The traditional end cap set thoroughly encapsulates the two ends of the shipping product. This end cap concept provides the most protection of any end cap design. The end caps are placed on the ends of the product and the product and caps are placed in a box. The foam secures the product in the center of the box. Between the product, box, and foam you will see empty space. This is called an air cell. The cell gives the the product space to move while the foam compresses and absorbs the shock from being dropped. The most frequent mistake is not allowing enough cell space to compensate for the compression which can cause the product to make contact with the wall of the box. This frequently happens when packages are designed to fit a box that someone is already using. You need space to allow the foam to work.
The end cap above is made from one rectangular die cut piece and one rectangular solid pad. The die cut piece is a simple rectangle cut out of the center of a larger rectangle piece.The middle rectangle is stripped and recycled. This leaves a frame like structure that can be glued or thermal sealed to the solid rectangular pad. This assembly creates a larger rectangle block that has a rectangle void that fits over the end of of your product. This concept is normally used for heavier, more expensive products where the risk of damage must be at a minimum.
The ribbed end cap is very similar to the traditional end cap. The ribbed end cap fits over both ends of the product, protecting and securing the product in the center of the box.
The ribbed end cap is made from one rectangular die cut. The die cut has a smaller rectangular cut in its center. Within the center space two ribs are cut. These cuts all occur in one stroke. The foam ribs are stripped out of the center and seperated into three parts: one frame structure and two ribs. The ribs are glued or thermal sealed to the frame. This assembly creates a larger rectangle configuration that has a rectangular void that fits over the end of of your prouduct. You can see there are more air cells and it requires half as much foam as a traditional end cap.This concept is one of the most efficient and effective foam packaging designs. By increasing the density and or the thickness, this concept can be used in almost any scenario. The risk of damage is slightly more than the traditional end cap, but the cost savings normally out weigh the risk. Remember this concept relies on sufficient space to effectively protect your product.
The hingelock end cap set is truly the most innovating and exciting end cap concepts of all. Yes, it is similar to the other endcaps, it fits over both ends of the product protecting and securing the product in the center of the box, and it also uses only half the material as a traditional end cap. However, the best part of using a hingelock end cap is that it does not require any assembly. There is no gluing or thermal sealing at all, which is a big cost saver.
Similar to the above concepts, the foam is die cut to a rectangle framed shape. The ribs are cut all the way through on three sides. The fourth side is partially cut through. The cut stops before it reaches the higher density blue material. The blue material works as a hinge allowing the ribs to fold out and lock in place creating a foam configuration that has a rectangular void that fits over the end of of your product. The benefits of this design are:
There's even more! Hingelock end caps ship flat, so it requires half the packaging cost. Half of the packages equates to half of the freight cost and obviously it will require half the shelf space. Lets face it, everybody needs shelf space. Hingelock end caps will not work for every scenario, but if it can be designed to solve your packaging challenge, it will certainly be the most economically favorable end cap option available.
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