In 2004, Spiral Paper Tube & Core started manufacturing Edge Protectors.
WHY ARE EDGE PROTECTORS NEEDED?
Paper prices were on the rise and manufacturing corrugated boxes became increasingly more expensive. In order to keep providing cardboard boxes at reasonable market prices, manufacturers decided to use lower quality paper.
The most common example of a low-quality paper product is the egg carton. The paper used to make an egg carton has been recycled so many times that it can only be molded or formed. It has very little structural strength, but it is good enough to hold a dozen eggs.
Imagine a piece of string that is 24 inches long. A lot can be done with a string of this length. Now imagine it is cut in half, giving you 12 inch pieces. Fewer things can be done with these strings. Now imagine those pieces are cut in half again, giving you 6 inch pieces. Even fewer things can be done with these short pieces. Paper fibers are the same way.
Each time paper is recycled, the fibers are shortened, reducing its strength and the way it can be used.
Cardboard boxes suddenly became weaker, compromising the integrity of the contents inside. Enter Edge Protectors. A pallet could have a number of these weaker corrugated boxes on it, but by adding four pieces of Edge Protectors to the corners, the pallet was re-stabilized.
Weak corrugated boxes, combined with Edge Protectors, were less expensive than using a high-quality box. For the past decade, this has become the new shipping standard.
WHY DO EDGE PROTECTORS HAVE DIFFERENT NAMES?
It can be challenging sourcing Edge Protectors because one product has different names. Several manufacturers have trademarked “their” name for the same product. The product is also commonly referred to as corner protectors, v-board, v-guard, edge guards, paper profiles (in European countries), corner boards, etc.
Manufacturing Edge Protectors is very similar to spiral paper tubes. Both products require the same two raw materials: paper and glue. When making Edge Protectors, a number of different plies (layers) of paper are brought together, glue is applied, it is formed into an “L”or “V” shape, and then cut to length.
The resulting packaging product is a very strong, 100% recyclable Edge Protector that can be used vertically and/or horizontally.
HOW TO MEASURE EDGE PROTECTORS
Edge Protectors have four dimensions: Leg 1 x Leg 2 x Thickness x Length.
One of the most frequently used sizes is a 2.5″ x 2.5″ x .225″ x 48″. This means the first “leg” is 2.5″ wide, the second “leg” is 2.5″ wide, it is .225″ thick, and 48″ long. The “leg” dimensions are typically the same, though not always.
The thickness is determined by the application – if it needs to be “load bearing” (holding up weight from above), a thicker Edge Protector would be required. If it is being used to protect from banding or strapping, a thinner piece could be used. Lastly, the length is determined by the height or width of the shipment. For example, if a shipment is 48″ long, a 48″ piece would be used.
ORDERING EDGE PROTECTORS
Each size Edge Protector has a pre-determined number of pieces per pallet. Edge Protectors are usually sold by the pallet, although half, and less-than-half pallet quantities can be made. (Order fewer pieces does not reduce the lead time). Pallet pricing is the most economical and increases, per piece, as the quantity reduces.
KRAFT VS. WHITE EDGE PROTECTORS
Spiral Paper Tube & Core manufactures both kraft and white Edge Protectors. Although they are different in appearance, the pricing and turnaround time remains the same. The default is white Edge Protectors and kraft is available upon request.
PRINTING A LOGO OR HANDLING INSTRUCTIONS
One-color, flexographic printing is available on all Edge Protectors.
Based on the size of the Edge Protectors to be ordered, a Sales Representative will provide the dimensions your logo or graphic needs to be. It is always suggested to use large, legible fonts and graphics to increase visibility.
Email your vector file (Illustrator files are preferred, .ai) and, in return, a PDF proof will be provided for review and approval. A rubber stamp like print plate will be then be made.
Spiral Paper Tube & Core stocks the most widely used ink colors – blue, black, green, and red. Custom colors are also available; the Pantone number or GCMI number need to be provided.
The turnaround time for printed Edge Protectors is a little longer than normal on first orders only.
After a print plate is made, Spiral Paper Tube & Core keeps it on file, and the lead time of future orders returns to normal. Depending on order volume and frequency, print plates can last for years.