Keeping Our Kids Safe with Child Resistant Packaging

Locked4Kids Child Resistant Packaging

As parents of young children, one of our main responsibilities is to keep our kids safe.  Before babies start crawling, we child-proof the house by locking cabinets, installing gates, covering electrical outlets, and adding soft bumpers to sharp table edges. And that’s just the start. With every step a child takes, and with every new skill they develop, we discover dangers lurking almost everywhere we go.

Medicines and cleaning solutions are among the serious household threats our children could encounter. Our first line of defense is to keep these items locked in cabinets, out of reach of children.  If kids do happen to get their hands on pill bottles, liquid medicines, or cleaners, developments in child resistant packaging over the last few decades have made it difficult for them to get these open.

Safety caps on bottles require a level of dexterity in pushing and turning simultaneously that is beyond what most children would be capable of doing.  Pills and capsules can also be protected in blister packs that are difficult for children to break open.

Now there is a new child resistant carton that has proven effective at safeguarding kids from pharmaceuticals packaged in boxes.

Locked4Kids Carton

Locked4Kids is a breakthrough carton packaging designed specifically to protect young children from accessing the contents of the carton. As the company explains:

Locked4Kids consists of a carton and a tray in which products such as blisterstrips are positioned. The carton has openings at two sides in which the tray automatically locks when fully inserted. The tray has hooks at two sides which have to be pushed simultaneously to unlock. While keeping the hooks pressed the tray should be pulled out of the carton.

The push points are placed diagonally across each other at a distance that adults can physically cover. This distance however is too much for young children.

To prevent children from tearing the carton box, a tear resistant laminate has been applied to the cardboard. Locked4Kids is patented.

Recognizing the importance of this ground-breaking design in child resistant packaging, Atlantic has proudly partnered with Locked4Kids in our carton sales to pharmaceutical companies and over-the-counter (OTC) retail marijuana distributors.

It is becoming law (and is currently the law in Colorado) that states who legalize cannabis have written legislation requiring child resistant (CR) packaging.  According to current Colorado regulations, these CR containers must feature key information including usage instructions, warnings and regulatory statements, and cannabis pedigree information.

Locked4Kids Carton

Locked4Kids cartons are intended as direct-to-consumer packaging and, as such, their design offers a number of benefits.  They are compatible with standard packaging equipment and are compliant with CR packaging requirements. They also offer a better sales platform for attractive packaging design and for including all the required product information.

Locked4Kids earned the  prestigious Gold President’s Award from the World Packaging Organization as well as the CPHI Pharma Awards in the category of “Innovation in Packaging.”

Atlantic is dedicated to innovative and effective packaging solutions that meet the demands of our customers and our customers’ customers.

To learn more about options in Child Resistant packaging, contact Atlantic today.

Keeping it Together – Unitization for Building Products

Unitization for Building Products
Unitization for Building Products

When we talk about unitization and packaging for the building products industry, we are talking about labeling, coding, and protecting products as diverse as PVC piping, drywall panels, and block masonry. Manufacturers throughout this industry rely on packaging that will protect their products when exposed to the elements, when handled on forklifts, and transported on trucks, trains, and ships.  They also rely on labeling and coding that will withstand all of the above and make it to the retailers intact.

Dry Wall Panels Unitization

Fragile products such as drywall panels require great care in their packaging to keep them secure during transit and storage.  Brick and block are more rugged but require just as much care so as not to overpower the packaging and cause serious damage.  PVC pipes can be unruly to handle, relying on the packaging to keep them organized and easier to manage.

Unitization refers to grouping individual products into standardized larger units designed to increase efficiency in handling and transportation.

Whether we’re working with carpet squares, ceramic tiles, light fixtures, windows, roofing shingles, paint, electrical wire or any other building product, achieving unitization means we’re keeping the product safe, we’re optimizing the pallet and the truck load capacity, we’re revealing the label and bar code effectively, and we’re reducing the potential for damage during transit and storage.  We’re also making it easier and faster to handle the materials through loading and unloading.

Strapping for Lumber Unitization

Atlantic’s experience in working with building product manufacturers includes helping our customers achieve unitization. We supply the right equipment, materials, labels, and printing for each unique product and application, and provide creative solutions to reach the most effective methods for material handling.

Some of these solutions include strapping tools and materials, shrink film, cornerboard and slip sheets, stretch film with UVI agents, plain and printed poly bags, UVI coated labels, and inkjet printing. We also use systems of packaging equipment, including conveyors, whose controls are programmed to provide safe and productive flow through your plant.

Contact Atlantic today to learn more about our packaging work in the building products industry: (800) 722-5841

See our work in other industries:

Modern Packaging Challenges in the Beverage Industry

Kyle Pischel and Ben Graham from Atlantic inspect pallet wrapped water bottles

Have you noticed changes in plastic water bottles over the last several years? Smaller caps, smaller printed labels, and lighter plastic are a few of the ways that beverage companies are reducing waste in their packaging.  They are also bundling their cases without the use of corrugated trays.

