Category: Articles

  • August 16, 2018

    Corrugated Packaging for Produce

    Scientific research indicates that corrugated packaging for produce is safer than reusable plastic crates (RPCs). Corrugated containers can significantly reduce contamination from transferred microorganisms.

    The research, conducted in 2016 by the University of Bologna and initiated by the European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers (FEFCO), found that corrugated trays ensured higher-quality packed fruits with reduced microbial cross-contamination and longer shelf life. Lower bacterial contamination decreases the risk of foodborne illnesses and increases the fruit’s freshness, scent, appearance and taste.

    “We are encouraged by the most recent research conducted by the University of Bologna”, said Dennis Colley, President and CEO of the U.S.-based Fibre Box Association (FBA). “We know corrugated is clean when it reaches the grower/shipper.  Now, this research shows corrugated, in addition to cushioning and protecting produce, also mitigates the spread of contamination if the container becomes contaminated while packing or if fresh produce begins to decay during transportation.  The ability of corrugated packaging to increase shelf-life could translate into significantly reduced shrink and potentially millions of dollars in savings for retailers.”

    The research was led by Professor Rosalba Lanciotti at the University of Bologna’s Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences. It examined the exchange of microbes between produce and packaging and vice-versa. It focused especially on determining how differences in packaging materials can influence cross-contamination.

    The results showed that fruit packed in corrugated fared better (with fewer transferred pathogenic and spoilage bacteria) than the fruit packed in RPCs. The differences in microbiological quality were statistically significant.

    Conclusion

    The new study proved that using corrugated, instead of plastic packaging for fruit can significantly reduce potential contamination via microbial transfer. The team concluded that peaches packed in corrugated therefore reach consumers in a safer and fresher state than those in plastic crates.  This research is courtesy of Fibre Box Association.

    We, at Mid-Atlantic Packaging, take great efforts to innovate towards new market research. Over the past year, we’ve worked with our ink partners to create a safer ink distribution for direct food contact. We’ve refined our ability to print high-end graphics on kraft paper and we’re investigating new ways to allow the produce to breathe from the point of harvest, through the supply chain, to the point of sale.

     

  • June 28, 2017

    How Mid-Atlantic Packaging Tests Your Packaging In Our ISTA and ASTM Certified Testing Lab

    Mid-Atlantic Packaging offers a full-service International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) certified lab to our clients. The on-site facility allows us to test customer material to determine if the product will meet acceptable distribution standards.

    But, you may be wondering how these tests are used to better serve our customers? We test packaging using sophisticated tools and machinery to replicate real-world conditions.

    We survey the customer to determine how the product is currently being shipped (single parcel, pallet, etc.) and choose the appropriate test standard for that packaging. We then run the provided samples through our certified testing lab.

    Mid-Atlantic Packaging Testing Lab Equipment

    Drop Testing

    The first step in the testing process is the manual handling simulation. We use either the precision drop tester or our incline impact machine. This simulates what a package may encounter in either a single parcel or pallet shipping environment in terms of potential drop damage.

    Compression

    Next, we run the appropriate compression sequence under the chosen test guidelines. The package is placed on our 15,000-lb. compression machine and the appropriate amount of force is placed on the package to simulate pressure (i.e., weight of other packages or pallets being placed onto the package).

    We also use our compression machine to test customers’ existing packaging to determine if we can reduce the amount of board/paper grades being currently utilized. If we are able to reduce the board in a package, this offers our customers a cost savings on their packaging and reduces the amount of trees being harvested for paper!

    VibrationMid-Atlantic Packaging Lab Testing Equipment 2

    Then we run a vibration test on the package/pallet to simulate the transit of the package shaking on truck, train or plane. Our vibration table can simulate both random vehicle and sine profiles.

    After the vibration test, we again run the manual handling sequence, following how the package travels along the distribution chain. Once this is completed, we inspect the product for damage and make a recommendation on any changes needed to better protect the product in distribution.

    Internal quality is also important. We have an ECT tester (edge crush test). “We use this machine to verify the quality of corrugated board we manufacture and ensure it meets the ECT standard in the industry.” Says Alan Devitt, our Test Lab Supervisor. This is just another way MAP ensures customer satisfaction with every package we make.

    Our distribution testing services allow our customers to understand the full needs of the package we provide them. It also allows MAP to determine if changes need to be made to the package to better protect it, ensuring our customers undamaged and safe delivery of their product.

  • May 31, 2017

    Mid-Atlantic Packaging Creates Product Designs That Optimize Labor and Manufacturing Costs for Our Client Partners

    Mid-Atlantic Packaging (MAP) creates product designs for our customers that optimize fiber content while also improving both the tensile and impact strength of the packaging. But that’s only part of the story. As partners to our clients, we also strive to reduce both labor and manufacturing costs.

    Design

    It all starts in our design lab, where our structural design specialists review the product and style requirements set by retailers and other end-user channels. For example, Wal-Mart has different requirements for on-shelf packaging than Walgreens or Costco. To minimize errors, MAP carefully reviews style guides and other reference materials to determine the appropriate style dictated by the end user.

    We continue the process by reviewing the design with production teams to ensure viability throughout the customer’s manufacturing chain. No two customers are the same. Some of our customers require a machine-erected case that will be auto-packed; others favor designs that are all done by hand. By thorough analysis of how the package will be utilized throughout production, MAP is able to develop the best option to reduce our customers’ costs.

