Custom Thermoforming Packaging Options

When it comes to thermoforming packaging, there’s more than meets the eye. 

It’s the ultimate in custom packaging, as the pliable plastic is molded specifically for products. This perfect fit is part of what is driving the market for this specific type of packaging. In fact, PRNewswire estimates that the thermoformed plastics market will hit over $16 billion dollars by 2015. Demand will increase from industries as diverse as healthcare to automotive to construction, driven by this style’s unique properties. So what’s so special about this style of packaging?

Thermoforming Packaging Options

There are a few styles when it comes to thermoformed packaging.  Each one has different applications and advantages, and work differently for different products. Here’s a quick rundown: 

Custom Thermoformed Trays

Highly versatile as well as usable, thermoformed trays are precision-formed to provide the highest level of protection for products. They can even be created with a locking mechanism to ensure that nothing shifts or breaks in transit. These custom trays can be inserted and heat-sealed into boxes or binders to hold not only your products, but companion content as well. USB drives, discs, manuals, you name it. It’s important that your customers experience your products in an ideal setting, right? Custom thermoformed trays create that ideal setting, anywhere and everywhere. 

Thermoformed Blister Packaging

Originally used for packaging aspirin, blister packaging is a lightweight, easy-to-open option for custom thermoformed packaging. Blister packaging is comprised of clear plastic housing your product and adhered to a backing like cardboard or foil. While the idea of easy-to-open packaging might not be at the top of your list of considerations, it’s proving to be a main motivator for some shoppers. Driven by the aging baby boomer market, usability is an increasingly large concern, especially for healthcare and medical devices. 

Custom Thermoformed Clamshells

Clamshells are an increasingly popular option for items that customers want to see before buying. For obvious reasons, it’s not always in the best interests of retailers and producers to have customers opening their products, fidgeting with them, and then walking away. By encasing products in clear plastic, customers can see the exact product they’re looking to purchase. And by making the packaging securely tamper-proof, they know that it’s in perfect condition. We recommend adding a printed insert as well for your branding and more marketing real estate!

Learn More About Thermoformed Packaging Options

Minnesota’s Sunrise Packaging has years of experience in this market. Contact a representative today to find out what style can work for your product!

 

Wrap Rage is a Thing

VaporTrail-225It’s pretty common knowledge that thermoformed packaging is tough to open. Especially if the edges are factory sealed, or there aren’t easy-to-understand opening instructions. I thought it was just one of those things. You know, like ‘dogs chase cars’ or ‘bees sting.’ But now I know it’s not just a thing, it’s a Thing.

Wikipedia defines Wrap Rage as “the common name for heightened levels of anger and frustration resulting from the inability to open hard-to-open packaging.” It’s further defined as any packaging that claims to be easy-open but is, in actuality, nearly impossible. Such was the case of a vacuum-packed sausage for columnist Lori Borgman. She had to go through two sets of shears to get at her dinner.

Speaking of shears, products are even banking on wrap rage for their marketing plan. A cursory examination of one wrapragecure.com will eventually reveal itself as an advertisement for a product called the Open It™, a fancy-schmancy scissors for opening blister packaging. However, the irony is not lost on me that the Open It™ itself is encased in one of the tightest thermoformed plastic bubbles I’ve ever seen. A chicken-or-the-egg scenario if I ever saw one.

Open It_the wrap rage cure

Image: Bed Bath and Beyond

But even Borgman, sausage sufferer extraordinaire, admits that blister packaging is a necessary evil. Why? Because it’s still one of the top theft deterrents on the market. Or rather, in it. Blister packs and retail go together like peanut butter and jelly. Gold standard. As much as we may dread the eternal struggle that comes from purchasing a blister-packed product, we know that the reason the product was even there to purchase is because that plastic bubble protected it.

