New Product Development – Material Matters!
Thermoplastic injection molding is an immensely powerful and versatile manufacturing process. Many of the consumer products that people buy and use every day are either completely injection molded or have molded components. One of the most important design considerations when creating new parts are the materials that will be used. Every thermoplastic material has its own physical and chemical properties that must be taken into account in conjunction with the type of part being created and its use. Chemical properties like stability and toxicity may be especially important in some applications, and physical properties like appearance and strength may be paramount in others. Thankfully, with the diverse number of thermoplastics on the available today there is sure to be a material that meets or exceeds your needs. Allen Field has experience and expertise with a variety of materials, including:
- ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)
- And blended materials
When it comes to plastics, there is never a universal solution that will fit every product. That is why selecting the right material will not only provide the perfect end user experience, it will also reduce costs and maximize material efficiency. All Allen Field products are engineered to provide you and your customers with these benefits and economical savings. If you have any questions or concerns about the materials used in our products or the new product development services we offer, please contact our team and we will be glad to help!
Packaging Components can be Sustainable
According to EcoWatch, Americans use roughly 500 billion plastic bags and 35 billion plastic water bottles a year. Most of us have used and dropped plastic items into recycling bins, but few of us know where they go after they get picked up from the curb. Theoretically, the recycled plastic piece enters a global system, in which the material is sorted, melted, reformed, and turned into a carpet, toy, furniture, or another bottle. Sounds good, right? The reality is, less than 50% of the items in recycling bins are reused. The vast majority is accumulating in landfills or winds up in our oceans. Fortunately, some companies and organizations are working together to change that statistic, and Allen Field is one of them.
In terms of sustainability, we are always seeking sustainably sourced and plant-based materials from trusted suppliers. In fact, 15%-20% of our packaging components contain recycled plastic; a wide variety of our products can be made with 100% recycled materials. One of our best-selling hooks, the Euro Hook, offers a clean solution to reduce footprint on the environment for our customers. 2020 is the year we take another step forward to testing more materials, such as ocean recycled plastics. We are looking forward to using these eco-friendly materials to add even more value to our innovative line of plastic packaging components.
At Allen Field, we are proud of our zero-waste business practices. We reuse excess plastic during the production process in our facilities. Our handles, box clips, and display accessories are frequently used more than once and nearly all the products have a bio-degradable additive that aids in decomposition. That’s why our customers are encouraged to develop reuse programs and can feel safe to dispose the products when they reach the end of the lifecycle.
Being in the plastic manufacturing industry gives us a great opportunity to make a difference. To learn more about our sustainable goals and business practices, please visit our Environment Responsibility page.
Allen Field provides critical components for various industries that are deemed essential during this time. We remain open and operating to best serve these customers.
Our office and warehouses remain open and are fully operational. We are working closely with our supply partners to ensure minimal impact on our supply chain. Our product inventory remains at normal levels. Our customer service and order processing team is working hard to ensure that all customer orders are processed on a timely basis and that we continue to provide world class customer service.
We are continuously monitoring and assessing the current situation and responding appropriately as it evolves. We are implementing certain virus-mitigating actions to reduce the potential for transmission including restricting travel, initiating teleworking, implementing hygiene protocols, and social distancing.
We thank you for your support and, above all, please stay safe.
Sweet Dreams are Made of This…Wheels
The furniture and home décor industries have undergone a seismic shift in the past few years as online retailers and direct-to-consumer brands grow at record paces. In particular, mattress companies are seeing substantial growth when it comes to their “bed in a box” products. There are now more than 175 bed-in-a-box brands and they are all looking to smart packaging to set their product apart. For a large product like a mattress, a critical packaging challenge is ease and convenience. Bed in a box is delivered direct to the consumer, with an average weight between 50 and 150 lbs. This means consumers must navigate a heavy and awkward sized box up stairways, through rooms, and all the way to their desired location. This demands easy and simple mobility.
