

 

Protections and packaging for batteries

 

Parts in the automotive sector are delicate. The dashboards and windows must be protected against possible impacts or vibrations during transport. Different auxiliary means are usually used to secure the goods, technical foams or corner protectors, which allow each part to be immobilized, preventing them from colliding with each other or moving during shipment.

Bulky parts such as engines or bodywork may require special packaging, such as heavy-duty crates or shrink wrap, which adapts to the contours of the cargo. Batteries and electrical components are considered dangerous goods and require special transport conditions. We are currently participating as a member of the CTN 192 SC 03 Subcommittee (UNE/ISO) in the development of a new regulation in the field of transport of dangerous goods, together with AENOR and the Ministry of Industry.

 

Packaging for the automotive and railway industry

 

Automotive components are not usually manufactured in one place, but arrive at the assembly line from different origins and suppliers.

Our automotive export packaging is made of ISPM 15 certified wood for international trade and transport of dangerous goods (ADR, IMDG, RID, IATA) to any destination in the world.

Our high quality reusable boxes can reach a resistance of up to 1,200 kg. Assembly and disassembly is done without the need for nails or tools, quickly and safely. And once disassembled, it takes up 20% of its size, saving space and storage costs.

Considering that many international shipments are subject to customs inspection, it is a very useful system that can be opened and closed in the same way without damaging the box, saving time and hassle.

 

Since our beginnings in 360 Eco Packaging we have been linked to the automotive and railway sector, working with renowned companies that rely on our experience. Check here our packaging and protection solutions for the automotive sector.

Aeronautical sector
Circular packaging, Industrial packaging

What are the requirements for the packaging of aircraft parts?

The aeronautical industry is one of the sectors with the highest growth forecasts for the coming years. Due to its capacity for investment in R&D, job creation and export vocation, the aeronautics sector is considered a strategic sector for the Spanish economy. In fact, Spain is the fifth largest aeronautical power in Europe.

Innovation, improved competitiveness throughout the value chain and sustainability are some of the challenges facing a sector whose manufacturers demand high quality and environmental standards from their suppliers.

 

How are aircraft parts transported?

 

Aircraft components are usually manufactured by various companies on the European continent. They are then transported by air, sea or land to the final assembly plant.

Packaging companies, for their part, must provide customized, innovative and sustainable solutions that protect the parts and meet delivery deadlines so as not to slow down assembly.

 

Special packaging for high volume cargo

 

The aeronautical industry is characterized by the transport of large-volume parts that require customized packaging solutions. Among the most widespread are returnable packaging for large-tonnage equipment, which can be reused, optimizing logistics processes and saving costs.

 

Preliminary study and validation of packaging for large tonnage cargoes

 

Large-volume loads require a detailed study of protection, transport, handling and storage requirements. This involves follow-up meetings, packaging of the goods at the customer’s premises, as well as load tests until the optimal packaging is validated.

 

Anti-corrosion Packaging

 

Most of the aeronautical industry is dedicated to the manufacture of aircraft and structures, while the ancillary industry develops engines, equipment, spare parts and systems.

And structures, while the ancillary industry develops engines, equipment, spare parts and systems. For their transportation, auxiliary packaging products are needed to provide long-lasting protection against corrosion, as well as goods monitoring devices to detect possible impacts during transportation or storage.

 

Export Packaging

 

Most of the parts and components manufactured for the aeronautical industry are destined abroad. It is essential to know the international regulations and to have certified packaging for foreign trade.

 

Wooden packaging for aeronautical parts – phytosanitary certification

The packaging industry is basic in the distribution chain of aeronautical parts and components.

Our most commonly used packaging solutions for export, both for large volume parts and aeronautical spare parts are folding wooden crates, cages, high racks and pulp roll cradles, pallets and wooden boxes of large tonnage with wooden reinforcements as racks and diagonals, to support more load and weight than usual. This type of packaging is ISPM 15 certified.

 

Packaging for aeronautical parts – Use of wood

 

The wooden crate is disassembled, which facilitates visual inspection of the load without breaking or unnailing the side or lid. This allows the base to be used for auxiliary transports before closing the crate for shipping. And once disassembled, it occupies approximately 20% of its size, saving storage costs.

360 Eco Packaging manufactures packaging specially designed for different sectors. Consult our packaging for the aeronautical sector.

 

Solar Panels
Industrial packaging, Transport and logistics

What is the most suitable packaging for transporting Solar Panels?

Demand for solar panels is experiencing strong growth in the European market as a result of rising electricity and gas prices. In Spain, solar energy grew by 37% in 2021 compared to the previous year. And everything points to this trend consolidating thanks to the aid plans for self-consumption, the agility in installation licenses and greater environmental awareness.

 

Packaging manufacturers are no strangers to this energy transformation. For years, packaging engineering has been providing solutions for large and heavy equipment, machinery and goods that require special treatment for storage and transport, such as packaging for glass, crystal and solar panels.

 

Factors to consider when transporting Solar Panels

 

Not all goods are the same and do not need the same protection. It is important to know what type of packaging to use depending on our merchandise to protect it against external agents such as heat, humidity, corrosion or impacts that it may suffer during the journey and arrive at its destination as if it had just left the factory.

 

Solar panels are composed of photovoltaic cells formed by silicon wafers. Due to their nature, they require packaging that is suitable for their weight, allows stacking and incorporates protective elements that absorb possible vibrations or impacts that could compromise their integrity.

 

Until recently in the solar energy sector, it was common to use metal racks for the maritime transport of containerized solar panels. However, metal is vulnerable to corrosion. And these types of metal structures are often damaged by repeated use of the forklift’s claw, resulting in a shorter service life.

 

As a result, they have been replaced by logistical solutions that are more advantageous in terms of both safety and economic profitability.

 

Advantages of wood packaging for solar panels and glass

 

Wood is a durable material, which allows for greater customization and reusability of the packaging.

Specialized packaging for the solar industry stands out for its maximum capacity optimization, being between 5 and 7 percent higher than other packaging used in this sector. By maximizing the number of pieces per container, direct savings in transportation costs are achieved.

 

As in the case of glass packaging, wood packaging for solar panels complies with ISPM15 certification for international transport, and is equipped with corner protection to prevent possible breakage of parts during transport.

 

Another benefit is the ease of handling. As it does not use nails, it can be assembled without the need for tools, making this task faster and safer. And since all its components can be disassembled, the space it takes up after use is minimal.

 

Today there are customized packaging solutions that adapt to the particularities of each merchandise and sector.

 

Contact us for a correct choice.

 

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