FOR BEST RESULTS AND MAXIMUM PROTECTION

  • Use the right size.CornerGards and EdgeGards are designed for different applications and weight capacities. If you’re not sure which size to use, call or email us for assistance.

  • Use the right amount. In most cases, more coverage means more protection.

  • With No gaps. CornerGards or EdgeGards in place, your product should fit snugly in its carton, with no excess room.

  • No bulges. Carton flaps should close uniformly.

SCROLL
 

02

NO EDGE CONTACT

RIB AND TUNNEL DESIGN

A unique geometry of ribs and tunnels lets CornerGards and EdgeGards provide impact protection without direct contact to corners and edges.

This ribbed design also absorbs impact, dissipates energy, and dampens vibration over a wide frequency range. And because CornerGards and EdgeGards flex on impact, they reduce shock well below the damage boundaries of most products.

 

In fact, Western’s design is so effective, it’s received patents in the U.S.A., Canada, and Mexico.

03

CONFIGURATIONS

 
SHOCK BLOCK COMPONENTS

Corners (C) provide first-line defense against damage and other rough handling your product is likely to encounter.

 

Position Edges (E) along the perimeter of your product to absorb impact on contact. 48” lengths quickly snap apart to 6” increments.

 

Reveals (R) solve the problem of corner protection for casegoods and occasional tables with overhangs, offsets, and reveals. Sized to fit most casegoods, they’re easy to pack, locking in place once inserted.

 

Foldable, dual-purpose Frames (F) provide continuous wraparound corner protection. Also, used to guard against damage to toe space areas.

 

Pockets (P) are designed to protect cabinet door corners.

 

Toe Spaces (FFN) extend protection up the door face and underneath the cabinet. Prevents the carton corner from crushing.

HOW TO AVOID FINISH ISSUES

Western has identified several common circumstances that can result in finish issues.

PRINTING (SURFACE IMPRESSIONS)

 

The packaging inserts are leaving impressions on the surface coatings of finished products. This is often referred to as "printing" or "transferring".  Based on years of experience troubleshooting printing issues with our customers, it is unlikely that Western’s pads are the root cause of the issue.

Careful examination has shown us changes in either the environment (specifically temperature and humidity); in the finish composition; or in production practices, can lead to finishes not drying or curing properly. When this occurs, an impression from packaging materials onto (or into) the finished surface coating can result. The following guide may help in diagnosing this problem and recognizing a pragmatic solution. Note: As always, Western is ready to join any discussions with vendors or your supervisors aimed at solving such situations.
 

How to test for printing problems:

If a finish is believed to be cured when it leaves the factory, but customers complain about surface impressions found on shipped goods upon receipt, here is a tried and proven method of testing to confirm the finish is adequately cured (dry) before it leaves the factory:

  1. Package a product normally. Set it aside with sufficient weight on top of it to simulate the package being under load during shipping.

  2. Check after 24 hours. Generally, this is all the time needed before uncured or slightly wet finishes will show visible markings.

  3. Look for evidence. Open the package and look for marks similar to the type of inner pack used. It will be easier to see these marks on darker, high sheen finishes, and harder to see on lighter finishes. Ribbed, molded fiber inner pack may leave rib impressions. The corrugated inner pack may leave flute line impressions and EPS inner pack may result in a dull finish in contact areas. It is not uncommon for undulations in carton flaps to cause printing as well.

  4. If printing is found: This is strong evidence that the finish is not drying or curing properly, and is likely the root cause of the printing issue.

 

Common circumstances that can result in a finish not drying or curing properly:

Based on years of experience helping customers solve finish issues, we have compiled the following list of questions that can usually help our customers assess why this is happening:

  1. Has there been a recent change in formulation or finish suppliers? (Solution: Work with the finish supplier to chemically achieve adequate curing time based on the climate where it is being applied.)

  2. Has the method of paint or stain application recently been changed? (Solution: re-evaluate the in-house process until testing shows the finish is allowed to cure properly.)

  3. Has the length of drying time for the finish recently been reduced? Sometimes drying time gets reduced as a cost-cutting measure. (Solution: Make sure the finish supplier is aware of and has formulated the product for the shorter dry times.)

  4. Are you using a surface wrap under inner pack pads, and if so, has there been any change in the material or its application? (Solution: determine if the surface wrap might be preventing proper curing of the finish.)

  5. Is the wood material being checked for proper moisture content both at delivery and prior to entering the production process? (Solution: If moisture testing is not being done prior to production, introduce a procedure to test the wood—especially when working with a new supplier.)

  6. Are there substantial seasonal changes in temperature and humidity in the region based on the time of year? (Solution: Seasonal weather changes, in particular, humidity may impact cure times.  Contact your finish supplier to make sure adjustments are made to account for seasonal weather conditions.)
     

Buffing or Deluxing. While this is no longer common, some furniture companies practice “buffing” or “deluxing.” After the products have been cured or dried, employees use orbital sanders with buffing pads attached to increase the sheen on their products. The practice often heats up the sealer topcoat or lacquer, softening it to the point of being susceptible to printing.

RUBBING

 

Rubbing or abrasion marks are being reported by end customers upon receipt.

An improperly sized carton is likely the culprit. The old adage “inner pack is only as good as the outer carton” is still true today.

If you pack product, you know the latest challenges:

  • Manufacturers must do more with less—in product and packaging, cost containment is crucial.

  • What’s more, environmental regulations have changed the nature of paint or applied finishes. Many are softer and more delicate than their catalyst-based predecessors.