And these changes are making a difference.

Nestle Waters states that by reducing weight in their half-liter bottle, they are using an average of 37% less plastic than their original half-liter and have saved 65 million pounds of PET plastic resin.  And by reducing the label size on the bottle by 35%, they have saved almost 10 million pounds of paper annually (source: Packaging Innovation – Nestle Waters, link here).

Ice River Springs makes their bottles out of 100% recycled green plastic for closed loop recycling. This means that they’re making no new plastic for their bottled water (see: Ice River Green, link here).

As more and more beverage companies make moves to become environmentally friendly and adopt changes to their primary packaging, bulk shipments of the product from the bottling facility to distributors and retailers are in danger of being less stable and more susceptible to damage during transit.  Companies have to rely increasingly on their pallet wrapping operation to keep the product safe and contained during shipping and storage.

Beverage Industry Pallet Wrapping

At Atlantic, we have stretch packaging engineers and film specialists dedicated to meeting the demands of these unique and ever-changing packaging challenges.  This team studies prestretch, secondary stretch, wrap patterns, and overlap.  They analyze how these elements need to interact on the pallet in order to achieve the desired containment force that will protect the product in every individual case.

We share the results of our data and analysis in Stretch University, a program aimed at educating our customers on all the elements of a properly wrapped pallet.  Through hands-on demonstrations, we show the best practices and common pitfalls of film being applied to a pallet. Stretch University demonstrates that simply applying more film or increasing tension will not protect product from damage.  The right film matched with the proper equipment settings together with the appropriate prestretch, secondary stretch, and wrap patterns all collaborate on creating an effectively wrapped pallet.

Beyond analysis, training, education, and the technical service required to get all of these elements just right for our customers, Atlantic has also developed a monitoring system called Materials Usage Standards Tracking (MUST) to ensure that the proper benchmark settings are maintained over time.

It is inspiring to see so many companies evolving their products and processes to be more environmentally mindful.  Matching that evolution with a packaging process that results in less wasted film and less damaged product is not only possible, it is a fundamental part of Atlantic’s commitment to sustainable packaging.

Contact us to learn more about stretch packaging, Stretch University, or the MUST monitoring program.

Atlantic Employees Go The Extra Mile

Extra Mile Challenge Day

[Update: 159 Atlantic employees met this challenge of 15,000 steps in one day. What a huge accomplishment! Congratulations to everyone who made it and to everyone who made an attempt, especially in the hundred degree temps we are experiencing right now in North and South Carolina.]

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We’ve always taken great pride in our determination and ability to go the extra mile when it comes to meeting the needs of our customers.  Today, Atlantic employees are challenged to go the extra mile… literally.

As part of our current 30-week Wellness Challenge powered by Fitbit activity trackers, employees are challenged to walk 15,000 steps today. Everyone who accomplishes this goal with earn this badge in our Wellness Challenge Leaderboard: The Extra Mile Challenge.  Our usual daily goal is about 6,000 steps with an “overachiever” goal of about 8,500 steps/day.  So today is our big sprint day.

In issuing this challenge, our Wellness Coordinator provided employees with 15 ideas on how to get 15,000 steps on June 15th. These tips are great for anyone trying to work in some extra steps in their day-to-day activities:

1. Take a walk before work
2. Walk during your break/lunch
3. Park farther away
4. Use the restroom farthest from you
5. Walk to your co-workers desk instead of emailing
6. Go on a walk with your family after dinner
7. Have a walking meeting instead of using a conference room
8. Set a reminder every hour to get up from your desk and take a quick walk down the hall and back
9. Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible
10. Go grocery shopping and take an extra lap or two around the perimeter of the store
11. Skip the drive thru and walk inside to pick up your coffee or lunch
12. Walk to your mailbox
13. Utilize your stand-up desk and walk in place
14. Walk around while talking on the phone
15. Check your Fitbit throughout the day and set small goals to get to 15,000!

The Extra Mile Challenge

Here’s a little background on our Wellness Challenge.

Atlantic launched a Wellness Program in 2012 to encourage employees to live a healthier life. Management took the program to another level by issuing a Six-Month Wellness Challenge powered by Fitbit activity trackers and incentivized with valuable prizes.  They also put up a leaderboard with names and daily step activity to fuel the competitive spirit.

The results from that first challenge were amazing overall.  Employees lost a total of 630 pounds, some quite smoking, lowered cholesterol and triglyceride levels, got off medications, and many went from doing no exercise at all to running 5Ks, 10ks, and even half marathons. It was truly life-changing for some of the participants.

