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The Difference In Plastic Bags Used In Packaging And Industrial Use

The Difference In Plastic Bags Used In Packaging And Industrial Use

The Difference In Plastic Bags Used In Packaging And Industrial Use

Plastic is a very versatile material. By slightly modifying its chemical composition, its properties can be changed significantly. And we see the example first hand in the different plastic products that we use on a daily basis.

Consider the plastic bag. They are available in different specifications and sizes. However, the classification can be divided into two – Consumer packaging and Industrial packaging.

Industrial plastic bags are much different than what we get from the grocery store. The plastic bags that we use to carry stuff from stores to our homes are lightweight and thin products that can carry a certain amount of load. However, they are not suitable for carrying heavy loads.

Industrial packaging plastic bags can carry significantly higher load than ordinary plastic bags. But this is just one use case. The types of plastic bags used in industry changes based on the requirements.

Let us discuss some of the most common differences in plastic bags used in normal use and industrial use.

Strength – Load Carrying capacity

One of the key areas where plastic bags in industrial use must prove their mettle is in strength. The plastic must be able to hold a sizable amount of weight without breaking.

This is where the density of the plastic comes into effect. High-Density Polyethylene or HDPE is the strongest among plastic bags due to its high density. high-density plastics can hold heavy loads but can tear from sharp objects.

Linear Low-density plastic or LLDPE is very flexible thanks to the molecules being places apart and can withstand tearing or puncturing to a large degree. This makes them the prime choice for carrying sharp objects. They are not as strong as HDPE.

LDPE or Low-Density Polyethylene is the least dense of all plastic. It is not used to carry heavy loads and is not as flexible as LLDPE.

So when strength is the only concern, the choice is high-density plastics. HDPE or High-Density Polyethylene is a high-density plastic that can carry a load much more effectively the LDPE or Low-Density Polythene.

Due to the high density of HDPE (0.93 to 0.97 g/cm³), it is more rigid when compared with low-density plastics. HDPE is used in industries like food, beverage, pharmaceuticals, and consumer goods.

Chemical resistance

Chemical resistance of plastic bags is critical in industries where load that they are carrying is chemically corrosive. Plastic is generally chemically resistant. However, as the reactivity of the chemical increases, it can damage even plastics.

Hence, HDPE is still the most favored choice for packaging chemically corrosive substances. Industries use HDPE packaging more often than the alternatives.

LPDE plastic bags can get damaged when they are in direct contact with powerful corrosives. However, they are still useful against low to mildly corrosive chemicals, making them suitable for ordinary use.

FDA approval

FDA or Food Drug Administration is the Federal Agency of the US that regulates rules and regulations pertaining to consumables. Since plastic bags are one among the most common type of food and drug packaging material, the FDA has clear guidelines on what to use and what not to use.

Food items in the US can only be packed with FDA approved plastics. Using any other form of plastic is illegal and may lead to adverse events like food poising, consequently a criminal case. Let us review some of the FDA approved plastics that are available for packaging.

HDPE High-Density Polyethylene

Like we discussed before, HDPE or High-Density Polyethylene is one among the prime choices for packaging food because of its chemical stability. The plastic does not absorb much moisture nor does the plastic mix with the food.

It is safe and has excellent heat resistant qualities.

LDPE or Low-Density Polyethylene

LDPE is also approved by the FDA as plastic granted that It is not made from 100% PCR LDPE resin. Food grade LDPE plastic bags are used to pack food or for transportation purposes. It is the more popular option thanks to the low cost of manufacture.

 

Polypropylene

Polypropylene is a very lightweight plastic thanks to its very low density, hence they are ideal for packaging. The inert characteristics of the polypropylene bags have gained them FDA approval to be used for packaging food and drugs.

Clarity or Transparency

You might have noticed that some plastic bags are very transparent, while some are opaque or translucent. Even though dyes can be added to give the plastic color or visual enhancements, the clarity of the plastic mainly depends on its density.

HDPE: High-Density Polyethylene have the polymers closely packed together, this makes the bag opaque. HDPE garbage bags are a prime example where they are either in black or blue showing no signs of transparency.

LDPE: Due to the low density of this plastic, the bags made out of them are either transparent or has mild cloudiness to them. They are often dyed to get a tint. In essence, LDPE has the highest clarity or transparency among packaging plastics.

MDPE: Medium Density Polyethylene bags stay between HDPE and LDPE when it comes to density. And you can see that its properties are a mix of the two extremes. Clarity of MDPE can be defined as partially cloudy or translucent.

Gauge size

Another important difference between plastic bags for general use and industrial use is the gauge size. Basically, gauge size is the thickness of the plastic bag. The higher the thickness, the stronger it becomes.

Generally, plastic bags range from 100 gauges or 25 microns to 500 gauge or 125 microns. 1 micron is equal to 0.001mm.

For industrial purposes, higher gauge plastic bags are used because of their superior strength and heat resistant properties. A 500 gauge plastic bag can hold up to 40Kgs without failing.