The designers here at Allen Field built a solution to deliver reliable mobility that works with a wide range of carton dimensions and weights. By utilizing both our innovative rolling system and open handhole handles, it is easier than ever to maneuver a bed-in-a-box product. The Wheel Eze system, comprised of a base and wheel, enables the movement of heavy and irregular shaped containers. A set of two wheels accommodates up to 100 lbs. Ofweight. Check out this video to see just how easy the wheels are installed to mobilize your product! The Open Handhole Handles are designed to support the handholes of a corrugated box and protect the carrier’s hands from any sharp and uncomfortable edges of the cardboard during transportation. A full line of handhole protectors is available to accommodate various cardboard thicknesses.
Sometimes, the consumers first interaction with their bed-in-a-box is when it is delivered to their door. Make this initial interaction simple and convenient. Allen Field’s packaging solutions make mattress packaging easy to move and comfortable to maneuver into position. Ultimately, bring an unparalleled delivery experience that sets your brand apart from the competition. To learn more about Allen Field’s packaging products for the furniture and homedécor industries, speak with a specialist today by calling 800-535-0810 or emailing email@example.com
Packaging Innovation at West Pack and Pack Expo East
It was great to see so many familiar and new faces at the West Pack show in Anaheim. The strong growth in packaging is exciting and we look forward to meeting the evolving challenges in the packaging industry.
It is clear that the American packaging industry is booming with opportunities to integrate automation and robotics. According to PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, the estimated sales of industrial robots is $3.5 billion in North America. The escalating demands for technologies include EOAT (End of Arm Tooling, or gripping technology), Cobots, easy programming, easy set-up, flexibility, and artificial intelligence. (source: https://pmmi.docsend.com/view/6865qy3) At Allen Field, we are already developing packaging solutions to meet these evolving demands.
We will be exhibiting our newest packaging components at Pack Expo East in Philadelphia, March 3-5! Our engineering team is finalizing a plastic handle that can be employed on a fully automated production line. This handle can be fed to a robot with one or multiple gripping arms or it can be installed manually for hybrid assembly processes. At the Expo, Allen Field’s packaging specialists are going to demonstrate this exciting new product!
Interested in Allen Field’s new packaging components? Visit our booth at #2411 at the Pack Expo East, March 3-5, 2020. Don’t forget to use the promo code 64P84 to take advantage of complimentary admission! To learn more about Allen Field and request samples, click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
West Pack 2020 Preview – See You in California!
If you are passionate about packaging innovation, you must attend the 2020 West Pack trade show in Anaheim, California! On February 11th, West Coast’s largest packaging event will kick-off! Meet Allen Field’s packaging experts at booth #5321 to learn and explore our various packaging solutions! Here are a few items that are new to West Pack and be sure to request samples before the show!
Pegboard Fastening Clip
Pegboard displays are versatile retail solutions. With the freedom to move the display layout, your corrugated must be designed with variability in mind. Don’t forget to use the Pegboard Fastening Clip! This innovative display accessory works in unison with a standard Christmas tree fastener to maintain proper backspacing for the hook fingers every time. The clip is easy to install with no tools needed. Order now!
PP905 Open Hand Hold HandleProtect the die cut and the carrier’s hands by using a hand hole protector. For corrugated up to 0.2” in thickness, the PP905 is the ideal solution. This hand hole protector provides reliable support to single-wall corrugated boards through simple and quick installation. Be sure to request the die-cut dimensions to design your package right the first time! Don’t forget to check out the PP905 at Booth #5321.
Mini Side Mount Handle
Entice consumers to pick up and purchase your product with this new handle! The Mini Side Mount Handle is small and sleek, making it ideal for small packages weighing less than 1 pound. Simply insert the handle’s self-locking feet through two holes on the package and carry the product with confidence and ease.
Hang Eze Micro II Display Hook
Perhaps you are familiar with the Hang Eze Micro Hook. We are excited to introduce the next generation, the Micro II. West Pack attendees will be among the first to see this hook which now holds thicker header cards. Consumers are more likely to buy items that are easy to find, so make sure your displays are organized by utilizing our Micro II hook.
We can’t wait to see you in Anaheim between February 11-13, 2020. Register now with promo code SPECIAL to take advantage of free admission and to save 20% on conference fees!
2019 in Review
This past year has been filled with numerous challenges and successes here at Allen Field!
