Packaging Advice

The top 4 pain points of electronics packaging & how to avoid them

5 mins

Typically, electronic items require the most attention to detail when it comes to packaging, and there are several reasons why. Not only do they feature fragile parts that require extra protection, such as screens and electrical components, but are often highly valuable, making them worthwhile targets for criminal activity. But let’s explore this in further detail.

In this article, we bring you the top 4 pain points of electronics packaging, and explain just how they can be avoided.

1. Electrostatic discharge (ESD)

Static charges, or electrostatic discharge (ESD), is the sudden flow of electricity between two electrically charged objects. It can result in a range of issues for packaged electronic devices and can be caused by two separate events:

  • Static electricity – This is often generated through tribocharging, the separation of electrical charges that occurs when two materials are brought into contact and then separated – think about rubbing a balloon on your hair, the static electricity created here is through tribocharging.
  • Electrostatic induction – This occurs when an electrically charged object is placed near a conductive object isolated from the ground. The presence of this charged object creates an electrostatic field that causes electrostatic charges on the surface of the electrical device.

To put things simply, ESD is a tiny version of lighting.

Whilst ESD may not necessarily cause visible damage on its first instance, over time, repeated cases of ESD will shorten a products lifespan, and at worst case, cause catastrophic failure.

So, what exactly can be done to prevent ESD during storage and shipment?

With an extensive range of ESD protective packaging products, you’re able to store and ship your electronics without the worry of static charge damages. From anti-static polythene bags, through to open top and zip top metalized bags, there’s a cost-effective solution out there to suit your packaging and business needs.

2. Heavy handing & impact damage

Now, this point goes for all types of products and in all sectors really, but for electronics specifically, heavy handling and impacts can have serious consequences to the health of the product (if not package properly of course).

Due to the fragile components that most electronics feature, even the smallest of knocks could cause visible damage. Think TV screens, mobile phone screens, laptops and more.

When it comes to avoiding damage caused by impacts, adequate levels of protective packaging are crucial. Now, the type of protective packaging used will depend on your electronic product, and whether bespoke protection is required or not, but there are several out-of-the-box solutions that could be ideal for you. Here’s a look at our range of protective solutions.

3. Component damage

Electronic devices consist of many essential components, and it’s crucial for each of these components to work as expected. If just one of these components become damaged, the product cannot function properly as a whole.

The following components are amongst the most found in modern electronics.

  • Microcontroller
  • Transformer
  • Battery
  • Fuse
  • Relays
  • Switches
  • Motors
  • Circuit breakers

The problem with these components is that they’re hidden away inside the electronic device. So, if one becomes damaged during shipment, it stays undercover until the end users attempts to power it on.

So, how can we best protect the internal parts of an electronic device?

Like the point above, it all comes down to protective packaging.

However, there are certain products that focus on preventing these damages before they even occur. If you haven’t heard of them before, let us introduce you to impact labels.

Impact labels are secured to the outside of a package and act as a warning to handlers. They often feature a ‘Caution, handle with care’ message, but their greatest benefit comes with the impact indicator. This presents a permanent indication when your package experiences a force beyond a specific G-level (this is dependent on the impact label you decide on)

At Swiftpak, we stock a range of impact labels with various sensitivities, from 25G up to 100G. If you’re unsure which impact label is right for your electronics, contact our team today, we’d be happy to assist.

4. Package tampering & theft

Unfortunately, not every package arrives as it should. Due to the value of most electronic devices, they’re often susceptible to tampering and theft during delivery.

Although we can’t fully prevent individuals taking packages, we can help deter them from being opened.

Tamper evident tapes

Using tamper evident tapes to seal cartons is a great way to protect your product from unauthorised access – gummed paper tape and reinforced paper machine tape are great examples of this. By creating an inseparable bond between the tape and the carton, it makes package access simply impossible without leaving a trace.

No, this doesn’t make the package impossible to open, but the damage caused to the carton upon peeling back the tape leaves enough evidence to show tampering.

Tamper evident cartons

For more valuable items, simple but cleverly designed cartons can be made to fold into tamper evident boxes, perfect for mobile phones. But how do they work?

Tamper evident cartons are designed to make unboxing impossible without damaging the package. This leaves a clear evidence of tampering which can’t be hidden.

Electronic packaging solutions from Swiftpak

Here at Swiftpak, we stock a range of packaging products to help protect your electronics during shipment. Paired with our extensive market knowledge and ability to design bespoke solutions, we can provide the very best electronics packaging for your business.

For more information on how we can support your electronics packaging needs, contact our expert team today - we’re standing by to answer any questions you may have.