  • Most corrugated carton manufacturers now use greater recycled fiber, reducing container strength and protection.

  • The shipping environment has changed, too: common carriers, leased trucking fleets, and LTL shipments all mean more handling and less control.

 

All of this puts more emphasis on the need for correctly sized cartons combined with the appropriate protective inner pack. A poorly sized carton does not properly secure corner pads and edge guards in place. Movement occurs between the inner pack and finished goods during shipment when products are jostled in transit. This creates friction, heating up the finish, softening it, and increasing the potential for rubbing or abrasion marks.


If you pack product, you know the latest challenges:

  • Manufacturers must do more with less—in product and packaging, cost containment is crucial.

  • What’s more, environmental regulations have changed the nature of paint or applied finishes. Many are softer and more delicate than their catalyst-based predecessors.

  • Most corrugated carton manufacturers now use greater recycled fiber, reducing container strength and protection.

  • The shipping environment has changed, too: common carriers, leased trucking fleets, and LTL shipments all mean more handling and less control.

 

All of this puts more emphasis on the need for correctly sized cartons combined with the appropriate protective inner pack. A poorly sized carton does not properly secure corner pads and edge guards in place. Movement occurs between the inner pack and finished goods during shipment when products are jostled in transit. This creates friction against the finish, softening it, and increasing the potential for rubbing or abrasion marks.

Properly Sizing a Carton

A properly sized carton, when closed, will not allow any movement of the product contained. If it is an outer carton, it should easily close without bulging corners or splitting the sides. A proper fitting outer carton provides better protection during shipment and will keep the inner packaging in place with less movement. This will help it perform against the rigors of today’s challenging distribution environment . . . especially in less-than-truckload shipments. Tests have shown cartons get looser during shipment. Starting with a properly-fitted carton increases the product’s chances of holding up and looking its best once it arrives, in part because the inner pack will have been allowed to do its job while being held snugly in place against the packaged item.

Shock Block Cushions for Delicate Finishes

Western developed our Shock Block line to better protect fine finishes. If you have a properly sized carton and still find abrasion marks when using our standard pads, consider upgrading to our Shock Block line instead.


Get Sound Advice

If this information does not help you to find a solution to your packaging issues, call or email us. We’ll be glad to help. Western prides itself on our responsive customer service and outstanding field support.

 

Below are two Case Studies that may be of interest.

CASE STUDY #1 (PRINTING ON LACQUERED FINISH)

A kitchen and bath cabinet manufacturer suspects inner packaging materials (corner and edge protectors) are leaving impressions on the lacquer topcoat of finished products. 

Step #1—Identified with the customer when the impressions were first discovered, for example, was it during the summer months or cooler periods of the year.

  • It is important to determine if higher seasonal humidity levels slowed the curing time of the finish material. In this case study, the issue was occurring randomly at different periods of the year.

 

Step #2—Identified if any changes with the finish material or finish supplier had occurred.

  • Changes in finish suppliers can lead to variations in formulations from one supplier to the next. In this case, there was no change in finish material provider but it was determined that the addition of different levels of “sheen” added by the manufacturer likely led to the occasional impressions on their products.

 

Step #3—Western worked with the cabinet manufacturer to do an in-house test in an attempt to replicate the “impressions” customers were reporting.

  • This test consisted of packaging a finished cabinet with a variety of corner protectors after it had been through their drying ovens and then placing weight on top of it overnight to simulate being under load during shipping. The test showed that regardless of the packaging material used, all specimens showed some type of “printing or impressions” on the cabinet.

 

Conclusion and Corrections—different sheen requirements resulted in inconsistent curing of the finish. The manufacturer worked with the finish supplier to reformulate the material supplied and also increased its drying oven temperature resolving the issue.

CASE STUDY #2 (PRINTING ON PAINTED FINISH)

 

A manufacturer of painted multi-use furniture suspects inner packaging materials (corner and edge protectors) are leaving impressions on black-painted furniture. 

The discussion with the cabinet manufacturer followed the same steps as with Case Study #1, except it pertained to painted materials. Issues first showed up when they began using black paint. This was a valuable point to understand since they had not had any issues prior to the introduction of black paint to the product line.

 

The manufacturer put Western in contact with their paint supplier. We interviewed the paint supplier regarding the formulation used for the paint, the amount of pigment, etc. The supplier confirmed everything was correct with the formula.

 

Western worked with the cabinet manufacturer to do an in-house test in an attempt to replicate the “impressions” end customers were reporting.  The product had been through drying ovens and allowed to air dry for several days before testing. Several product samples were tested along with a variety of inner pack materials. Test product was packaged with weight placed on top to simulate normal distribution and were allowed to sit overnight. Upon inspection, it was found that regardless of the packaging material used all showed some type of “printing or impressions” on the furniture.

 

Conclusion and Corrections—The customer had their paint supplier reevaluate their paint formula. It was determined that the “pigment level” in the paint’s formulation was too thick and the paint was not completely cured before the application of a topcoat sealer, The formulation was corrected and the problem resolved.

101 Rubbing Photo 1
101 Rubbing Photo 1

Example of rubbing caused during shipment.

press to zoom
101 Rubbing Photo 2
101 Rubbing Photo 2

Example of rubbing caused during shipment.

press to zoom
101 Printing Photo 3
101 Printing Photo 3

Example of printing on a painted finish on a cabinet inspected prior to shipment.

press to zoom
101 Printing Photo 4
101 Printing Photo 4

Example of printing on a painted finish on a cabinet inspected prior to shipment.

press to zoom