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Packaging glossary

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Adhesives - Commonly known as ‘pressure sensitive’, as the adhesive becomes active when pressure is applied. There are two types of adhesive, Permanent & Removable. Adhesives may have migratory properties affecting permeable materials such as plastics.

Anti-Counterfeiting Packaging - Anti-counterfeiting packaging is a measure taken to prevent the imitation and infringement of authentic goods. This guarantees the consumer of the products safety and helps the company minimize loss of revenue and loyalty due to counterfeiting.

Blanket - In offset litho printing, a rubber surfaced fabric that is clamped around a cylinder on a litho press, to which the image is transferred from the plate and from which it is transferred to the board.

Bleed - Printing where the colour continues right up to the edge of the board.

Board Grain Direction - The orientation of the fibres in the structure of the carton board. The direction of the grain usually runs opposite to the major creases on the carton and can be determined by checking the resistance of the board by bending it. The direction that gives the least resistance is the direction the grain is running.

BPIF - British Printing Industries Federation. A UK trade association representing the interest of the carton sector to governments and associated agencies, and pro-actively communicating carton board's unique commercial and environmental advantages to a wide audience.

BPIF ISO12647-2 - A colour management standard implemented by the British Printing Industries Federation.

Braille - Braille is a scripture that can be read by blind people with their fingers. It is a common reading and writing system for blind and partially sighted persons. It is not a language. It is just another way of writing and reading text.

Braille cell - consists of six dots, positioned like the figure“six” on a dice, in two parallel vertical lines of three dots each.

CAD (Computer Aided Design) - The use of a computer system to assist in the design process of product packaging.

Caliper - the thickness of a sheet of board, measured in microns.

Cardboard Carton - A prefabricated carton board container used for the packaging of a variety of products including foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals and many more.

CMYK - Letters which stand for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (K). K is used for black to eliminate confusion with blue. Full colour printed images are made up of these component colours.

Coater - Part of a litho printing press which applies coatings to printed board.

Coating - A special water based coating which is applied to printed matter to protect literature from ink smudging or finger marking or to enhance appearance. The main types are sealer, gloss, matt and silk.

Colour Management System - A system put in place to ensure that colours consistently remain the same regardless of the devices or medium used to apply or display the colours. This is essential for colour management across packaging ranges.

Colour separation - Process by which an image is separated into the component colours for multi colour print production.

Composite Sheet - There are two types of composite sheet the most common is where two or more products from one customers range are printed on the same sheet. This can provide good cost savings, but has to be carefully managed to prevent mixed product. The second type is where two or more components of a job (for example a lid and a base) are both produced on the same sheet.

Concorra - The Concorra Process is a technique that is used in the cut and crease process to create a superior visual effect to perforation and create an easy-open feature. Partial cuts are offset on either side of the carton to form an easy open tear strip. It provides cleaner tear than perforations.

Corner Radius - radius dimension of the corners of the label. The normal radius used is 1.5mm / 2mm.

Creasing Process - A process using a die creates creases in the packaging material so that it can fold with ease and without creating any cracking or splitting of the sheet.

Cut and Crease - A process using a die form that includes cutting the printed materials into the desired shape, as well as creasing them to provide accurate fold lines.

Cyrel - A raised image polymer plate. It provides a positive image. Used for pattern varnishes in either UV or Water- based varnishes.

Deboss - Image pressed into board so it lies below the typical “viewing” surface.

Die-cut - A process that uses a metal die to shear through low-strength materials such as cardboard, plastic, foil and other lightweight materials.

Drip Off Matt/Gloss - A printing finish that provides a spot-gloss finish and textured matt effect with very high levels of detail. This process uses standard inks and a special print varnish that allows the application of gloss varnish via a plate followed by a matt varnish. This creates a reticulation effect.

Embossing - The process of raising letters or designs out of the typical “viewing” surface of the board.

