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How Metal Manufacturers Can Minimize Product Damage with Innovative Protective Films

With steel prices rising, supply chain management and protecting metal workpieces are crucial to minimize end-of-year costs. Temporary protective film can help.

The steel industry has been one of the hardest hit since the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to higher-than-ever demand and never-ending price increases. With this demand continuing to soar, protecting metal workpieces is vital for minimizing costs and limiting damages during manufacturing and delivery.

It’s here that protective film can be an effective tool to manage the supply of steel by reducing material waste and helping companies avoid costly damages that affect their throughput.


Providing Protection

Products that arrive to end users with scratches or dents will likely lead to significant return and repair costs on behalf of a company. Even worse, damage produces material waste, which is harmful to the environment. On a surface level, the last thing a customer wants is a shipment to arrive with dents or scratches. Pregis PolyMask temporary protective film ensures items remain damage-free throughout the manufacturing, shipment, and delivery process.

Service centers that deal with the fabrication, handling, and shipping of metals can get enormous benefit from protective film. When service centers produce the metal sheets, they need those sheets to arrive at their customers plants unscathed.

Another industry that is well suited for protective film is transportation. Because the interior and exterior of cars, planes, trains, buses, and RVs are typically constructed with steel and other metals, protection throughout this process is all the more important to combat rust and corrosion. Then there are products like mirrors and stainless steel appliances, which also benefit from protective film.


The Production Process

In the manufacturing process, laser cutting without protective film creates a high risk for burn marks or frayed edges. Think about companies that manufacture refrigerators or design cabinets and countertops — protective film can help protect against damage during the cutting and shaping processes.

Protective film allows producers to skip a step and perform laser cutting right away, saving time and money and creating a more stable supply chain. Plus, ensuring the accuracy of metal cutting means large bulk orders will arrive to customers on time with no need for repairs.

The more refined the process, the less likely there is to be damage when the product reaches an end user, meaning companies can keep their customers happy.


Film Application

As much as possible, manufacturers want to limit damage  — and returns — when those materials reach fabricators or manufacturers using those materials to build new products. The alternative is frustration and delay for the customer and costly replacement and reshipment for the company.

Protective films are designed for protection from the beginning — as a defense mechanism during the cutting process, when a product is sent to manufacturing for product application, and finally when the product is delivered.

They also work to preserve the performance and appearance of plastic surfaces during production, assembling, and finishing processes. A bonus is they’re solvent-based, which means they’re designed to protect metal, plastic, glass, and carpet surfaces. As more appliance manufacturers produce fingerprint-resistant finishes and many industries sell products with specialty coatings, protective film can be used specifically as a safeguard for these items.

Coated and uncoated metals with customizable color options are also protected, as are painted metals that use topcoat paint systems. Carpet surfaces that might be found in a living room or staircase, in addition to windows and coated glass, work well with protective film application too. It’s important to note that metals and carpet surfaces are vulnerable during the assembly, shipping, and application process, so applying protective film is a way to ensure that these products remain unscathed.


Keeping Peace of Mind

Preventing scratches and dents shouldn’t be a constant stressor. Protective film adds another layer of defense during every step of the manufacturing and delivery process, keeping customers happy and companies efficient. 


Contact us for more information on Pregis' protective film services