Make No Assumptions — Packaging Shipping and Storage are Important
A lot of hard work went into your part design, and now it’s time to get it manufactured! You’ve sent out your drawing and RFQ, honed in on a vendor, and negotiated pricing. Everything is all set and ready to go, right? Not so fast! Have you done your packaging homework? As the final part of the manufacturing process, how the product will be packaged is often overlooked until the end. Defining requirements up front is critical to the sourcing process. Speaking from recent experience, what are some things to consider?
Packaging quantities — Smaller unit packages are more expensive than a bulk option. Not specifying lot sizes up front can lead to pricing confusion as well as add time to the negotiation process.
Appropriateness — Is the packaging for consumers or assembly? And is the packaging style compatible with the product — for example, will it hold its shape when spooled, and what size spool is most efficient?
Destination — Is the product going overseas? Requirements for shipping internationally may have hidden or overlooked packaging costs.
Once your items are appropriately packaged, how they are shipped and stored is critical to maintaining their quality. Plastics are subject to thermal expansion and contraction when subject to extreme temperatures, and they must be specially treated to withstand certain environments. What are some issues we’ve seen? White TPO and TPE parts yellowing when exposed to diesel fumes during storage. Glues melting when transported in trailers traveling through hot climates. Products without UV inhibitors cracking because they were stored outdoors in the sunshine. Ten foot lengths of flexible plastics deforming because they overhung the edges of a 5-foot shelf. Unfortunately this list could go on!
At Preferred Plastics, we have made it our mission to hammer out packaging details early in the RFQ process. There is absolutely no room for waste in a competitive market so if you are unsure of how to properly store your plastic parts, we are happy to make a recommendation. We hope this provides you with some food for thought!