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Guest Editorial

Protect your products

By William J. Casilio Jr.

guestedit5-12May 2012 - 

Many companies share the same goal: to provide and sell a product that is needed or used by certain markets. Manufacturers spend an amazing amount of effort, time and money creating the product, marketing it and making the sale.

Once the sale is made, it is important to ensure the product reaches the customer in perfect condition, clean and well presented. Always remember, the condition of the product at the time of delivery will have a lasting impression on the customer—ultimately affecting the potential for repeat business.

Avoiding damage
The choice of how to protect a product during the shipping process is important. If a product is damaged during shipment, the results can be devastating. Ultimately, all the hard work and funds put into the production and sale of the product will be wasted. A damaged delivery causes an immediate problem with the customer, and it can be a costly problem to resolve.

Often, the damaged item has to be returned to the producer, repaired and reshipped, normally at the expense of the producer. Even then, the delivery becomes past due, and the customer will never forget the bad experience.

It is worth the time and funds for a company to find protective packaging that works best for its shipments. One option is heavy-duty shrink wrap. Shrink wrap material and application tools are not expensive, and the application process of shrinking the material tightly makes it effective. The shrink wrap process can offer protection, reduce freight expenses and cost less than other options.

Consider the need for protection when shipping customers’ products overseas, a process that is becoming more prevalent in today’s global market. Often, wooden crates or steel shipping containers are used for international shipments. These may offer impact protection and handling ease, but neither method will keep the saltwater in the air from contacting the item inside. Saltwater is extremely corrosive and will cause costly damage to a variety of surfaces and materials.

With shrink wrap, the item can be contained totally inside the shrink wrap to keep saltwater from contacting it. Even items that are crated or put into shipping containers should be shrink wrapped to protect them from saltwater damage. A vapor corrosion inhibitor emitter also can be placed inside the shrink wrap cover for added protection against corrosion.

Method of protection
Shrink wrap can protect items of any shape or size during shipping and storage. A properly applied shrink wrap cover offers six-sided protection. The sides, ends, top and bottom are covered so the item is contained and completely protected from damaging elements. The cover will shed rain, snow and dirt and is tight enough to withstand winds during open truck, train or ship delivery methods.

Also, a shrink wrap cover adds little weight or dimensional size to the covered item, which helps companies reduce freight costs and avoid oversize shipment restrictions. The lifting and hold-down areas can be made accessible so the shrink-wrapped item is rigged, handled and moved safely. The “drum tight” cover does not flap in the wind, so there is no chafe damage to the covered item that can occur with tarps.

Shrink wrap typically is available from 10 ft. to 40 ft. wide and is 7 mm to 10 mm thick in a variety of lengths. The shrink wrap is self-welding: where it overlaps itself, it will “weld” or stick together when heated. Once this is done, the entire surface is heated. The material shrinks, gets very tight and stays tight.

A hand-held propane-powered heat gun is used for welding and shrinking the material. The process can be done properly and safely inside or out. Shrink wrap tape is used for reinforcing and repairing the shrink wrap.

After use, shrink wrap can be reclaimed and recycled, which makes it a green shipping option businesses can consider. FFJ

William J. Casilio Jr. is president of Buffalo Shrink Wrap Inc.

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