Products in stores aren’t supposed to be easy to open! Hello! It’s a sad fact that folks will steal anything not nailed down. I knew someone back in high school that stole display frames from eyeglass stores. For Display Only printed on the plastic lenses and all! But much the way animals know to avoid electrified fences, we humans know not to bother with stealing blister packaged items. The battle too exhausting, the sound too loud, and the risk too great. Therein lay the beauty of custom blister packaging.

Not too mention the reasonably low cost of thermoformed plastic packages means that virtually any product can enjoy the protection. Because people steal low ticket items too, let’s be honest.

So even though wrap rage is a thing, we all accept it. And there are options to making even hard-to-open packaging into easy-open. (Clear instructions being a biggie.) So next time you nick your thumb trying to open that pair of headphones, replace that expletive with a hearty Thanks, Blister Packaging! You’re just doing your job! I get it!

Blister Packs and Clamshells Everywhere!

 

Start Seeing Blister Packs

When you go into just about any department store or pharmacy, you can often find a wall or two–and an aisle or three–that are covered wall-to-wall in product merchandise. Product, product everywhere, encased in individual blister packs or plastic clamshells. Why? For starters, blister packs are a simple solution to both protecting and displaying retail merchandise. A retail ready solution that has withstood the test of time.


Theft-Deterrent and Marketing Strategy in One

thermoformed plastic blister packs for electronics retailThe most common types of packaging are made of thermoformed thin-gauge plastic. This particular gauge is used for packaging cosmetics, electronics, as well as items vital to the pharmaceutical industry. The main benefits of this packaging category prove the value of blister backs. Thermoformed packaging is tamper-evident–and often tamper proof! This is a great deterrent of theft, and makes for a highly-noticeable attempt. The clear plastic packaging gives the consumer the opportunity to actually see the product in its entirety. A product a consumer can see is a product that they will believe. Finally, high volume markets–such as with electronics–require speedy manufacturing and fulfillment to keep up with consumer demand. Blister Packs and clamshells are a fairly standard design, decreasing the turnaround time on orders


 

A Time-Honored Process

With in-line thermoforming processes, packaging manufacturers are able to produce both blister pack cavities and full two-sided clamshells in an efficient and streamlined way. Roll-fed into the thermoformer, thin gauge plastic travels through an aluminum mold that, when applied with heat and a vacuum, will conform the material to that exact shape and size.

Thermoforming is an old process, only fairly changed since its inception, but it is a proven solution for churning out reliable, protective retail packaging.

Learn More about Blister Packaging

Sports Electronics Packaging

We found this packaging example on the online gallery, Packaging of the World. Housing sports electronics products, these plastic thermoformed cases offer security and display qualities that are perfect for a retail environment. The challenge that the packaging designer was faced with was the need to refresh the brand to appeal to a younger audience. The designer used accent colors on the packaging in order to categorize products without confusing their targeted consumers. We love this creative use of plastic formed packaging- it does not stay constrained to a classic clamshell or blister pack. These are truly unique packaging solutions that will add value to the product and intrigue more consumers. sportline-potw-01

Variety Clamshell Package

Thermoformed plastic clamshells can come in just about any shape or size. The reason for their popularity in retail and supplier markets is largely due to their versatility and wide range of capacity. The basic purpose of custom thermoformed packaging is to hold an item as specifically as possible. Think about it, whether they are electronic gadgets, children’s toys, cosmetics, or tackle like this picture shows- each product sits nicely in a secure package that is formed to its own size and shape. The packaging shown here is a great one to highlight because it accommodates a selection of items that could be much more attractive to a consumer. Shopping is full of decisions, and giving shoppers the option to purchase a combination could vastly improve your sales.IMG_5563

 

Why Thin Gauge Plastic?

