Protective Foam Packaging
Minimise damage, material use, costs, & environmental impact
Foam end caps provide a cushion around the edges of the item, suspending it in the middle of the outer corrugated cardboard packaging. So, if you are using inefficient void fill packaging, are looking to reduce your packaging costs or indeed improve your transit protection, using foam end caps can help. Read More
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More info on foam end caps
Whilst being incredibly versatile and effective, using too much foam can be bad. Bad for the environment. Bad for the end user. Bad for transit costs. Bad for your company’s bottom line.
For example, whilst foam can eliminate transit damage, it adds another cost and process to your packaging. Excessive use also leads to increased weight, volume, and shipping costs. Conversely, minimising the amount reduces your costs.
The solution? Making efficient use of foam material, and in particular, taking advantage of foam end caps.
The most common form of foam packaging, end caps consist of die cut foam shaped to fit the end profiles of the item being protected. This means that when shipping your items, the end caps are placed on each end (or sometimes each corner depending on the size of the item) of your product to create a protective cushion all round.
These are then placed into a standard corrugated box, which will be sized to offer an exact fit and minimise movement in transit.
The key benefit of this approach is that the amount of material used is minimised for lower unit costs, which in turn lowers pack weight (and size) to reduce shipping costs. It also simplifies recycling obligations for the end user.
Engineering approach to foam packaging
For complex projects with challenging requirements, your business can also take advantage of a number of advanced foam packaging designs.
For example, you can specify “hinged” end caps. These are effectively the same as the standard end caps, but through clever construction do not involve bonding and simply fold around the item to create the cushion.
The main advantages of this are that they can be supplied and stored flat for lower transport and storage costs and can also reduce packing time in high volume manufacturing environments.
Jigsaw packs can also be created, with the components of the cushion packaging being produced in a manner that when in position, they will lock to each other. This provides added stability, protection and can further reduce movement in transit.
Regardless of whether you need standard end caps or something more complex, your designs will be tailored precisely to your product and / or application. And with all foams available in a wide range of colours and densities – including anti-static and those manufactured from recycled materials – there is an option suitable for every requirement.
Key benefits of packaging end caps at a glance
- Minimises material usage, reducing costs
- Low material usage also keeps pack size / weight low, minimising shipping costs
- Reduced material usage also helps with recycling and environmental impact
- Provides excellent cushioning protection during transit
- Also helps prevent marks and scuffs to product surfaces
- Minimised returns caused by damage lowers costs and aids repeat business (through satisfied customers)
- Low cost makes them suitable for high value applications (e.g. consumer goods)
- Options for different colours, grades, and specialist options such as anti-static
- Engineered designs ensures high levels of protection for specific items
- Can be supplied flat packed to reduce shipping / storage costs
Common questions about foam end caps
Due to the highly engineered nature of foam end caps, there are lots of potential questions concerning their production and suitability for specific applications.
If the below section does not answer your particular question regarding these however, then please contact a member of the GWP team for assistance.
What are foam end caps manufactured from?
It is important to use the correct material for optimum performance. For this reason, end caps will typically be manufactured using the market leading Ethafoam and Stratocell foams from Sealed Air. These are used due to their versatility, reliability of performance, levels of protection offered and technical design data available. Both of them are closed cell foams, created from polyethylene polymers.
Why should I use foam end caps instead of inserts or void fill?
Foam end caps provide a number of benefits. They reduce material usage, which in turns lowers your costs, minimises bulk in transit and also lessens environmental impact. This is all achieved without sacrificing protection, ensuring your goods are not damaged in transit, resulting in happy customers and minimised returns.
Will foam end caps absorb moisture?
The closed cell nature of the foams used for manufacturing foam blocks, end caps and foam lined boxes means that they do not absorb water or other liquids. They are non-abrasive and can also be re-used numerous times. The low unit cost also makes them extremely cost effective as a single trip solution.
What applications are foam end caps suitable for?
Due to the versatility, performance and cost of these foams, their use is prevalent amongst producers of equipment such as computer peripherals, hi fi and audio equipment, indeed any sensitive or expensive electronic items. However, anything fragile, from bottles of wine to vases and ornaments, can benefit from being transported using this method.
Will these fit my existing boxes?
Foam end caps can be manufactured to fit existing corrugated packaging (or even Correx® boxes) as required. However, sourcing both external packaging and foam end caps together will provide the highest level of compatibility, fit and therefore protection. It is also likely to be considerably cheaper sourcing from a single supplier too.