Industry Terminology

To help you understand more about corrugated and our operations, we've compiled the following list of important terms used in the corrugated packaging industry on a daily basis. The glossary of terms below is organized alphabetically to enable you to quickly find the definition you need.


Anilox System:
An inking system utilized by flexographic presses. Comprised of a metal anilox roller that has been engraved with a fine cell pattern and coated with ceramic. A rubber roller or blade then regulates the amount of ink applied to the printing plates.
Bale:
A unit typically containing compressible materials enclosed in a fiberboard box and bound with straps under tension.
Banded Unit:
A package or pallet that has been bound, usually with plastic.
Bending Stiffness:
The bending stiffness test is used to evaluate the flexural rigidity, in both the machine and cross directions, of corrugated board using four-point loading.
Bending/Folding:
When referring to bending quality, the capability of a piece of containerboard or combined board to be folded along score lines without tearing of fibers or structural weakening.
Bleed:
To print a space beyond the scored edge to allow for the design to be cut or folded.
Box Manufacturer's Certificate (BMC):
A statement printed within a bordered shape on a corrugated or solid fiberboard box that identifies the manufacturer and guarantees that all applicable construction requirements of carrier classifications have been fulfilled.
Box Style:
Unique design of a box; does not indicate size.
Burst Strength:
The force necessary to break combined board or linerboard. Usually measured to determine the box's ability to withstand internal or external pressure and to securely contain the contents during rough or careless handling. Burst strength is usually measured a Mullen Tester, but cannot be performed on triple wall combined board and is of limited dependability for double wall. When considering certain specifications regarding the carrier classifications, minimum burst strength must be rated and certified.
Cardboard:
A generic term for any heavy pulp-based paperboard.
Carton:
A folding box, also called a folding carton, made from boxboard and used for consumer quantities of product. It is not recognized as a shipping container.
Chipboard:
A term for paperboard made from reclaimed paper stock.
Combined Board:
A fabricated sheet made from multiple components, such as solid fiberboard or corrugated.
Compression Strength:
A particular corrugated box's resistance to uniformly exerted external forces.
Conditioning:
Setting packaging material under standardized, controlled conditions to achieve specific moisture and temperature levels in preparation for testing.
Containerboard:
Paperboard used in the manufacturing of corrugated fiberboard.
Corrugated:
Any material featuring parallel folds or ridges.
Die:
A customized manufacturing tool used to cut or shape material using a press.
Display Ready:
A floor or pallet display that can be positioned in-store without assembly or filling.
Edge Crush Resistance/Short Column Compression (ECT):
The level of force necessary to cause compressive failure of corrugated board configured to specific dimensions. A primary factor in predicting the compression strength of a completed box. When following certain specifications in the carrier classifications, minimum edge crush values must be certified.
End-loading/Opening Regular Slotted Container (RSC):
An RSC configured to be filled from the side by sliding the product into the container. The direction of the flute is typically vertical when the box is in an end-opening position.
Extrusion:
The process of pushing material through a cross-sectioned die that enables easier, more complex production.
Fiberboard:
An engineered product made from wood fibers; commonly seen in particleboard and in the furniture industry.
Flexo Folder-Gluer:
A machine that in a single operation, prints, scores, slots, and folds a box blank, then glues the manufacturer's joint resulting in a completed Knocked Down Flat (KDF) box. After this phase, the KDFs are typically bundled for stacking and banded into a palletized load for shipment to a box customer.
Flexography or Flexo:
A printing method that utilizes raised type or plates made of polymers or rubber. Water-based, fast-drying ink is directly applied from the plate or type to the printing substrate.
Fluting Profile:
Varying degrees of fluting width and spacing that enable greater cushioning or structural strength depending on need.
Folder:
One or more pieces of combined board provide an unbroken bottom surface and are scored to fold around a product.
Four Color Process:
In order to create full color graphics, four halftone plates use the subtractive primary colors: cyan, yellow, magenta, and black.
