Choosing your packaging might not always be as simple as it sounds.  That’s because lots of things need to be considered. Of course the size and shape of your product are the obvious things to look at. If your product doesn’t fit properly into the package then that package probably isn’t the best choice.

However that isn’t the only thing you need to consider.  For example, some kinds of packaging are made on fast machines. Alternatively, some are made predominantly by hand. It makes sense that those made on machines will be cheaper. However you will also find yourself needing to purchase many more pieces, because they are sold in much larger quantities. Therefore, if you only need a small quantity of packages, you could find yourself paying less for the ones made by hand.  This is just one of the things you need to think about.

So let’s look at the different options:

Molded verses fabricated:

When choosing your packaging, the first decision to make is probably this one. It relates to what we have already discussed. That is it has to do with quantity.

Molded packaging includes any of our blister packs and clamshells as well as some of our trays. The lids and bases of plastic cylinders are also molded. This kind of product is made on machines with some of the process being completed by an operator. It is fairly quick to produce once the machinery is set up. However, because the setting up process takes time, it is only cost effective if the packaging is sold in larger quantities.

At Shiloh Plastics, our minimum order quantity for any of our molded packaging is 1,000 units, or a full box quantity. You will find all of our box quantities listed on our website or on our downloadable product list. If you would like to see our pricing you will need to ask us for our complete price list.

Fabricated packaging includes plastic boxes, pillow packs and the bodies of cylinders. They are cut by machine one or two at a time. After that they are hand glued. Therefore, they are much more hands on to make.  The result is a more costly package. However the benefit is that we can sell them to you in much smaller quantities. Therefore a fabricated package may just suit you perfectly if you don’t need a large quantity.

Clamshell or Slide-in-Card

If you decide that you are going to use a molded blister pack, then the next decision you need to make is which kind. This decision could be taken out of your hands if you are looking for something straight off the shelf. That’s because you will be governed by what sizes are available in each range.

However, if you find yourself able to choose, there are some pro’s and cons for each style.  These could help you with your decision.

Clamshells are a popular choice because product is totally enclosed in plastic. One benefit of this is that the backing card can be made of a much lighter material, saving money. In fact if your product is still in the early stages, and your turnover is quite small, you could even print your backing card on ordinary photocopy paper.

Slide in card blisters require a stronger card. That’s because the card actually becomes part of the package. A benefit though is that the blister itself will often be a little stronger than a clamshell blister due to the different manufacturing process.

We recommend at least stapling all of our clamshells to secure them. So there is no benefit there over slide in card blisters. However you can heat seal clamshells. We stock a hand operated spot crimper that can achieve this goal if you wish to avoid staples. Slide in card blisters can’t be heat-sealed. They must be stapled.

If you decide to have custom tooling made for a blister pack, a tool for slide in card blisters is usually less than for a clamshell. This too could influence your decision.

Which Kind of Box?

If you decide that you would like to use a box when choosing your packaging, how do you decide which style? The main things to think about are whether the product comes to you flat-packed or already assembled.

The benefit of a flat-packed box is that it will take up less space in a carton when we send it to you. This means that the freight for your packaging coming to you will be cheaper. Boxes in this category include basic flat-packed boxes, boxes with hanger holes, fabricated display boxes and most of our novelty boxes (excluding the triangle box).

Boxes that have already been assembled aren’t able to be flat packed. That means that they will be more costly to ship to you. Remember that when freight is sent, it’s not only the weight that is considered when pricing. The size of the box also adds to the cost. Fully assembled fabricated boxes don’t stack. Therefore, the major item being shipped is actually air inside the packages. This air takes up a lot of space, and so freight can be costly depending on how far away you are.

The benefit of a fully assembled package is that it could be more sturdy, giving better presentation. This could depend on what you are packaging, and how you are packing it though. Boxes that come fully assembled are lid and base boxes, fixed base boxes, the triangle novelty box as well as cylinders.

Hang Sell

Another thing to consider when choosing your packaging is whether you want your product to hang from a hook or stack on a shelf.  The obvious choice for a hanging product would be a blister pack. However it’s not the only choice. If you only want to purchase 100 or so packages, then a fabricated option could be more attractive. Some fabricated boxes are made with hanger holes. Plus they can definitely be made as custom with hanger holes if you’re prepared to make a contribution towards the tooling.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a package that will stack on a shelf, a fabricated product will work perfectly. Plastic boxes and cylinders definitely make the product stand out. If your product is made for display, then a fabricated box or cylinder may be the package choice for you.

Do You Need Tooling:

An additional benefit to fabricated packaging is that the tooling is much less expensive. While we have quite a large range of packaging already in our range, you may not find exactly what you are looking for. If this is the case, you could consider having tooling made to suit your product perfectly. For anything molded, it makes sense that a mold and a knife will be required. This is a once off cost to yourself.  For fabricated packages we just ask for a contribution towards tooling. This can be a much less costly option. However if you will need a lot of packaging, paying for tooling for a custom blister pack may still be the most cost effective package in the long term.

So these are a few things to consider when choosing your packaging. We hope you find them helpful. Of course, if you give us a call at Shiloh Plastics we will be happy to guide you through the process of finding the right package for you.