In January, the Double Tab Header Hook was introduced. This hook adds an additional tab to secure heavier products on various rod sizes. Install in just one second and hold up to 5 lbs. firmly.
During West Pack in February, Allen Field unveiled the newest addition in the Hang Tab series—the Super Duty Hang Tab. Featuring superior strength by optimal material selection and increased weight capacity of 20 lbs.! This hang tab functions in two positions for both shipping convenience and display readiness.
In March, we launched the Pegboard Fastener Clip for POP displays! This innovative display component allows display designers and assemblers to freely position the product hooks. Maintaining proper backspacing between the pegboard and the display frame keeps your display looking new and appealing, while also lengthening the life of the display.
At the beginning of summer, we introduced two light-weighted packaging components. First, the Mini Side Mount Handle and then the PP905 Handhole Handle. Big packaging & shipping problems were addressed by utilizing small packaging solutions.
August saw our biggest sales event ever! Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on our upcoming discounts and promotions. We also added two perfectly sized hangers to the Specialty Hanger series to ensure we carry the right solution for your product.
To coincide with our appearance at Pack Expo, the Strap Lock Handle was announced. This handle is made with strong materials, boasting an impressive carrying capacity of 80 lbs.!
After summer, Allen Field rolled out numerous packaging solutions to better serve our customers! First, we redesigned the Hang Eze Micro II to hold thicker header cards. Next, we changed the Dust Pouch of the PP800 to improve the carrying experience for users. Then, the newest Display Hook with a label holder was announced in October. It not only holds the merchandise but also creates eye-catching front space to show off important brand and product information.
As the holidays approached, we went back to the classics and updated the PP606 with a strategic flange corner and released the Partition Connector with Adhesive into the market. We are looking forward to the upcoming West Pack 2020. Make sure you stop by our booth (#5321) at the show to check out all the exciting products!
2019 was a remarkable year of growth. We extended our product lines to include portable case and electronic equipment handles and hardware for industrial carrying cases, musical equipment cases, and wooden furniture. In addition to over 100 new items, we pride ourselves on our flexibility to provide custom colors, sizes, finishes, and product combinations. Although our ambition keeps growing, our values remain the same. We will continue to serve you and your packaging, shipping, and display needs, and always deliver the finest products from our hands to yours.
Thank you for trusting us with your packaging challenges. The entire team at Allen Field wishes you a wonderful holiday season!
Community Values: Allen Field Co. Gives Back in 2019
Allen Field Company is proud to support the communities that we live and work in. During 2019, we took part in numerous events and below is a summary of some. We share our stories and experiences with the hope of inspiring others!
DonorsChoose.org is a United States–based nonprofit organization that enables individuals to donate directly to public school classroom projects. This year, we helped the teachers from Brentwood North Middle School to give their students the supplies, workbooks, and novels that they needed throughout the school year. The project was fully funded in only a few weeks and all the school supplies were delivered to the classroom before the beginning of the fall semester.
United Way’s Imagination Library helps underprivileged children get a head start on reading before they reach Kindergarten by sending them one book a month from when they are born until 5 years old. In September, Allen Field Co., represented by Rob Ahearn, participated the Fruit of the Loom’s yearly charity golf tournament and helped to raise over $56,200 for the program.
The-inn.org is the largest private social service agency of its kind on Long Island. It provides a broad variety of essential services to assist those challenged by hunger, homelessness, and profound poverty. The team from Allen Field Co. collected non-perishable food items and donated to the INN by participating in the 2019 Nassau County 5K Turkey Trot held in November. Together with over 700 adult runners and kids, we showed our support for our community while enjoying the fun run!
We are thankful for every employee and partner that makes our goal of giving back a success. As a community-minded company, Allen Field is constantly implementing sustainable business to provide customers with conscientious solutions throughout the supply chain. If you would like to partner with us to further these causes, please contact us today!
You Can’t Afford to Pass Up the Benefits of Prototyping!
Engineers utilize many tools in order to conceptualize a product that is attractive and functional. Advanced software and rapid prototyping are key technologies that help designers save time and money. The widespread availability of specialized design and simulation software in conjunction with 3D printing has led to products getting to market faster with fewer design defects and lower development costs.