We are currently in our third company-wide challenge with over 350 employees taking part.  As of 9am this morning, we already had 2 participants reach today’s goal of 15,000 steps with another 20 people halfway there.  Atlantic employees are going the Extra Mile today for our own collective health, confidence, sense of accomplishment and to show just how hard we will work to reach our goals.

Without a Scratch – Protective Packaging for Automotive Manufacturing

It’s no secret that people love their cars and trucks.  Well, some people.  But for the people who do, they really, really love them. And these car and truck lovers will appreciate the lengths that automotive manufacturers and their packaging companies go to in order to protect each and every part during the manufacturing process.

The challenges of shipping a windshield wiper blade or a car bumper so it arrives without a scratch are part of what fuels our custom packaging designer, Norm Samuelson. Norm has always been a car lover and, with an engineering and design background from Purdue, he spent his early career on a race team, working his way up to crew chief.  His main goals in building racecars back then were to make them as light as possible and to make them simple, reliable and easy to work on.

Norm Samuelson, Custom Packaging Engineer

These goals eventually translated directly to the custom packaging lab when Norm began his work as a packaging designer in 1992.  In the lab, they attempt to use as little material as possible in order to control costs.  They create designs that are simple and easy to pack so as to save time.  Saving time and money while protecting the product is the ultimate goal for Norm today. (See: Automotive Industry – Atlantic Packaging.)

Protective Packaging for Windshield Wipers

Norm and his team together with our sales representatives are acutely sensitive to the demands of the automotive manufacturing industry. They understand the unique requirements of this industry including product protection, competitive pricing, on-time delivery, and accurate, detailed invoicing.

Automotive part manufacturers count on Atlantic to deliver measurable results and innovative solutions for their packaging needs. Watch the video below to hear from Norm and to see our protective packaging design in action.

Contact Atlantic today to learn more: (800) 722-5841.

Here’s a look at our work in other industries:

Paper Converting Thrives in the Digital Age

Paper Converting, Atlantic
Lewis Deans at Atlantic’s industrial paper converting facility in Tabor City, NC.

With the ubiquitous presence of smart phones, tablets, e-readers, and laptops that can deliver, publish, and save content on-demand 24/7, it seems that paper would be less relevant in today’s world.  And while the amount of paper used for books and newspapers has been in decline over the last decade, there are other markets for paper, including packaging, that have remained steady and even experienced growth in that same time.

This week, we’re following #ThePaperTrail, a series by NPR’s Morning Edition as they explore the future of the paper industry.  Their reporting finds thriving industry niches, including paper converting for recycled cardboard and high-end stock for self-published photo books.  They cite e-commerce, particularly Amazon, as a boon for the paper industry in terms of the cardboard and paper packaging.  Another aspect of their reporting reveals that students who take handwritten notes on paper during their classes are better able to remember conceptual information over the long term.  Paper notebooks and planners are as popular as ever.

At Atlantic, we are very much in touch with (and part of) the past, present, and future of this industry.

Paper Converting Industry, Atlantic
Atlantic Packaging’s Paper Converting Operation in Tabor City, NC

Our company got its start in the newspaper business, publishing a weekly community paper, the Tabor City Tribune.  Atlantic’s founder and Tribune publisher, Horace Carter, received a Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service in 1952 for his editorial work at the paper in speaking out against the KKK.

Later, Atlantic expanded from newspapers into printing, paper converting, and office products distribution. We have continued to grow these sectors of our business even as we’ve expanded into packaging equipment sales and technical expertise.

In 2014, Atlantic became the largest converter of bleached paperboard in North America. with the acquisition of three International Paper converting facilities and, in 2015, Lakeland Paper Company in Michigan.  We also run a robust brown paper converting operation that is heavily involved in die cutting, sheeting, and wide web printing.

Today, we work closely with paper mills, commercial printers, packaging plants, and manufacturers to provide converted paper that meets a vast variety of purposes, from slip sheets to folding cartons.

So as you reflect on life in a paperless world, take a look at all the forms of paper you interact with in your everyday life – tissues, toilet paper, paper towels, cardboard boxes, books, and notepads. You might envision a stronger future for paper than you thought.

Labeling, Coding, and HP Printing for Food Packaging

Labeling, Coding, HP Printing
Labeling, Coding, and HP Printing for PTI and FSMA Compliance

More and more consumers are demanding information about the food they’re buying. They want to know where it was grown and how it was grown. Retail sellers recognize this fact and are also acutely aware of food safety concerns when it comes to fresh produce.

Food safety hinges on the ability to trace a packaged food to its origin, especially when we’re dealing with fresh fruits and veggies that can be linked to a particular farm and to a particular packaging facility. In fact, it’s critical to be able to trace our fresh food throughout the entire supply chain.

The Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) has been developed to help standardize case-level electronic traceability in the produce industry. Growers are adopting these standards as retailers such as Walmart, Costco, and Whole Foods announce their support and make PTI compliance a pre-requisite for supplier partnerships.

