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Common Terms in the Industry

Glossary

Glossary

Blister Packaging

A packaging technique which involves the heat seal of a rigid, thermoformed outer shell which houses a product, to a coated back card. A method commonly used for retail items. (Find out more)

Glossary

Cable Assembly

A wire or set of wires that are terminated at the ends with contacts and connectors to establish an electrical connection between 2 points. Harnesses, Coilcords, DIN, Crimp, IDC, Ribbon and D-Subs are some types of cable assemblies. (Find out more)

Glossary

Clamshell

A custom thermoformed PVC tray that is typically designed with 2 halves connected with a hinge. A more expensive option, this package is selected by companies who have a heavy or expensive retail item that requires tamper proof protection. These packages can be designed with a hang hole or with a “foot”, for a stand-alone option. (Find out more)

Glossary

Collating

The assembly or sorting of many different items in a prespecified order or arrangement. (Find out more)

Glossary

Contract Assembly

A term referring to a service that specializes in the assembly of a product through the use of manual labor, fixturing or automation. (Find out more)

Glossary

Contract Packaging

A general term referring to a service that is performed on a product utilizing various assembly and / or packaging techniques intended for the enhancement of a product. (Find out more)

Glossary

Contract Supplier

A source that performs a manufacturing service for a customer. (Find out more)

Glossary

Contract Warehousing

A term referring to a service that specializes in material handling, storage, inventory control and distribution of a companies’ product or products. (Find out more)

Glossary

Fulfillment

The overall logistics associated with a product or products including but not limited to material handling, collation, incoming inspection, order processing & tracking, inventory control, warehousing, assembly and/or transportation. (Find out more)

Glossary

Hand Assembly

Tasks that are completed by human hands or manual labor. (Find out more)

Glossary

Heat Sealing

A process by which heat is introduced to 2 substrates to seal them together. Heat sealing is a generic term and is part of many packaging processes, but it mainly refers to the closure of polybags. (Find out more)

Glossary

Outsourcing

The act of physically sending out a product to a contract supplier for assembly, packaging or manufacturing. (Find out more)

Glossary

Pack Out

The method and quantity associated with the last step in handling a product that needs to be shipped. (Find out more)

Glossary

Pick & Pack

This is part of the order fulfillment process which includes the physical locating or “picking” of a part out of inventory, and then packing the part into a box for shipment. (Find out more)

Glossary

Polybagging

The placement of a product or products into a polybag and then heat sealing the bag closed. (Find out more)

Glossary

P.O.P. Display

An acronym for Point of Purchase, this is a merchandiser which holds multiple items in a free-standing display which can be found in an aisle or endcap in a retail establishment. These are typically designed and made out of corrugated material. (Find out more)

Glossary

Print on Demand

Similar to Direct Mail, this service provides a client with a mail merge solution by downloading names and addresses from a disk onto a form letter which is then used for solicitation of some kind. (Find out more)

Glossary

Relabeling

Similar to Direct Mail, this service provides a client with a mail merge solution by downloading names and addresses from a disk onto a form letter which is then used for solicitation of some kind. (Find out more)

Glossary

Reverse Logistics

The total processing involved with taking in returned goods from the field and reworking or repackaging them to conform to the standards of original goods.(Find out more)

Glossary

Repackaging

Redoing or undoing an existing type of packaging to reflect new standards. (Find out more)

Glossary

Rework

The act of undoing or redoing a task that was last completed incorrectly. (Find out more)

Glossary

RF Sealing

The permanent sealing of the edges of a clamshell package through the use of Radio Frequency. Special RF sealing equipment is required for this process and it is designed to make a clamshell package tamper proof. This sealing technique would be commonly found in expensive or heavy retail items. (Find out more)

Glossary

Secondary Operation

A manufacturing step that comes after the initial process because it cannot be done “in-line” or simultaneously. (Find out more)

Glossary

Shrink Wrapping

Probably the most common of all packaging methods, shrink wrapping is accomplished by trimming a piece of shrinkable film around an object, and then sending it through a heat “tunnel” which “shrinks” the film to conform to the exact size of an outer box or product. This is a tamper resistant covering that is very common at the retail level on products such as gift sets, software, and games, to name a few. The gloss effect created by the film tends to give a product or box a richer appearance. (Find out more)

Glossary

Skin Packaging

A packaging technique whereby a film is sucked down over a product and onto a preprinted “skin card”. As heat is introduced, the adhesive coating on the card and the Surlyn film adhere together. This is an attractive packaging option and is preferred for retail because the product is displayed clearly yet is protected by the transparent covering. It is a cost-effective solution for higher volume runs. (Find out more)

Glossary

Sorting

The separation of good versus bad usually accomplished through visual inspection. (Find out more)

Glossary

Stretch Packaging

A packaging technique that allows a product to be encapsulated between 2 halves of a hinged header card, with a Surlyn or clear film which is part of the card but acts as a “window” for the item. Following the heat sealing of the outer card together, the film in the window is then heated and then shrinks around the geometry of an item. This method is a combination of blister, skin, clamshell and shrink wrapping. It is an attractive option, but more expensive than some of the other methods. Batteries and Pharmaceuticals are commonly stretch packaged. (Find out more)

Glossary

Subcontract

The act of outsourcing a product or service to another company. (Find out more)

Glossary

Value Added

A reference to an additional operation or service that is done by a supplier to a product or products that provides a customer with a more complete solution. (Find out more)