Inner Packing Forms:
Die cut corrugated that is used to support irregular products from below or lock them into place from above.
Inner Packing Pieces:
Corrugated in any form that is used to cushion, separate or fill voids.
ISO:
International Organization for Standardization; a group of representatives from other national standard-setting organizations with political links; awards the coveted ISO certification.
Knocked Down (KD) or Knocked Down Flat (KDF):
A flat, unopened box that has had its manufacturer's joint sealed or has been partially or completely disassembled for packing and shipping. A KD box may be identified as "right hand" when the longer panel is on the right or as "left hand" when on the left.
Linerboard:
The flat part of corrugated that adheres to the medium or fluting.
Manufacturer's Joint:
Where the two ends of a box blank must be fastened together with tape, staples or glue.
Medium:
Another name for the fluted part of corrugated.
Mil:
A verbalized unit of measurement for thousandth(s) of an inch; also called a thou or point.
Nested:
When three or more different sizes of items are placed within the next larger unit size or when three or more of the same item are placed within each other so that each uppermost item does not extend above the lower article by more than one-third of its height. Can also refer to multiple items that have been designed to have some parts interleave with one another.
Overlap:
A design element that features top and bottom box flaps that do not join, but extend over one another. The amount to which a box features overlap is measured from flap edge to flap edge.
Packaging:
The art, science and technology of enclosing or protecting products for distribution, sale or storage; also, the process of design, evaluation and production of packages.
Pad:
A plain piece of corrugated that is used as padding or to separate products.
Partition:
Dividers that provide different cells for each product in the box; most frequently used with glassware.
Perf Score:
A scoreline in which recurring cuts have been made either partially or completely through the material to aid in folding.
Pulp:
A dry fibrous material made from the chemical or mechanical separation of fibers from wood, fiber crops or waste paper.
Puncture Resistance:
The ability of a material to resist progressive tearing once it has been pierced or cut.
Regular Slotted Container (RSC):
A box style made from a single sheet of corrugated that has been scored and slotted to allow for folding.
Rigid Box:
The three pieces of the rigid box style include two identical end panels and a body that folds to form two side panels, an unbroken bottom and top. Flaps used to form joints can be on the end pieces or the body or both. End panels are attached to the body with special equipment, and six or more joints must be sealed to set up the box before it is filled. Once the six or more joints are sealed, the box is solid.
Self-Erecting Box:
Typically a regular slotted container fitted with unique folds at the bottom or sides that allow the box to form quickly when needed.
Shelf Ready:
Containers filled with products that have been configured to allow for immediate placement on a store shelf, usually to serve as a dispenser, and without the need to remove each item individually when restocking.
Shell:
A solid fiberboard or corrugated sheet that has been scored and folded to form a joined or unjoined tube open at both ends. Often used as inner packing.
Slot:
Any rectangular area that needs to be cut away from a sheet of corrugated.
Slotted Box:
The slotted box style is generally made from one piece of corrugated or solid fiberboard. The blank is scored and slotted to permit folding. The box manufacturer forms a joint at the point where one side panel and one end panel are brought together. When the box is needed, the box user squares up the box, inserts product and closes the flaps.
Stacking Strength:
The maximum compressive load a container can uphold without breaking over a length of time and under certain conditions.
Tensile Strength:
The maximum tension a material can withstand before breaking.
Top-opening Regular Slotted Container:
An RSC configured to be filled from the top and stay upright. The flute direction is typically vertical in order to give the box maximum stacking strength.
U-Liner:
A protective layer typically made from single wall corrugated in the shape of the letter U.
Wax Cascaded:
Combined board that has been treated by cascading molten paraffin wax or wax blend over vertical box blanks ensuring that it flows down the flutes and over the facings.
Wax Curtain-Coated:
Combined corrugated board that has had its surfaces coated on one or both sides with a molten wax blend.
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