Compliance with PTI means that packers need case coding and traceability systems linked to the printing of PTI barcodes on cases. Packaging consultants and specialized printers who work directly with food packaging can help packers get set up with this level of labeling, coding, and HP Printing.

If consumer and retail pressure are not enough, brand owners and packers must also be aware of the impending requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Batch/Lot level requirements and advanced record keeping will soon be a legal requirement.

Why not let the experts at Atlantic Packaging work with you to get ahead of the curve and limit your liability in the event of a catastrophic recall?

Atlantic provides our customers with a unique combination of packaging expertise, equipment, and printing capabilities ideal for PTI and FSMA barcoding applications. Contact us to learn how we can help you become PTI compliant, understand FSMA and get out ahead of the curve.

Food Safety with Flexible Packaging

Flexible Packaging for Food

If you do your shopping at the supermarket, wholesale stores, specialty markets, or convenience stores, you’ve more than likely come into contact with flexible packaging.  Also known as plastic packaging (or plastic bags), flexible packaging is the material that touches the food we eat on a daily basis.  This type of packaging is critical for food safety, food preservation, and longer shelf life.

What Makes the Film So Special?

Most flexible packaging is a combination of different types of plastic that contain properties to protect many kinds of foods.

This includes moisture barrier films for items like potato chips and crackers. There are also films that are coated to prevent fog and condensation for products like lettuce and salad greens.  Flexible packaging for frozen foods is thicker in order to stand up to freezing cold storage conditions.  Microwavable and self-venting packaging means that the product is conveniently ready for us to cook inside the packaging without extra preparation.

Shrink Film for Fresh Food

Films for flexible packaging encompass a variety of forms, including poly bags, coextruded barrier films, printed specialty films, shrink films, and industrial films and bags.

Films in the form of bin liners are widely used in food production facilities to maintain a safe environment while our fresh food is being prepared and packaged. These films are so important for protecting our food and also for protecting the people working with the food in the facilities.

The materials used in all of these applications are essential to delivering a product that is safe to eat, fresh tasting, and that will last long enough for us to purchase, store, prepare, and eat.

Packaging Automation

How our fresh food products are packaged for mass distribution is a feat of modern technology.

Food can be packaged in bags, tray packs, pouches, reclosable bags, or in shrink films.  In each case, the packaging process is most likely automated using equipment specific to the type of packaging being used.

For example, Vertical Form, Fill, and Seal (VFFS) machines use roll stock to create the desired form for the bag, to fill the bag with product, and to seal it closed with a zipper, heat seal, or cold seal.  Shrink tunnels heat the shrink film, allowing it to form to the product.  Vertical bagging equipment is used for bagging cups, plates and other stacked product.

Vertical Bagging Equipment

How We Do It

Atlantic has been working with flexible packaging for the food processing industry for over 40 years.  We have excellent and long standing relationships with our vendors and we have true partnerships with our customers.

Our knowledge and experience with these materials and equipment means that our customers can rely on us to get them exactly what they need.  We are also keenly aware of the need for rapid response in the fresh food industry.  Our people are dedicated and responsible and our network of resources means that we can deliver the materials or fix the equipment quickly and efficiently.

We’re proud of our reputation as a supplier and a packaging consultant in the food industry and we look forward to many more decades of service.

Related Posts:
Fresh Ideas for Packaging Fruits and Veggies
How Product Packaging Can Help You Reach More Customers

Furniture Industry Suppliers for Over 40 Years

North Carolina has earned the title of Furniture Capital of the World through a solid and expanding presence of furniture makers dedicated to quality, craftsmanship, and design.

We are honored to have served the furniture industry for over 40 years.  We keep in-stock inventory of the unique supplies used in this trade, including spring twine for 8 way hand tied furniture, bandsaws, cardboard panels, tacking strips, sewing thread, bobbins, and welt cord.  Our inventory management program and local, dedicated deliveries for these customers allows them to maximize their floor space for production rather than for inventory.

Atlantic is invested in the success of our furniture making customers, using our vast network to locate any new supplies they need and offering fast turnaround with competitive pricing.

Contact Atlantic Packaging today to learn more about our successful partnerships with furniture makers.

Employment Opportunity – Web Developer, Programmer

We’re seeking a web developer to work in-house on web design, site integration, and collaboration with a creative marketing team for an established company of over 1,000 employees.

Our company consists of dedicated sales, support, and manufacturing positions around the US, primarily in the southeast. The marketing team serves the greater needs of the organization in creative, unique ways and the developer is a key part of this process in terms of strategy, planning, and implementation.

This position is ideal for fast learners interested in working for a well-established company with opportunities for creativity and gaining new skills.

For the complete job description and contact details for this position, please visit:

Web Developer / Programmer at Atlantic Packaging – Employment Opportunity