Glossary

A

AL: is an abbreviation for aluminium and is used as a light and oxygen barrier in 3 ply materials, due to its excellent insulation against oxygen and light.

B

Box Bottom Bags: The latest innovation in packaging technology. This brand new bag format combines the benefits of a traditional side gusseted bag and stand-up pouch, and rolls it into a package that sits narrow on the shelf, doesn't tip over, and squares up like a box.

C

CMYK: Short for Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black, and pronounced as separate letters. CMYK is a colour model in which all colours are described as a mixture of these four process colours. CMYK is the standard colour model used in offset printing for full-colour documents. Because such printing uses inks of these four basic colours, it is often called four-colour printing.

CAPP or CPP: Cast PP film. Unlike OPP, it is heat sealable, at much higher temperatures than LDPE, thus it is used as a heat seal layer in retortable packaging. It is, however, not as stiff as OPP film.

D

Digital Printing: Modern printing methods such as laser and ink-jet printing are known as digital printing. In digital printing, an image is sent directly to the printer using digital files such as PDFs and those from graphics software such as Illustrator and InDesign. This eliminates the need for a printing plate, which is used in offset printing, which can save money and time.

Foil: A thin gauge (0.2285-0.325 mils) aluminum foil laminated to plastic films to provide maximum oxygen, aroma and water vapour barrier properties. Although it is by far the best barrier material, it is increasingly being replaced by metallised films, (see MET-PET and MET-OPP) because of cost.

Gravure Printing: A printing method in which an image is applied to a printing substrate by use of a metal plate mounted on a cylinder. Unlike other processes, gravure uses a depressed or sunken surface for the desired image. The image to be reproduced is etched into the metal plate, sometimes with the use of a laser. The metal plate is bathed in ink during the process and then wiped clean before application to the substrate. While gravure printing can produce high-quality results rapidly, the costs are significantly higher than other printing methods, including flexography or various forms of digital printing.

HDPE: High density (0.95-0.965) polyethylene. Has much higher stiffness, higher temperature resistance and much better water vapour barrier properties than LDPE, but it is considerably hazier.

K-Seal: A 45 degree angled seal on each of the bottom corners of a gusset bag or stand up pouch that prevents product from falling into the seals. This type of seal helps bags to stand more sturdily and is helpful for keeping the pouches or bags visually appealing.

LDPE: Low density (0.92-0.934) polyethylene. Used mainly for heat sealability and bulk in packaging.

LLDPE: Linear low density polyethylene. Tougher than LDPE and has better heat seal strength, but has higher haze.

MDPE: Medium density (0.934-0.95) polyethylene. Has higher stiffness, higher melting point and better water vapour barrier properties.

MET-PET: Metallised PET film. It has all the good properties of PET film, plus much improved oxygen and water vapour barrier properties. However, it is not transparent.

MET-OPP: Metallised OPP film. It has all the good properties of OPP film, plus much improved oxygen and water vapour barrier properties, (but not as good as MET-PET).

Micron: A depreciated, although still used, term for micrometer. One millimeter = 1,000 micrometers. (25.4 micrometers = 0.001 inch.)

Nylon: Polyamide resins, with very high melting points, excellent clarity and stiffness. Two types are used for films: nylon-6 and nylon-66. The latter has much higher melt temperature, thus better temperature resistance, but the former is easier to process, and it is cheaper. Both have good oxygen and aroma barrier properties, but they are poor barriers to water vapour. 

Opacity: Hiding power of pigmented (mostly white) plastic films. It is beneficial for packing materials sensitive to light (visible or ultraviolet).

OPP: Oriented PP (polypropylene) film. A stiff, high clarity film, but not heat sealable. Usually combined with other films, (such as LDPE) for heat sealability. Can be coated with PVDC (polyvinylidene chloride), or metallised for much improved barrier properties.

Offset Printing: A commonly used technique in which the inked image is transferred (or “offset”) from a plate to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface.

Pantone: Pantone is a standardised colour matching system, utilising the Pantone numbering system for identifying colours. By standardising the colours, different manufacturers in different locations can all reference a Pantone numbered colour, making sure colours match without direct contact with one another.

Pantone Matching System (PMS): A popular colour matching system used by the printing industry to print spot colours. Most applications that support colour printing allow you to specify colours by indicating the Pantone name or number. This assures that you get the right colour when the file is printed, even though the colour may not look right when displayed on your monitor.

PE: is an abbreviation for polyethylene. PE is used as a bonding agent in wet lamination.

PET: is an abbreviation for Polyethylene terephthalate and is a form of polyester often used as the outer substrate on laminates, due to its excellent tear strength, elongation properties and competitive price. Images and artwork are usually printed on the reverse side.

PLA: Polylactic acid (PLA) is a biodegradable, thermoplastic, found converted into a variety of aliphatic polyesters derived from lactic acid which in turn can be made by fermentation of various agricultural products such as corn starch, once made from dairy products.

Plow-Bottom Stand Up Pouch: A stand-up pouch that is made from one piece of film. The front, gusset, and back are continuous, so there is no seal at the gusset. Hold more weight than Doy-style pouches, so are commonly used for products weighing more than 500 grams.

PP: is an abbreviation for polypropylene.

PVC: Polyvinyl chloride. A tough, stiff, very clear film. The oriented version is used mainly for shrink film applications.

PVC Shrink Films: Polyvinyl chloride shrink film. Shrink percentages vary from about 40% for extruded PVC shrink tubing to over 60% for seamed material. The most cost-effective shrink film for full-body shrink sleeves.

Q

Retort Pouch: is a type of food packaging made from a laminate of flexible plastic and metal foils. It allows the sterile packaging of a wide variety of food and drink handled by aseptic processing, and is used as an alternative to traditional industrial canning methods.

Spot Colour: A specified colour (for example, one chosen from a PMS colour book) used instead of combining the four process colours.

Stand-Up Pouches: The aggregation of aluminium/plastic pouches and plastic pouches. Pouches are flexible and include a base gusset to allow the product to stand unsupported.

Side-Gusset Bag: A bag with gussets on both sides, with a fin-seal running from top to bottom and sealed horizontally at the bottom and the top. Commonly used in the coffee industry.

Spout: used for liquids such as juices, sauces, beverage, oils, detergent, hair care, shampoo, gel and others.

Tolerance: Permissible maximum and minimum deviation from the specified dimensions or qualities.

Tear Notch: added for easy opening.

Tin Tie: added onto side gusseted pouches or box bottom pouches for optional sealing purposes.

VMPET: means metallised PET. This material consists of PET which has been metallised with aluminium. It serves as a light and oxygen barrier, and is often used instead of aluminium. It has a slightly smoother appearance than aluminium, however it is slightly less efficient as a light/oxygen barrier. It is however cheaper and more environmentally friendly.

Valve: added onto pouch for degassing; allows air to escape from a pouch containing coffee beans.

Ziplock: resealable feature adds value to your pouch and extends product freshness.

 

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