Ship­ping fillers, a crit­i­cal el­e­ment

Point of Purchase - - INTERNATIONAL -

Next time you re­ceive a high­vol­ume or­der for a dis­play that re­quires ship­ping fillers, con­sider some of the points be­low to make your fillers more user-friendly and ef­fi­cient. It’s no se­cret that cost re­duc­tion and value engi­neer­ing are key fac­tors in se­cur­ing or­ders in the POP mar­ket­place these days. Ev­ery­thing from es­ti­ma­tion, man­u­fac­tur­ing, de­sign, assem­bly, ship­ping etc. have to be care­fully scru­ti­nized as make-or-break fac­tors for sub­mit­ting com­pet­i­tive cost of goods quo­ta­tions. Sur­pris­ingly, an of­ten over­looked com­po­nent in cost re­duc­tion are ship­ping fillers. De­signed to pro­tect prod­uct in tran­sit, ship­ping fillers can be a pos­i­tive fac­tor in op­ti­miz­ing your line speeds and low­er­ing over­all costs. Se­lect­ing the proper filler style can be the dif­fer­ence-maker in min­i­miz­ing line fa­tigue and repet­i­tive mo­tions which are known to cause de­creased out­put as well as long term in­juries to work­ers, like carpal tun­nel. Be­low you will find sev­eral ship­ping filler op­tions which are listed from top to bot­tom based on the time it takes to as­sem­ble them, slow­est be­ing at the top. As you view the il­lus­tra­tions, be sure and read the com­ments be­low each filler style which ex­plain some of the pros and cons as­so­ci­ated with each. Give them a try and you will be amazed at how those lit­tle things can mean a lot.

Sta­pled Scored Sheet

The sta­pled scored sheet is a very com­mon method of cre­at­ing ship­ping fillers. If the quan­ti­ties are right, the scored sheets can be pro­duced on a con­ven­tional cor­ru­ga­tor, elim­i­nat­ing the need for cut­ting dies. How­ever, this style filler has two dis­ad­van­tages. First, ex­tra time is re­quired to pick up the sta­pler and sta­ple the filler in two places. Se­condly and prob­a­bly most im­por­tant, sta­pling fillers all day long is bru­tal on the wrist and a po­ten­tial cat­a­lyst for a repet­i­tive work in­jury.

Con­ven­tional Ar­row Tab Clo­sure

Very com­mon and not a bad way to go, ar­row tabs are used across all as­pects of dis­play con­struc­tion, in­clud­ing ship­ping fillers. One sug­ges­tion if us­ing this type of clo­sure would be to try a three-sided cut slot rather than a stan­dard four sided cut-out. Rea­son be­ing is three-fold: First, three-sided slots do not need to be stripped when die cut­ting whereas the stan­dard slot does. Se­condly, three­sided slots min­i­mize the need for your assem­bly line to have to man­u­ally clean out un­stripped slots (slot de­bris on the floor can be a slip­ping haz­ard). Lastly, the three-sided slot “pops-out” when the filler is folded cre­at­ing a “nat­u­ral jig” in which the tab can be eas­ily in­serted against. With four sided slots, the tab is prone to jam into the cor­ru­gated edge on the fold pos­si­bly caus­ing false scores or other dam­age to the tabs.

Push Tabs

The push tab is a great op­tion to safely in­crease assem­bly speeds. Con­sist­ing of wing-lock style tabs, the push tab is de­signed to self-align with a com­pan­ion door cut-out en­abling quick assem­bly of ship­ping fillers. If you want your assem­bly line folks to be happy, be sure and add the half-moon fin­ger cutout just above the tabs as de­picted in the il­lus­tra­tion. What’s the pur­pose? That lit­tle half-moon serves as a space to al­low fin­gers to eas­ily pass through as the push tabs are be­ing en­gaged. With­out them, fin­gers will be con­stantly scrap­ing on the cor­ru­gate, caus­ing cuts and bad at­ti­tudes! An­other tip.....if you are go­ing to die cut this type of filler on a flatbed cut­ter, con­sider us­ing wave rule for the tab area. The wave rule will soften up the very sharp edges cre­ated by stan­dard cut rule.

Glued Tube Style Filler

The quick­est of the four, the glued tube re­quires min­i­mal ef­fort from an assem­bly per­spec­tive. Sim­ply rack the filler square and place into de­sired lo­ca­tion. If it will not im­pact per­for­mance, run the cor­ru­ga­tion into the scores to en­sure that the filler folds as true as pos­si­ble. A nice ad­van­tage this filler of­fers is the abil­ity to pro­duce it as a ma­chine run mul­ti­ple-out. To add clar­ity, a large blank can be mul­ti­scored on a cor­ru­ga­tor or slit­ter-scorer, glued, then cut on a band saw, pro­duc­ing sev­eral fillers out of one blank. Beats run­ning them in­di­vid­u­ally!

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