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Updated 10 June 2010

P2B – Packaging-to-Business (P2B)

PA (polyamide) – Nylon

Package – A container that provides protection and identification, and promotes the sale and use of a product.

Package integrity – Unimpaired physical condition of a final package.

Packaging board – Board for making consumer packs (carton board) or transport packs (kraft liner and corrugating medium)

Packaging compatibility – Attribute of the packaging material and/or system to allow it to achieve the required performance without detrimental effect on the medical device (ref. ISO 11607 – 2003(E)).

Packaging engineering – The activity in which scientific and engineering principles are applied in solving the problem of functional design, formation, filling, closing, and/or preparation for shipment of containers (regardless of type or kind) or the product enclosed therein. Packaging engineering includes the study of products, packages, materials and containers, structures, methods, machinery, and transportation; it deals with such disciplines as chemistry, physics, mechanics, machine design, industrial engineering, electronics, materials handling, and other specialized skills.

Packaging material – Any material used in the fabrication or sealing of a packaging system or primary package (ref. ISO 11607 – 2003(E)).

Packaging supply chain – The steps required to create and manufacture the packaging, package the product, distribute the packaged product and sell it in the stores, through point-of-purchase (POP) displays or other means.

Packaging system – (1) One or more packaging materials assembled into a single unit intended as part or all of a primary package (ref. ISO 11607 – 2003(E)). (2) Process by which one or more packaging materials are formed into a product container.

Painted Sheet – Sheet printed with ink edge to edge, as compared to spot colour. The painted sheet refers to the final product, not the press sheet, and means that 100 percent coverage results from bleeds off all four sides.

Pair Kerning – Automatically kerning selected pairs of characters when they would otherwise be spaced too close or far apart. The font designer specifies characters that are pair-kerned.

PakSense TXi label

Pallet – A low, portable platform of wood, metal, plastic, or fibreboard which facilitates the handling, storage, and transportation of materials as a unit.

Pallets (ISO-formats) – Optimum palletising is one of the retail requirements to be considered already when developing a package in order to reduce logistics and handling costs. On the picture illustrated, the various ISO- formats are shown. Packages with those outer dimensions can be piled on pallets without leaving any space. As basis serve the pallet dimensions 1/1 (800 x 1200 mm), ¼ (400 x 600 mm) as well as ½ (600 x 800 mm) – Chep-pallet.


PAN – Polyacrylnitril fibre.

Panel – (1) A face, side, top or bottom of a folding carton. (2) One page of a brochure, such as one panel of a rack brochure. One panel is on one side of the paper. A letter-folded sheet has six panels, not three.

Pantone – The Pantone name is known worldwide as the standard language for colour communication from designer to manufacturer to retailer to customer. Pantone Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of X-Rite Inc, and is the world-renowned authority on colour and provider of colour systems and leading technology for the selection and accurate communication of colour across a variety of industries. In 1963, Lawrence Herbert, Pantone’s founder, created an innovative system of identifying, matching and communicating colours to solve the problems associated with producing accurate colour matches in the graphic arts community. His insight that the spectrum is seen and interpreted differently by each individual led to the innovation of the Pantone Matching System, a book of standardized colour in fan format. (www.pantone.com)

Pantry Vendor – Similar to GPI’s patented Fridge Vendor package. It’s a fully-enclosed paperboard container that features a dispenser-style opening, permits interlocked stacking, and has plenty of exterior surfaces for attractive wrap-around graphics.

Paperboard – A general term descriptive of a sheet of fibrous material usually made on a cylinder or Fourdrinier machine from either virgin wood fibre (pulp), or recycled paper stock (old newspapers, old corrugated), or a combination of these fibre sources. Paperboard differs from paper in that it is heavier, thicker, and more rigid. The two general classifications of paperboard are containerboard, which is used principally in making corrugated and solid fibre boxes; and boxboard, the bending grades of which are used in the manufacture of folding cartons.

Paperboard (spirally wound) – see Paperboard tubes or Composite cans.

