The Design and Manufacture
of bespoke packaging for a
range of industries including...
Exceptional performance from the right blend of materials
Designing packaging for efficient product protection depends upon choosing the right combination of materials. This not only eliminates the risk of damage, but helps deliver significant savings in shipping costs.
At the core of each successful application from Macfarlane are three key components:
- A thorough understanding of a wide range of materials and their capabilities.
- The ability to combine materials in custom pack designs which offer superior levels of protection.
- The resources to process all the component materials and assemble them into the finished packaging.
For every application, we deliver the ideal packaging solution – ‘no compromise’ product protection with improved cost-efficiency.
In both of Macfarlane Packaging's factories we process a wide range of materials. By working closely with leading manufacturers, Macfarlane ensures that customers benefit from competitive prices across an unparalleled range of non-hazardous, recyclable and energy-efficient materials.
Click on the links below to get more information on the range of materials and their benefits
Macfarlane works with leading global suppliers of corrugated board materials, and carries a comprehensive range in stock for rapid response to urgent and low-volume requirements.
All types of corrugated boards – from 2mm single flute to 15mm triple flute – can be provided and converted into outer cases and fitted interiors for effective product protection and export packing. These include boards which are tested under the MoD Def Standards 106 and 107.
All corrugated boards are constructed from high quality paper, with at least three laminated layers, forming a strong, rigid substrate. Various board formulations are available, including:
- K (Contains virgin Kraft paper for superior tensile strength)
- WSK (Contains wet strength Kraft paper and moisture-resistant glue)
- T (Test, made from fully or partially recycled fibres)
- SC (Semi-chemical, with flutes formed from partially treated pulp for a durable and glossy finish)
Many factors contribute to corrugated board performance, notably the grades, weights and combinations of the paper used, and the size and configuration of the flute type.
All corrugated board contains recycled materials and is itself fully recyclable. Macfarlane can also design re-useable packs, particularly economical within a ‘closed-loop’ system.
Glass reinforced plastic (GRP) is a composite material used in boatbuilding, automotive body components and street furniture – particularly where toughness, strength and durability is called for. These qualities make GRP ideal for specialist long life containers.
GRP is produced from glass fibre matting and thermoplastic resin, which can be moulded or formed into shape. Moulded packs require tooling, but highly detailed designs are possible, and finished packs combine extreme protection with an attractive and colourful finish.
Alternatively, the fibreglass can be ‘laid up’ over a substrate, forming a laminate with heavy duty corrugated board for example. This creates an extremely strong and rigid structure, with an excellent strength to weight ratio, and can be used for larger packs without tooling charges. Consequently, combining Tri-mite and formed GRP, prototypes can be produced for economic style and size testing.
GRP pack options include:
- Hermetic sealing.
- Fire retardant treatment.
- Permanent choice of colours.
- Security fittings.
Re-usable and repairable, GRP packs are ideal for ‘closed loop’ shipping operations thanks to its resilience and stability in extreme climatic conditions.
Timbers such as pine and spruce are purchased from renewable sources within and outside the UK, and a comprehensive range of cross-sections are kept in stock for fast, flexible response to urgent requirements. Applications include pallet bases, cases, interior fittings and fitments, including pallets specified to BS EN 13382:2002, and cases to BS1133 section 8 and Def Stan 81-14.
Our policy is to purchase from suppliers with FSC or PECE credentials, ensuring that only timber from sustainable sources is used. In addition, Macfarlane subscribes to Timcon and is audited at both manufacturing sites for ISPM15 conformity. This is the internationally agreed standard for wood treatment, and helps protect the world’s forests from disease. With this ‘passport’, our customers avoid frustrating delays when shipping across international borders.
Timber is, of course, a natural product and can be recycled, often in the manufacture of board materials such as OSB and particle board.
Macfarlane stocks and converts a range of solid fibre board sheet materials to meet urgent and low volume requirements. For larger quantities, any grade of board up to 2150 micron in thickness can be sourced and processed, including materials to meet Def Standard 81-15.
Solid fibre board is manufactured from high quality Kraft and Chip linerboard which gives excellent strength to weight performance and cost-effective protection.
All fibre boards contain recycled materials and are fully recyclable. Macfarlane can also design re-useable packs, particularly economical within a ‘closed-loop’ system.
The surface coating of protective packaging is often desirable, both for aesthetic and practical reasons, weather resistance, static conductivity or radar reflectivity.
Macfarlane’s manufacturing sites include spraying and drying facilities to add speciality coatings to the pack surface. Packs up to 3m cube can be accommodated, and low volume requirements can be processed economically.
Package surfaces can be painted, acrylic coated, varnished or, in the case of timber, treated with preservative. Screen printed or stencilled marking can be included where required.
Combining the attributes of heavy duty corrugated board with accurately machined joints, Tri-Mite containers are designed and engineered for superior strength and excellent stacking properties. This makes them particularly suitable for re-useable applications.
Characterised by their precise and clean lines, Tri-Mite packs can be produced in a wide variety of styles to satisfy very specific requirements with no tooling costs.
Popular styles include:
- Standard hinged lid for simple taped closure.
- Wraparound design, with hinged lid and multi-trip fasteners and optional integral handles.
- Split front wraparound, for returnable cases where additional depth is required.
- Tote tray design, made to custom sizes.
All cases can be fitted with internal supports and partitions to protect and separate the contents; corrugated board, foamed and rigid plastics can all be used to suit individual applications. There’s a choice of handles, and finishing options include varnishing, acrylic coating, painting and screen printing.
A popular choice for re-useable packaging, Tri-Mite cases make substantial use of recyclable materials, depending upon the fittings and design features used.
The movement of hazardous materials by any form of transport is internationally regulated, and specific packaging is required - along with contents ID - that is relevant to the materials to be shipped, and to the mode of transport involved.
Manufacturers of hazardous products, which include paint, perfume, bleach, nail varnish, solvents, propane, acetylene, acids and certain adhesives, need to identify the product with a UN-recognised code, and pack and label it accordingly.
Macfarlane’s experience can help you establish these requirements and provide the necessary packaging. A range of standard packs are available off the shelf for low volume use, spanning a range of sizes and application types.
For larger volumes, Macfarlane will design, test and manufacture a pack to satisfy your precise requirements by using our expertise to provide a compact and cost-effective solution. Bespoke packs will be certified by the Dangerous Goods Office of the VCA (Vehicle Certification Agency). The certificate lasts for five years and is renewable.