3D computer-aided design software has become commonplace, thus enabling engineers to directly create their ideas in a virtual environment. Modern CAD software has advanced beyond simple modeling and now integrates manufacturing simulation, finite element stress analysis, rendering tools, drawing tools, and animated motion analysis abilities. Field specific to plastic injection molding, there are specialized programs to simulate part and mold design to anticipate defects and abnormalities. Draft angle requirement, part thickness, feature replication, plastic flow, shrinkage, and much more can all be evaluated before the design is taken out of the digital space. Modeling software can optimize designs through iteration for perfect product replication in high volume manufacturing.
Once digital optimization has taken place, realizing a physical object is equally as crucial. The “feel” of a product is very important and virtually impossible to replicate in software, but 3D printing bridges the gap. Eliminating the need for premature and costly tooling, 3D printing enables product designers to analyze the ergonomics and integrate a 3D prototype into other components for a comprehensive analysis. Any changes that may be needed can be quickly updated and a new 3D prototype can be printed immediately. Once the print is initiated, the 3D printers are completely autonomous; freeing up the designer’s time to multi-task! Moreover, advances in additive manufacturing have enabled highly accurate prints to be created in a wide array of materials.
After tooling is made it can be very expensive to make alterations if the desired alteration is even possible. By using rapid prototyping and similar advanced design techniques, you can drastically lessen the possibility of major and costly alterations or redesigns. Thus, eliminating redundant costs, saving time, and capitalizing on the efficiency of your resources.
At Allen Field, we utilize all these tools to create high-quality custom injection molded parts for our customers. With over 30 years of custom design experience, Allen Field delivers superior service at every stage of the design process from inception to prototyping to sourcing materials. We will work with you to find something in our product line that fits your needs, or we will create a unique solution just for your application. Contact us today to speak with one of our product experts and learn what Allen Field can do for you!
Pack Expo – New Product Spotlight!
We are looking forward to Pack Expo 2019 in Las Vegas! Are you ready for the largest packaging expo? With over 2,000 exhibitors at the show, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to learn about the latest innovations in the packaging industry. Over the last year, Allen Field has helped many customers define packaging problems and find solutions. We are excited to bring these innovative solutions to all Pack Expo attendees for the very first time!
1. Endless Possibilities for Pegboard Displays
Allen Field created the Pegboard Fastening Clip to enable retailers to arrange the hook positioning on a pegboard display without limits. The clip provides quick and easy installation since no tool is needed and the clip always keeps the proper spacing between the pegboard and display frame for the hook fingers.
Allen Field has developed and patented a line of display wheels and casters that easily attach to corrugated packaging and displays. The modular socket and caster eliminate the need for pallet jacks or other tools! With our wheel system, easily wheel a heavy display unit or container around a store, warehouse, or in transit. This system can also help reduce lifting injuries in the workplace!
3. Transcend Carrying Capacity of Plastic Handles
If you are looking for a modern handle that can carry 100 lbs. or more, look no further! The 8.5” Super Duty Handle features a flat profile with enhanced strength derived from sophisticated molding techniques. With a 125 lbs. proven holding capacity, this handle is the only choice for your most demanding packaging needs! Add even more value to this handle by customizing it with PMS color matching and your logo!
Our relentless pursuit of innovation has solidified our reputation as a leader in plastic packaging components. Whether you utilize our new Wheels or the Super Duty handle, you will be adding value to your packaging and improving the consumer experience. To see these new products and to learn from our packaging experts, be sure to stop by the Allen Field booth (#US-8406) at Pack Expo from September 23-25, 2019. Register for free with our special promo code 83T42. We look forward to meeting you in Las Vegas!
Automation in the Packaging Industry
The industrial sector is seeing great advances as automation revolutionizes the way manufacturers produce and package products. The utilization of these new technologies ultimately improves productivity, reduces labor cost, and increases overall safety of the workplace. The laborious and repetitive steps required in packaging is an ideal scenario for automation applications. To meet growing demand, CMC Machinery developed a corrugated box assembly machine that autonomously bends and assembles flat corrugated fanfold cartons. Their automation process can also fill the box, attach shipping labels, and add custom designs onto the plain corrugated. CMC asserts that their automated production line can produce 15 boxes per minute.