For general use or consumer use, lower micron alternatives are used. However, plastic bags less than 50 microns have been banned in many countries due to their non-recyclable nature.

Conclusion

The plastic bags used for general use and industrial use are different because their requirements are different. Plastic bags in industrial packaging are made to withstand harsher use cases when compared with normal consumer-grade plastic.

And knowing the difference between the two helps you to make the right purchase decision for your packaging needs. Need more helping on choosing the right packaging? Contact BorderPak and have all your packaging questions answered today.

Automation Of Bagging Process: Why Its Time For The Change!

Automation Of Bagging Process: Why Its Time For The Change!

As companies push towards greater efficiency and less downtime, each and every process that happen in the company has to rise up to a certain standard. In conventional methods, human workers undertook bagging processes, and this had its advantages at that particular period. With the advent of machines and automation, companies of today can boost their production by a large margin, increasing the input by output figure. If you are wondering what difference does a shift towards automated bagging does to your business, let us guide you through the whole scenario.

Time: On average, we can expect a 50%-75% time reduction

You know how the saying goes, “Time is Money” and that is very much true in any business. If one process in your company is taking too much time, that means the processes that come after it is also going to get delayed. Scale this to the entire process tree; you are looking at a significant delay between the very first process and product completion. With automated bagging process, machines use programed code to make each movement. They are very time efficient since they don’t have to think about the movement that comes after, it is already been programmed. Let’s have a look at some data pertaining to their comparison;

  • On average, a human worker can erect cases at a speed of 10 boxes per minute. The same job, when done by a machine, will result in the packaging of 27 uniform boxes per minute; more than double the rate!
  • On average, a human is capable of hand sealing 10 cases per minute. An automated machine like packing equipment is capable of sealing approximately 40 uniform boxes in the same timeframe.

The results surely speak for themselves!

 

Money: Maximizing profit by scaling production & toning down spending

For a company, a significant part of maximizing the profit comes as a result of cutting down wasteful or unnecessary expenditure. As you are expanding your business, production rates will also increase with it. To successfully keep up with the production rates, you will have to increase the labor. In effect of the labor increase, more money will be spent on their salary as well as insurance. In its entirety, scaling up the production to increase profit will put a dent in that very capital in the form of expenditures. With an automated bagging process, the additional costs that come after installation are either meager or none at all. Also, the higher packing speeds will match the overall production so that you can get products out as soon as they are finished. A good investment to get better returns.

Reduces the possibility of workplace-related injuries

Workers who are employed at the production line are prone to hazards, even with all the security standards installed. Much of this is due to events that cannot be foreseen. With human labor, there is also the factor of fatigue and focus loss. We humans aren’t designed to keep on working for long stretches of time. Muscle fatigue will kick in resulting in cramps or pain. The bagging line is a place where the mind and body must in work in unison to give out the best possible results. But such levels of consistency is not possible as humans we tend to lose focus after a certain limit. After that, our minds start to wander, constituting to the hazard of workplace injuries

Productivity: Greater flexibility enables more productivity

The increase in productivity when using an automatic bagging system comes as a result of the impact created by first three points. To increase productivity, the production line must work like a well-oiled machine without causing hold ups or any delay in production. When you compare an automated system with a human operated one, the differences are clear, as, with the automated system, everything is consistent across the board. There is also another element to productivity as machines need not have to follow a strict 9 am to 5 pm work hours. If you have surplus products that need to be bagged, you can employ the automated bagging systems to work overtime, and they would do it without a sweat. The same can be said if you had to halt product for some time, then you can switch the system off. However, with the case of manual labor, you will have to pay them even on days where there is no production at all since it is on a salary basis.

 

Less wastage: Money saved is money earned

Material wastage is one of the biggest challenges that can topple the financial balance of a company. When human workers are handling bagging operation, one cannot expect them to be precise with the packaging materials throughout the day. Once fatigue and focus loss kicks in, our perfection of work slowly starts to degrade. Machines do not have this problem as they can maintain the same perfection throughout the day. Also, material use is programmed into the machine, enabling it to use materials in a uniform manner, with minimal or no wastage. We might think that a bit of material wastage won’t amount to anything significant, but scaling it to a year will show the significant damage that it does to the overall profit.

Efficiency: The sum of all parts

Efficiency isn’t a single parameter that can be easily measured with a few sets of data; it is a culmination of several factors that add up to give the whole picture. The points that we have mentioned makes up a large part of it. An efficient company is one that adapts to changing technology and constantly innovate itself to maximize production while reducing waste materials and downtimes. Automated bagging solution aims to speed up the production line so that it can work around the clock, meeting deadlines and client requirements.

Choose the best for your company

Borderpak is a company having an experience of over 15 years in the packaging industry. We provide intuitive bagging solutions for our clients. You can approach us for all your packing needs, and we will help you with genuine advice that can truly revolutionize the packaging structure of your company. Get in touch with us to know more

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