Blisters vs. Clamshells

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Popular packaging solutions such as clamshells and blisters are the product of thermoforming. You see them all around you in retail stores. Many think that clamshells and blisters are the same thing but they’re different. Lets investigate:Clamshells:

Most commonly used in retail products. Clamshells have hinges that allows them to open like a clamshell. A clamshell package with a single hinge usually includes a hanger tab so it can be hung on a store peg. Some clamshells have multiple hinges which gives them a flat base and allows them to be stood upright on a shelf. Retail products can be showcased very well in clamshell packaging. The clarity and visibility allows consumers to get a full view of the product. Clamshells can also be customized and thermoformed to take on any shape and hold a multitude of products.

Blisters:

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Blister packaging is also commonly used in retail packaging specifically for small consumer goods, food, and pharmaceuticals. The main difference between a blister and a clamshell is that a blister doesn’t have a hinge. It it still made from thermoformed plastic. Blisters, in a lot of applications, are attached to a paperboard card where the blister mold holds the product in place. Blisters are also great for showcasing products because their clarity leads to great visibility.

Formed Trays Complement Rigid Packaging

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All of the packaging solutions shown above serve different purpose in different markets. While the basic construction of these items are all widely varied, they do have a thing or two in common; each item uses a thermoformed tray to complement a turned edge exterior. Custom plastic trays are not as common as say blister packaging or clear clamshells, but they do allow the retailer to enhance their product and add value for the customer. On the far left, we seen a rigid hinged box that holds the recently released Google chrome cast. In the boxes tray, we see a nice white plastic that has a thermoformed cavity that fits the device perfect. This keeps a valuable electronic application safe in transit as well as giving the consumer a good experience when they open it up at home. The middle picture is for a cosmetic line; where we see thermoformed trays the most. In a rigid two piece setup box, this plastic tray categorizes each item, creating a gift set or lotion kit, if you will. This shows the shopper or gift receiver exactly what they are getting and can serve as a tray even after the purchase has been made. Finally, we see a project that we did right here under our roof. The Kwikpen kit shown in the far right picture has a setup similar to an album or hardcover book. With a tray on each panel, this kit is held together with two complementary trays that fit perfect for snapping closed. the Kwikpen has its own cavity, as well as the other elements in the medical sales kit. Three different packages, three different markets, all benefit from a custom thermoformed tray.

Plastic Trays Enhance Marketing Kits

Plastic packaging solutions come in many forms. Not all thermoformed plastic packaging needs to be a clear clamshell or custom blister pack. For example, shown here is a marketing set and retail box that we made for Besita Boutique, a high end swimwear retailer. The white plastic tray inserted in our customizable cigar-style Netbox™ matches the color scheme while providing a much needed cavity to hold a turned edge Flashpad™. Sometimes it is the small details that make a big difference in the display and presentation of a marketing kit. Custom plastic trays show forethought as well as the investment you made showing that each and every prospective client is equally important.

Custom Plastic Packaging Factors

thermoformedWhen making packaging decisions for retail products, there are a lot of factors that come into play, and many important things to consider. Custom plastic thermoformed packaging comes as no exception. In order to have an all around quality packaging solution, it needs to be protective and practical while simultaneously marketing your brand and product. Protection and practicality go hand in had for custom packaging solutions. In order for  a plastic blister pack or clamshell to properly serve its purpose, it needs to insure that the product is safe in shipping, that it is tamper proof in-store and can therefore be purchased and put to use! Simplicity is also a key component of quality packaging. Many times with plastic clamshells and blisters, shoppers find it difficult to actually access the product that they just bought! Create a design that offers protection but can also be easily opened in the household- there are a few tricks out there to open difficult plastic packaging, many of which come with a bit of risk. Finally, use packaging to your advantage by adding value to your in-store presence. You worked hard on making the packaging design, now make it work for you. Incorporate your marketing message and branding strategies when you design artwork, tooling, and more!

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 Window: NetBox™ View

NetBox View Circle While our turned edge products don’t always make it onto our thermoforming blog, our latest addition to the customizable, cigar-style Netbox™ is a thermoformed window that adds display with rigid protection. Made with a rigid PVC material, unlike other clear windowing that uses flexible PVC, the NetBox™ View from Sunrise Packaging combines turned edge and thermoforming manufacturing processes to offer our clients even more packaging options and custom features to make a completely unique and representative product. The thin gauge PVC material is formed to the desired size and shape of the window in the top of the turned edge box. This way, this “tray” is placed in the die-cut turned edge flat in order to lay flush with the covering surface area. NetBox View RectangleThis extra step in planning and production adds accuracy and attention to detail; of which any high-end client would take notice. For more information about the NetBox™ with a View, visit the webpage or contact us directly!

Differentiate with Custom Manufacturing

In order to attract consumers to your product or service, it is important to know what they look for and what draws them in. More than anything, consumers want packaging to be simple and convenient. The average shopper is always on the go, and they seek products that are ready to go with little to no preparation. Along with this convenience, packaging needs to be easy to open and reusable if at all possible. In order to provide all of these benefits while simultaneously extending your brand, custom manufacturing is the way to go. With a trusted, local manufacturer you have the ability to be as involved in the process as much as possible. As a reliable Minnesota manufacturer, we proudly serve local and national customers with unique, high quality packaging. When it comes to the manufacturing process, especially with thermoforming, every detail matters! Watch the video below to get an idea of how our inline thermoforming capabilities work!

Choosing Plastic Packaging

One of the most robust retail packages, a thermoformed clamshell is a full plastic shell that encases a product and is sealed at the edges. Along with trapped and full card blister packs, these plastic packaging solutions offer protection and display simultaneously. Choosing the right plastic package should be determined by product, placement, and targeted consumer. Learning about the consumer biases that are prevalent among retail shoppers is extremely important to selling your product. For example, many consumers prefer not to purchase products in plastic clamshells due to the difficulty that is associated with opening the item. However, these preferences are often specific to the situation. Some product categories with secure packaging like plastic clamshells are sometimes seen as high value products that need the extra protection, and therefore worth the retail price.

Custom Audio Album

custom thermoformed albumThis custom disc album is basic and functional. With chosen materials and custom foil stamp, this black vinyl audio album holds all discs in place in an protective, durable case. Most plastic packaging solutions that you see in retail are transparent in order to display the product and draw in a customer. However, what many purchasers don’t realize is that there are multiple colors, gauges, and properties of plastics that can be thermoformed to create a packaging solution. For example, on our online store we offer thermoformed packaging solutions in black, white, and clear! For custom products, we have the best resources to get the plastic in the color and thickness that is best suited for the project. This black custom audio album is just an example of how a classic vinyl and turned edge album can add value and weight to a disc set.custom vinyl foil stamp