Paperboard Tubes – A paperboard container constructed by first wrapping a layer, or layers, of paperboard by hand or on a machine called a winder that generates tubes of a specified diameter in long lengths, about 6′ long. Barrier liners of different types are required for food products. Graphics may be part of the substrate being wound but this is typically true only for the less expensive tubes. Once produced, the long tube is subsequently cut to a length that a machine called a labeller can handle. The printed graphics are applied, and the tubes are re-cut to the package size. Depending on the type of ends or closures needed, the tubes are then sent to one or more of a variety of different finishing machines.
Pure paperboard tubes are environmentally friendly in that they are recyclable. Certain plastics and metal content can change that, however. Typically, tubes are not manufactured from board with recycled content, but can be when requested. See also Composite cans


Papermaking pulp – Pulp intended for the manufacture of paper.

Paper Plate – A printing plate made of strong and durable paper in the short run offset arena (cost effective with short runs).

papiNet – Began in Europe, in efforts to automate paperwork between paper companies and their customers, printers, and print buyers. It is based on using the Internet as a means of communication, and it seeks to standardize many transactions, including requests for quotes, order entry, order scheduling, order status, etc.

Parallel tuck carton – A carton with both tuck ends attached to the same panel.

Parchmentization – Method of treating a paper sheet with sulphuric acid to make it greaseproof.

Parent Sheet – Any sheet larger than 11′ x 17′ or A3.

Parison – (1) The preliminary shaped red hot glass that hangs from the neck rings as the blank moulds open shortly after the molten glass has been sucked into these moulds. Also, called “pattern” or “blank.” (2) A hollow plastic tube from which a container is blown in extrusion blow moulding. (3) In injection blow moulding, it is the plastic shape formed by the core rod and parison mould that is transferred into the blow cavity for forming the final shape.

Parison Cavity – Cavity that forms the exterior surface of the parison in injection moulding.

Partial overwrap – A wrapping partially enclosing one or more packs.

Parting Line – (1) A mark on a moulding or casting where halves of mould meet in closing. (2) (Glass) The slight horizontal ridge formed by a surplus of glass blown into a worn crevice or joint between two parts of the mould equipment. These lines may occur on various areas of the container, such as between the neck ring and the plunger tip or guide ring, between the neck ring and blank or mould, and between the mould and bottom plate. (The vertical line formed by the joint between two halves of the same mould part is called a “seam.”)

Passe-partout board – Grade of board used for making frames, e.g. for photographs.

Paste Board – The physical substrate, usually composed of a stiff paper board, used for composing camera ready artwork.

Paste-up – The process of manually adhering artwork, galleys and other type to a pasteboard or other substrate. The bonding agent is usually hot wax or adhesive.

Pasting – Two, three or four plies of paper and paperboard are glued together to form a solid fibreboard with a thickness ranging between 0.8mm to 3mm. The boards are used for a variety of applications such as shoe boxes, screen printing, display boxes, board games, book covers and ring binders.

Patent Coated Boxboard – A combination white vat lined board made on a cylinder machine. One or both sides of the board consists of bleached raw material and centre plies are generally of less expensive grade.

PATS see Pressure-assisted thermal sterilization.

PC – Polycarbonat.

PCM – phase-change material.

PCO 1881 – The new (2010) standard neck finish and closures finalized by the International Society of Beverage Technologists, as replacement of the widely used PCO 1810. The new standard seeks to reduce resin costs associated with making polyethylene terephthalate pre-forms and polyolefin closures. The standard applies to containers 0.5 to 1 L in size, the bulk of CSD bottles made from PET. It will create thinner neck finishes and lighter-weight polyolefin closures, decreasing the amount of material used in pre-forms by 1.3 grams and in standard 28-mm closures by 0.5 grams. PCO 1881 has the added benefit of “green” engineering. Lightweighting a high-volume product like CSD bottles reduces the amount of post-consumer waste generated by the market-savings that on a global scale equate to hundreds of millions of pounds of resin per year.

PCS (Profile Connection Space) – A reference colour space is a device-independent theoretical colour model used by a CMM (colour engine) for translating colours from one device’s gamut to another. The CIE Lab is an example of a Reference Colour Space. This component is built into the CMM; it is neither alterable nor visible to users; also Reference Colour Space (RCS).


PE – (1) Polyethylene, depending on its density, it may be low density (see LDPE), medium density (see MDPE) or high density (see HDPE). Used as a bonding agent in wet lamination. (2) Proofreader mark meaning printer error and showing a mistake by a typesetter, prepress service or printer as compared to an error by the customer.