    Prototype

    Next, we test prototypes for distribution and fiber concerns starting with theoretical strength analysis and ending with Box Compression Testing (BCT) in our ISTA-Certified testing lab. Using the most advanced testing equipment available, MAP strives to provide our customers with boxes that can withstand the highest compression stress with the lowest fiber content. Our test lab effectively simulates storage and distribution conditions to determine if boxes will successfully transport products properly under the specified criteria.

    Environmental Focus

    But that doesn’t mean our boxes are overengineered. We keep the fiber count in our boxes low not only to lower costs for our customers but also to minimize the impact on the environment. This isn’t always the easiest way, but MAP believes it’s the right way.

    Finally, we review the sample with our customer to ensure the design meets all their requirements and that they are satisfied with the final product. Our design and testing teams work hard every step of the way to deliver the best product to our customer at the right price.

    To learn more about how we can help optimize your labor and manufacturing costs, contact Mid-Atlantic Packaging today!

  • April 07, 2017

    MAP Develops Promotional Packaging for New Elixir Guitar String Launch

    MAP created a promotional packaging sales kit for W. L Gore’s new Elixir electric guitar strings and we’re seeing them pop up in Instagram feeds!

    https://www.elixirstrings.com/

    If you are looking for promotional packaging sales kits, or subscriber commerce mailers for your business MAP has you covered!  We create your solutions, source your pack out and handle the distribution!

    promotional packaging

  • February 23, 2017

    MAP Attends Rutgers Honors College Event

    Retail Marketing Expert Geoff Slick presents

    On February 19 Mid-Atlantic Packaging presented at the Rutgers University Honors College Global Food Marketing Event.  The group discussed the U.S food market and where growth is happening.   In addition, they covered selling to population dense markets and product characteristics that sell.

    Our retail marketing expert Geoff Slick explained:

    1. Understanding target customers and getting their attention.
    2. Areas of concern for retail buyers and therefore what drives them.
    3. The need for brick and mortar stores to get leaner and thus the need for retail ready packaging.
    4. The cost of labor and how efficient displays can save on labor and be successful.
    5. How successful packaging and merchandising involves a grasp of the complete supply chain.

    We are honored to have been a part of this event and for the opportunity to meet future leaders in the food marketing industry!  Thank you Rutgers and Grover Global Food Marketing!

    Interested in MAP presenting our retail marketing expertise to you?  Contact us at 215-362-5100 or at info@map.team.

    Mid-Atlantic Packaging Retail Food Marketing Expertise

  • November 10, 2016

    2016 Walmart Style Guide Updates

    New 2016 Walmart Style Guide Updates Assistance From Mid-Atlantic Packaging

    In September Walmart published their new 2016 Walmart style guide updates for suppliers.  The style guide introduced new guidelines in retail ready packaging (RRP) that were not previously required of suppliers.  MAP has been at the forefront of RRP in the United States as a successful RRP company and supplier.  We began over 8 years ago, traveling to Europe and identifying uses and strategies before the requirements in the United States.  Then we created designs and began selling this trend to our customers.  Therefore, MAP has the RRP manufacturing experience to provide you a cost effective RRP solution that fits Walmart guidelines.

    MAP’s RRP designs hit all of the Walmart 5 Easies:

    Easy to Identify, Easy to Open, Easy to Stock, Easy to shop and Easy disposal.

    We offer perforated trays, Delkor alternatives, tray in a box, 5 panel RSC (our dual panel), as well as stacked trays, sidekicks, pallet displays, end-cap displays, PDQ displays, Walmart Ship testing (ISTA testing) in house at NO CHARGE to our customers.  We design our packaging to fulfill the use of an exit strategy at store level.  Our designers create displays that shop down cleanly and are able to transition to shelf level to employ a fluid exit strategy in store.

    The new Walmart requirements need not be a costly investment for your company.  MAP will work to utilize existing equipment and optimize your supply chain to keep costs narrowly in check.  We will cut labor out of assembly by providing a package that won’t require a timely build, and we strive to assist in maintaining or increasing your product margins.  Call us today to discuss how we can be your competitive advantage!

    5 panel RSC (Dual Panel)

    5 panel RSC (Dual Panel)

  • February 12, 2016

    MAP Places 1st with Creative Design

    Each year Mid-Atlantic Packaging participates in the AICC’s Design Challenge. For this challenge, our Design team set out to create an innovative and fun design to emphasize the breadth and creativity of the team.

    With inspiration from the movie Big, starring Tom Hanks, we wanted to bring the Atlantic City Boardwalk Zoltar machine to life by creating a life size to scale version.  By re-watching the film, our designer Matt Meehan, began to sketch his ideas onto paper, attempting to create something 3 dimensional entirely out of corrugated. Most of the structure lends itself to this possibility.  The torso and face were one of the hardest tasks we came across in the design process. We used geometric patterning and researched different types of face masks in order to create the planes of the face to make it as realistic looking as possible. A recycled fan motor was used to allow the head to oscillate up and down, similarly to what it did in the film.

    All of the coloring, textures and patterns we completed using a combination of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. All materials were printed on our digital Roland printer in house as well as cut and assembled at Mid Atlantic Packaging. For this design we are proud to announce that our team placed 1st in the category corrugated art and design.  Congratulations Matt and the MAP design team on a fun design that showcases our team’s creativity and innovation!

    IMG_2989