Skin Packaging

Good packaging enhances the aesthetic appeal of a product while protecting it from harm during shipping, storage, and purchase. This makes packaging both an art and a science, and retail manufacturers often use innovative technologies to set their products’ packaging apart from that of their peers.

Manufacturers can choose from many different types of packaging to use on their products. 

Some of the most widely used packaging strategies include:

  • Transport packages (or shipping containers)

  • Consumer packaging

  • Thermoformed packaging

  • Vacuum packaging

  • Shrinkwrapping

  • Paper packaging

However, recent advances in packaging technology have led to the growing popularity of skin packaging as an effective packaging strategy. This packaging wraps products and their backing material in a thin, transparent, heated plastic film, which shows off the product while still protecting it from contamination in a space-efficient manner.

In this post, we explore the aspects that make up skin packaging, and we also give insight on how to get the most out of your skin packaging procedures.

What Is Skin Packaging?

Skin packaging uses heat sealing to wrap the product as efficiently as possible. In some cases, vacuum sealing is also used, but this depends on the product’s ability to handle the forces generated during sealing.

Heat sealing is the central procedure of skin packaging because it can work with a wide variety of materials using easily automated processes. During heat sealing, manufacturers or automated equipment coat the backing material—usually paperboard or corrugated cardboard—with specialized adhesive compounds. The product is then placed on the backing material, and the film is heated and applied to the product and its backing.

When the heated film comes into contact with the backing substrate, it forms an airtight seal around the product. Then, a vacuum draws the film down to the substrate and product so that it wraps tightly around their contours, which results in a neat and attractive look.

Although skin packaging shares many similarities with blister packaging, these packaging strategies differ in design. Blister packages are performed packages that the product must fit into, whereas skin packages are formed around the product, which makes them better suited to handle irregularly shaped items. Because skin packaging effectively secures the product to its backboard, items packaged in this way do not require foam peanuts, foam-in-place, or other shipping methods to prevent them from jostling during transit.  

Every skin packaging design consists of three vital components:

  • The skin board: This is the backing substrate and is often made from paperboard or corrugated cardboard. Determining the proper skin board for your product depends on a number of factors, including product size, weight, durability, and material costs. Skin boards can come in a variety of different grades and thicknesses, and they can be made from recycled material and other eco-friendly substrates. 

  • The film: Packagers wrap plastic film over the product. Films can be made from a wide variety of polymers, such as polyethylene, PVC, PET, and ionomer.

  • The machine: Skin packaging machines ensure that the film and skin board are sealed together properly and that the film’s shape follows the product’s contours. After the board has been coated with a layer of heat seal dispersion substance, the film is tightly clamped in place by a frame underneath the heater. At the start of the machine’s operational cycle, the film is heated, and the clamping frame is drawn over the skin board. Then, a vacuuming operation ensures that the film makes contact with the optimal surface area of the board, and then the film and substrate almost instantly bond together. 

Skin packaging comes in two primary configurations:

  • Skin board, film, mailers

  • Skin pack carton and film

The first option tends to work better with bulky, sturdy objects, whereas the second option is better for more fragile components such as glass and sensitive electronics.

Industries That Benefit From the Use of Skin Packaging

Skin packaging is most visibly used in retail environments. For example, skin packages that contain small parts or accessories are often placed upon racks in store aisles to allow customers to see the product without having to open the package. 

But skin packaging has many additional applications beyond retail. Many aftermarket industries use skin packaging to wrap and ship products, such as:

  • Automotive manufacturers

  • Pump manufacturers

  • Compressor manufacturers

  • Military manufacturers

Manufacturers in these fields see a number of advantages when they use skin packaging, such as:

  • Simplified inventory: Inspectors can take inventory of products or kits without having to open boxes or packages. This makes it easier to keep track of inventory levels and ensures accurate on-hand counts.

  • Variance: Skin packaging can work with a wide range of shapes and sizes. This capability makes it a useful way to kit many types of aftermarket replacement parts. 

  • Ease of use: Skin packaging uses intuitive processes that require minimal training time, which helps reduce labor and training costs.

  • Aesthetic appeal: Skin packaging provides a neat display that shows off your product and allows customers to better evaluate its appearance and functionality before purchase.

  • Standardization: Skin packaging provides end-users with a simple and consistent way to place and secure their products for shipment. 

Contract Skin Packaging Services from Stamar Packaging

Stamar Packaging is a premier contract packaging company that will be glad to partner with you for all of your skin packaging service needs. We work hard to exceed our customers’ expectations by helping them maximize inventory control, arrive at efficient package designs, and reduce packaging costs.

We offer a wide range of skin packaging capabilities, including customizable plastic film, skin boards, and skin pack cartons. We can produce skin boards that range in size from 6” × 6” to 47 and 3/4” × 95 3/4”. We also produce printed pads in 14 distinct colors.

At Stamar Packaging, we’re proud to design quality packaging solutions that leave customers coming back for more. If you would like to learn more about our skin packaging services, don’t hesitate to contact us today for more information.