Why Does Packaging Fail?

Allow us to take for granted that all retailers, anyone involved in the shipping of all manner of materials, and all customers always want the very best packaging possible; that everyone wants what they are sending or what they are awaiting to arrive in perfect condition.

That means undamaged and in great working order for machine parts or electronics, it means fresh and preserved for foodstuffs, and it means that you get what you expect in the condition you deserve.

Now, to the question: why is that standard so hard for so many businesses to achieve? It is because so many companies, from the decidedly small one-off shops, all the way to massive, multinational conglomerates, too often use faulty, cut-rate packaging materials and practices!

There are solutions to most every problem when it comes to packaging issues, but before we come to that, let’s address the underlying issue of why various types of packaging fail.

The most basic reason packaging fails is a painfully simple one, an issue akin to the child’s problem of hammering “the square peg in the round hole”: using the wrong materials!

It may seem painfully simple, but a thin film cannot be used to package an object with sharp points; a non-sterile package can’t be used to ship medical or food grade materials, and so on. As often than not, though, the issues with improper packaging are not with the materials used but with the methods.

Let’s take for example a company that sells almonds. They carefully select, roast, and then season their nuts, not satisfied with their product until it has the exact flavor their customers have come to know and love. Then the nuts go to the packaging floor, and are separated out into the proper amounts, say five ounces per individual bag, and loaded into plastic and foil lined packaging. This packaging is then heat sealed, loaded onto trucks, shipped around the country, and arrives in stores only to be bought, opened up… and found to have almonds that are starting to spoil. Why? In this case, air.

A sealed package of food is no good if too much air was sealed into it!

In a second example in the same vein, picture a sensitive microchip being sealed into a Mylar package that has not had all the air vacuumed out of it ensuring a tight seal — that microchip can jostle around in the very packaging meant to keep it safe, thus almost ensuring damage to the unit while it is being shipped!

In both of these examples, the proper packaging was used, but it was not used properly. As for use of improper materials, well, we can chalk that up to human error of a different magnitude…

Now let’s talk about packaging solutions, rather than issues. Fortunately, the solution to proper packaging of most materials is a simple and reliable one: by using an impulse sealer seal strength and airtight packaging is all but guaranteed, as long as you and your employees take just a few minutes to learn how to use impulse (vacuum) sealing machinery properly.

An impulse sealer, to put it in the simplest terms possible, is a device you can use to create custom sized packaging that is guaranteed to be strong, airtight, and even sterile. The reason an impulse sealer is so versatile is that you can choose the packaging material, from thin, translucent films to heavy duty plastic packaging to foil or various other types of film (from industrial grade to food grade or even medical grade) and you can create packaging of any size. The same machine can be used to create packaging up to its size limit and anything smaller, air tight, sealed and both professional quality and professional looking! And, of course, your packaging will be reliable, thanks to the inherent impulse sealer seal strength.

To be sure your packaging is indeed strong, safe and reliable, though, you need to test your impulse sealer seal strength again and again, with various materials and items that you may package at some point, and also under a variety of circumstances. If your packaged materials are likely to be subjected to swings in temperature from the very cold to the very warm, will that affect your impulse sealer seal strength? Will the impulse sealer seal strength stand up to being handled frequently during shipping, stocking, etc.? And don’t forget that looks matter, too! For a client selling artisan beef jerky, a heavy duty clear film might be perfect, but for someone selling spare parts for a circuit board, maybe go with opaque packaging? That part, of course, is the customer’s choice.