Extrusion Coating - A versatile coating of molten synthetic resin that can be used on paperboard, corrugated fibre board, paper and various plastics.

Folder-Gluer - A modular machine that takes flat blanks through the folding and gluing process. Folder-Gluers can process a range of materials including solid cardboards, plastics, varnished boards, litho-laminates and microflutes.

Folding Boxboard - A folding boxboard is made up of multiple layers of pulp. Folding boxboard is lightweight and highly stiff and is the perfect material for use in folding cartons.

Four colour process - Full colour printing using four constituent colours: Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and Black.

Four-up, three-up, two–up - Number of similar items printed on one sheet of board.

FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) - The Forest Stewardship Council is a global organisation that is dedicated towards promoting responsible forestry.

Glassine - this is the most commonly used Liner for both paper and filmic face materials.

Grain of the board - Machine manufactured board is made up of many fibres, which in general, tend to line up in one direction due to the nature of the process. This produces a preferred direction or grain along which it is easier to fold, bend or tear the board.

Grease Resistant Packaging - Packaging that has a special coating or finish applied to it to repel grease, oil and wax.

Gripper allowance - The margin of paper along the gripper edge of the sheet which is held by the gripper and cannot be printed.

Gripper bar - A device on a printing or cutting machine for holding and transferring the sheet during the printing or finishing process.

Gsm - Grammes per square metre. Standard measure of board weight.

Gutter - The inside margins or gap between items (in commercial print the gap between facing pages) is the gutter. The gutter space is that extra space allowance use to accommodate the printers marks that are not part of the job.

Hickey - Spots or imperfections in printed items due to particles of ink or board fibre becoming “trapped” onto the printing plate or blanket. Sometimes these “self remove” or have to be physicaly removed by the printer.

Kraft Board - Coated Natural Kraft (CNK) provides the best combination of product protection and brand impression. Carefully engineered from hardworking natural and recyled fibres, kraft board provides high levels of elasticity and high tear resistance and can meet high demands of strength and durability.

Laminating - A thin plastic film used on the covers of printed board to give protection. This can be gloss or matt.

Leading edge / copy position - copy position of the label text as it is being dispensed on the Customer’s line

Lean Manufacturing - A manufacturing management philosophy that places emphasis on removing the wasteful use of materials. Any expenditure that doesn't contribute directly to the creation of value is eliminated.

Length - dimension of label along the web direction

Linerless Labels - As per self adhesive, linerless labels supplied on a reel for automatic application. They are most commonly used on Fresh meat & Poultry products as replacement for sleeves.

Liners - (also known as backing paper or carrier) is the material which the label will be adhered to when delivered to the customer, ready for automatic application.

Make-ready - The work associated with the set-up of equipment before running a job.

Matt Emulsion - A water based finish that creates a very flat finish with minimal sheen.

Metallised Polyester board - Often known as metpol board. Metallised polyester film, in various metallic shades, is laminated to folding box board. The board can then be printed and formed to create premium high end cartons.

Microflute Packaging - Microflute board is a lightweight yet durable corrugated material.

Micrometer - Instrument for measuring thickness of material, board is measured in microns where 1,000 microns equal 1mm.

Offset litho(graphy) - A printing process by which the inked image to be printed is transferred (offset) first to a rubber layer before coming into contact with the board which takes up the inked areas.

Offset Lithographic Printing - Offset Printing is the application of ink(s) to the substrate via a printing plate to a rubber blanket and finally to the substrate - hence the term 'offset'

Organoleptic Assessment - An assessment of how materials are experienced by the senses, including taste, sight, smell and touch.

Origination - All the graphical or text items that are needed to put together and print the job.eg Artwork, photography, typesetting etc.

Overs - The extra printed products delivered to a customer over and above the net amount ordered.

Pantone reference - International guide system of designating colours for printing reference.

Pearlescent Finish - A finish that creates a shimmering effect by dispersing iridescent material into UV or water based varnishes. Often used in luxury, high end products.

PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) - The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification is an international governing body that promotes sustainable forest management. It is the largest forest certification system in the world.

Perforation - Running a series of cuts (often very small and close together) into board to allow the two sides to be separated.

PILs - Patient information leaflets (PILs) are leaflets containing specific information about medical conditions, doses, side effects that packed with medicines to give the user information about the product. PIL is the European version of the Package insert. The PIL is written by the manufacturing pharmaceutical company and is a patient friendly version of the Summary of Product Characteristics. All licenced medicines need to carry such a leaflet. There are guidelines that must be followed for producing this document, drawn up by the European Medicines Agency of the EU.

PMS - Pantone Matching System. See Pantone Reference definition.

Polyethylene (PET) - used for high speed applications and to provide a ‘no label’effect on Filmic labels

Printing plate - An anodised aluminium plate which has a light sensitive coating applied once exposed (to the image) and developed the image area is sensitised to receive ink. The plate is positive reading and the image is transferred (offset) onto the printing blanket from which it is finally transferred to the material to be printed. It is important to realise that each colour in a printing job requires a separate plate.

Process colours - The colours which make up full colour printing. Cyan, magenta, yellow and black.

Proof - A printed sample of work to be checked for errors in text, positioning or quality of colour reproduction.

Resolution - Refers to the degree of detail of an image. It is usually measured in dots per inch (dpi) or lines per inch (lpi). A high resolution gives a high quality image and vice versa.

Reversed out - Type appearing white on a black or colour background which is either a solid or a tint.

Satin Emulsion - A water based product that creates a soft sheen finish that works well with dark colours and other metallic finishes.

Skillet - "A generic term for a carton board box with glued or tablocked ends. A skillet carton should be dimensioned in the order:
""Length of hinge of opening panel"" x ""Length of 2nd dimension of opening"" x ""distance between openings""."

Sleeves - A printed cardboard sleeve that will slide over plastic trays and pots to provide brand and product information. e.g. sleeves over microwave ready meals.

Soft Touch Finish - A water based product that achieves a very flat matte finish that is literally soft to touch.

Solid Bleached Board - A medium density virgin fibre grade of paperboard made purely from bleached chemical pulp.

Solid Bleached Sulphate - See Solid Bleached board

Special colour - A colour which cannot be made up of the four component colours – CMYK. They are listed in a pantone colour swatch book or can be a special mix to match an “original” colour sample. For example, if a corporate logo contains a special blue & is included in a brochure with photographs and text; this is termed a five colour job. (CMYK (pictures+text) + special blue = 5 colours)

Spot colour - Same as special colour.

Stripper Unit - Part of the cut and crease process, a stripper unit helps remove the waste board left after the die board has punched the design through the board sheet. There are two parts to a stripper board (upper and lower)

Substrates - In printing, the substrate is a term used to describe the base material onto which the designs will be printed.

Tint - Percentage shade of a colour

Trapping - When preparing digital artwork – it is the process of overlapping adjacent colours to eliminate the white lines that could appear between them during the print process.

UKAS - The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) is the sole national accreditation body recognised by the UK government. The organisation assesses the competence, impartiality and performance capability of organisations that provide certification, testing, inspection and calibration services.

UV Gloss - A gloss service treatment that is cured using ultraviolet radiation. This finish is a high level gloss that dries instantly under UV lamps and is suitable for use on all board types.

Visual - A preliminary layout, indicating the general design, and the position of the various elements.

Water Vapour Barriers - A protective measure applied to packaging materials to prevent the intrusion of moisture and damp into the package's contents.

Web Direction - direction of web on the machine (always running left to right)

White Lined Chipboard - A grade of paperboard typically made from layers of waste paper and recycled fibers. Is made up of recycled grey matter with white coating layers over the top.

Width - dimension of label across the web direction

 





Published - October 2014






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