While traditional direct input automation has become more commonplace in the industry, the next step in innovation is the integration of artificial intelligence and complex software into these processes. In a typical packaging line, once a product is packaged, it then must be shipped. For industries with large orders of identical products, these individual boxes will usually be palletized. PalletizeUR is a breakthrough product that tackles this task by utilizing automation. What’s truly innovative is their hardware and software. The robot is self-contained, can be moved with a pallet jack, only requires a pneumatic connection and a power source. This is complemented by the complex software that enables the PalletizeUR to automatically palletize any box type in any configuration set by the user.
With the increase in complexity of automation, there is a noticeable and necessary shift toward digitalization. As more sensors are utilized and more is being asked of the technology, a larger amount of data must be processed. That data can ultimately be stored and analyzed to improve process efficiency in the future. Internet connectivity and AI bring packaging lines closer and closer to a zero-downtime state where production is maximized. Furthermore, new AI implementation has begun to predict machine wear and determine when periodic maintenance is needed. This enables the AI to monitor whether the machines are wearing abnormality and thus notify users. There is a growing body of research on “deep learning” AI, specifically in which the program is given only a few parameters and then teaches itself how to perform through trial and error. The packaging industry will greatly benefit from the use of automation and AI, which will make previously cost-prohibitive and physically injurious tasks possible.
Allen Field develops its packaging components with these challenges and technologies in mind. Currently, our product development team is working on a handle that can be employed on a fully automated production line. A lot of these new technologies are only beginning to be integrated into the packaging industry but Allen Field is committed to providing solutions that meet these changing demands. Want to learn more about Allen Field’s packaging solutions? Reach out to a packaging expert today by calling us at 1.800.535.0810 or email email@example.com. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter here to stay up to date on the latest Allen Field news.
In today’s global market, counterfeiting is, unfortunately, a common occurrence. Counterfeit items have a large impact on the end user, the companies in the production supply chain, and the manufacturer. Counterfeit items account for an approximate loss of $200 billion in revenues annually for American businesses and about 2.5 million jobs have been eliminated due to “black markets” (Levin, 2009). Often, these imitations have not undergone the same testing that the legitimate products have and pose a greater risk to the wellbeing and safety of the end user. This risk to the end user compounds the impact upon the company with lack of continuity and increased variance amongst packaged units. When one business unit cuts corners by using counterfeit components, corporate risk skyrockets! With the widespread use of the internet, it has never been easier for counterfeit products to enter the supply chain and ultimately end up in the hands of consumers. It is important for all players, from suppliers to consumers, to know the important role that they play in counterfeit mitigation through due diligence, awareness, and notification.
Due diligence within the distribution and manufacturing supply chains can be a strong and effective tool in combatting the propagation of inauthentic products. To combat supply chains from becoming infected with counterfeit components, it is best to only deal with trusted and reputable suppliers. Doing this can alleviate the risk of counterfeit products being supplied and can avoid the parts being over-produced and subsequently sold on the “black market”. Taking responsibility in managing your supply chains is an integral step in preventing the distribution and use of sub-standard products. Additionally, companies should scrutinize the products that are received from their suppliers. Quality, logo, and other distinct features should all be present during the initial inspection. If there is any doubt to authenticity or you encounter another company selling counterfeit Allen Field Co. products, we urge you to contact us either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-800-225-0396.
Counterfeiting is a serious challenge that poses deep economic and social impacts. However, when manufacturers, suppliers, and customers work in conjunction with one another, we can mitigate the adverse effects that counterfeiting has on the economy and society. Internal and external communication is key. Always be aware of the potential for this to occur by identifying possible vulnerabilities and being proactive in adapting company policy to address them and lessen the risk.
- Levin, E. K.; A safe harbor for trademark: Reevaluating secondary trademark liability after Tiffany v. eBay. Berkeley Technology Law Journal, 24(1), 491-527.
- G. Baldini, I. Nai Fovino, R. Satta, A. Tsois, E. Checchi; Survey of techniques for the fight against counterfeit goods and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) infringement; EUR 27688 EN; doi:10.2788/97231