Peel-off seal

Peel strength – The measured stress through peeling of a bonded surface resulting in an adhesive failure.

PEMA – copolymer polyethylene-co-methacrylic acid.

PEN – Polyethylene naphthalate

Penetrability – The degree of spread of resin or other liquid substance through a substrate from top to bottom after a given amount of resin is absorbed.

Perf Marks – On a “dummy” marking where the perforation is to occur.

Perfecting Press – Press capable of printing both sides of the paper during a single pass. Also called duplex press and perfector.

Perforating – Punching a row of small holes or incisions into or through a sheet of paper to permit part of it to be detached; to guide in folding; to allow air to escape; or to prevent wrinkling when folding heavy papers. A perforation may be indicated by a series of printed lines, or it may be “blind,” i.e., scored and creased without a printed indication on the cut line.

Performance qualification – Documented evidence that packaging meets the appropriate requirements for sterile packaging based on testing of the particular packaging material for compliance with the applicable requirements of this international standard (ref. ISO 11607 – 2003(E)).

Periodic Reverse Plating – A method of plating in which the current is reversed periodically. The cycles are usually no longer than a few minutes and may be much less.

Permeability – (1) The passage or diffusion of a gas, vapour, liquid, or solid through a barrier without physically or chemically affecting it. (2) The rate of such a passage.

Permissible Exposure Limit – Also referred to as PEL, federal limits for workplace exposure to contaminants as established by OSHA.

Peroxide bleaching – Method of bleaching pulp with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). In case of chemical pulp reduces or avoids the need for chlorine dioxide in final bleaching. In case of mechanical pulps the most common bleaching method as such.

Pesticide Sensitivity – A problem, mostly associated with HALS (and to a lesser degree with Nickel compounds) which arises from the basic character of these molecules as they are alkaline in nature.  Pesticides commonly contain Halogen or Sulphur (or both) atoms in their molecules.  The alkaline amine might react with these Halogen or Sulphur containing compounds (or their degradation products which are acidic) thus becoming inactive by forming amine salts.

PET – Polyethylene Terephtalate. Tough, temperature resistant polymer. Bi-axially oriented PET film is used in laminates for packaging, where it provides strength, stiffness and temperature resistance. It is usually combined with other films for heat sealability and improved barrier properties. Images and artwork are usually printed on the reverse side of it.

PET- bottle (beer) –

PET-bottle (hot-fillable) –

PET-bottle (water) –

PET-bottle (wine) –

PETG – Polyethylene terephthalate glycol.

PET-G Shrink Films – Polyethylene Terephtalate Glycol shrink film. The most expensive shrink film for full body shrink sleeves, but clear, glossy, strong, and most recyclable.  The highest shrink percentage available is about 75%, so this film is often required when the container has a narrow waist or neck.

PFA – Perfluor-Alkoxylalkan.

PG-Tape – A reclosure technology for flexible packaging, as alternative to zippers. Developed in Japan, PG-Tape incorporates a light-tack adhesive that enables 10 to 12 reclosures of the package. The concept provides a benefit for children and seniors, who may lack the manual dexterity and/or strength to reclose a conventional zipper. Although not suited to dusty products, which would affect the adhesive’s performance, the tape is suited to a variety of moist and dry products, including cookies, dried fruit and pet snacks. The first commercial use of the technology in Japan, is for shrimp-flavoured crackers.

PGW See Pressurized groundwood pulp.

pH – A measurement of acid strength.

PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate) – Resins known as aliphatic polyesters, or a family of polymers that are made biologically by converting sunlight and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere using microbial or plant bio-factories. Produced from organic sugars and oils which break down in soil, composting, waste treatment processes, river water and marine environments, the only products generated during decomposition are carbon dioxide and water; since these are the materials required used to make the material, the life cycle is effectively a closed loop. One example of a PHA is the new Mirel corn-sugar-based resin from Telles, a joint venture of Metabolix and Archer Daniels Midland. PHA is said to be a lot like polypropylene as far as its properties and its potential applications are concerned.

PHB – Polyhydroxybutyric acid.

Phenolic – (1) The generic name for phenol-formaldehyde thermosetting plastic that is moulded or cast. (2) A synthetic resin to improve the drying and gloss.