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The majority of the thermoformed packaging solutions that you will see are made from a thin gauge plastic material. As an inline thermoforming manufacturing company, we believe that thin gauge plastic is one of your best bets when designing and producing custom plastic packaging products. Small sized blister packaging and clamshells from Sunrise can be made with a wide variety of different thing gauge plastics that offer different benefits suited to your needs. In retail and food industries, thin gauge plastic is the most common used material. This is because of its malleability and quick forming capabilities. Most often received in material rolls, thin gauge thermoplastic can simply be setup with the inline thermoformer and automated through the process. For fast moving items in the retail world, this is beneficial to both retailer and supplier!

Plastic Clamshell Solutions

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Plastic clamshells can be seen in a wide variety of retail stores. From large scale department stores to small mechanical or electronic outfits, clamshell packaging is applicable to so many products that are sold today. The main reason for the popularity of clamshells is the protection they offer product while giving the consumer the best possible idea of what they are about to purchase. What many consumers may not consider, however, is how economical and environmentally conscious it is of these companies to opt for plastic clamshell packaging. A thermoformed item, plastic clamshells most often use a clear, sometimes recycled and always recyclable PVC grade plastic. A thin and clear material that allows for efficient inline thermoforming manufacturing. Producing large quantities of plastic thermoformed trays, blisters, or clamshells is a fast process for most manufacturers after tooling and setup. Consider plastic packaging solutions like clamshells for your next retail venture. Even with startups or smaller quantities, stock clamshell sizes can be a viable option. Sunrise Packaging has a selection of seven new clamshells to choose from. Even order online!

Aluminum Tooling: Watch How it’s Made

custom toolingFor high quality custom thermoforming, the process starts with an aluminum tool that plastic is formed by. In order to accurately fit products into a custom clamshell, blister pack, or tray it is important that the tooling match the layout and dimensions of the set.

As a turnkey manufacturer, we offer in-house tooling services to keep production in extremely close proximity to the tooling department to ensure accuracy and close communication. Watch our youtube video below to watch how it’s made. We take all necessary action to make sure that the custom tool works properly in our inline thermoformer, and will produce a mock-up of the product to confirm accuracy and quality. To create an ideal package for retail products, cosmetics, and more, consider custom thin gauge thermoforming to create a tamper evident, eye-catching package that displays your product in a competitive retail environment.

Consumer Products: Blister Packaging

pocketmonkeyWhile we emphasize the security and display that is associated with custom thermoformed clamshell packaging, there are other plastic packaging solutions that can offer similar display benefits and tamper evidence in retail. Using branded artwork is much easier to do with blister packaging, because the concept of the item requires a blister card anyways– might as well print with eye-catching graphic design! The thermoformed cavity is then heat sealed onto each card holding the product in place. See here our example of our custom-made packaging for the Pocket Monkey product. When it comes to security, the blister pack keeps items protected from their external environment. However, since they are easier to open than clamshells, there is still a possibility of tampering. While this does not protect the product itself, it does protect the consumer, making any evidence of tampering obvious to the shopper. Plastic blister packaging are commonly used for pharmaceutical products, but are also extremely popular in general consumer goods packaging.

Thermoformed Card Packaging

plastic thermoformingWhile thermoforming is an extremely versatile and somewhat common manufacturing practice, when it comes to plastic packaging production, it definitely finds itself useful in the retail market. Usually for small-scale products, and electronic devices, thin gauge thermoformed clamshells or blister packs are very commonly seen in retail environments in just about any department.

A highly common practice is to packaging gift cards and credit cards in custom thermoformed clamshells. While there is not much to protect from tampering with a card, it does offer a great deal of useful security! With bar codes and other promotional passwords shown on these cards, any shopper could possibly hack the information and end up with free money or services. By packaging each card in their own individual compact clamshell, you protect the item all while keeping the branding and design of the card on display.

A huge added benefit of plastic clamshell card packaging, is its convenience factor. Product placement at the store could be in its designated department, as a supplemental item in another department, or at the ever-popular impulse purchasing spot; the checkout aisle. With custom thermoformed packaging, you are able to create a unique, branded package that can also hang on the shelf with hanger tabs to prominently display card promotions at eye-level.