Phenolic Resin – Phenol-formaldehyde resin, typically solvent-based, used to treat kraft paper for HPL laminates. Flame-retardants, plasticizers or other chemicals may be added to enhance the resin’s properties.

Phenoplaste – Polycondensation of phenol or cresol with formaldehyde. It is used in all electrical articles and as glues. Phenoplastes are on market as Bakelite, Dekorit, Haveg, Pertinax, Trolitan, Trolitax.

Phosphors – Materials that emit light when irradiated by cathode rays, or when placed in an electric field. The quantity of visible light is proportional to the amount of excitation energy present.

Photochemical smog – Air pollution caused by chemical reactions of various pollutants emitted from different sources.


Photoelectric – Pertaining to the electrical effects of light or other radiation- for example, emission of electrons.

Photoengraving – Engraving done using photochemistry.

Photo Initiator – An additive in ultraviolet curable inks and coatings that acts as a catalyst when the ink or coating is exposed to ultraviolet light.

Photo Plate – A light-sensitive printing plate. The plate is developed like film and then used on a printing press.

Photoreceptor – The cone   and rod shaped neurons that cover the retina of the eye. Photoreceptors are excited by visible wavelengths, then send signals to the brain where the sensation of colour is perceived.

Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) – Energy from the visible range of solar radiation, (400 – 800 nm), the wavelengths most active in photosynthesis.

Pica – A unit of measure in the printing industry. A pica is approximately 0.166 in. There are 12 points to a pica.

Picking – Partially dried ink or part of the substrate surface transferring from the substrate web to a roller. It occurs when the pulling force (tack) of ink is greater than the surface strength of the paper, whether coated or uncoated.

Picking resistance – Ability of a paper surface to resist picking by tacky printing ink.

Pickle – An acid solution used to remove oxides or other compounds from a metal surface by chemical or electrochemical action.

Pigment – (1.) Fine solid particles used to give colour to printing inks. (2.) Colouring and opacifying materials used in paper coatings, such as refined clays, calcium carbonate and titanium dioxide.

Pigmentizing – Light coating of paper with a chemical agent (pigment) to reduce surface porosity.

Pilferproof Seal – A seal that cannot be opened without partially destroying the closure or otherwise showing evidence of tampering.

Piling – The build-up of ink on rollers, plates or blankets, instead of transferring readily. Also known as Caking.

Pillow Pouch –  (Three Side Weld) – A pouch made from two pieces of film, sealed on three sides leaving one side open.  A pillow pouch has no gusset.

Pin Register – Technique of registering separations, flats and printing plates by using small holes, all of equal diameter, at the edges of both flats and plates.

Pinch Off Tail – The bottom of the parison pinched off and closed when the mould closes.

Pinch-off – A raised edge around the cavity in the mould which seals off the part and separates the excess material as the mould closes around the parison in the blow moulding operation.

Pinholing – Small holes (unwanted) in printed areas because of a variety of reasons.

Pitot Tube – A device for measuring the pressure created by air velocity.

Pixel (Picture Element) – The smallest distinct unit of a bitmapped image displayed on a screen. A single element or point in a picture. A monitor’s image is made up of individual dots of light, or pixels. The resolution of a monitor is often described in terms of how many pixels it can display (e.g., 768 pixels vertically by 1028 pixels horizontally). A monitor resolution description in terms of pixels-per-inch (ppi) is similar to a printer resolution description in terms of dots-per-inch (dpi).

Planographic Printing – Printing method whose image carriers are level surfaces with inked areas separated from non-inked areas by chemical means. Planographic printing includes lithography, offset lithography and spirit duplicating.

PlantBottle – trademark of The Coca Cola Company – PlantBottles are PET plastic bottles made partially from plants, which reduces the company’s dependence on a non-renewable resource – petroleum. Other benefits are that it is 100 percent recyclable, and preliminary research indicates that from the growing of the plant materials through to the production of the resin, the carbon footprint for the PlantBottle packaging is smaller than for bottles made with traditional PET. PlantBottle packaging is currently made through a process that turns sugar cane and molasses, a by-product of sugar production, into a key component for PET plastic. The sugar cane being used comes from predominantly rain-fed crops that were processed into ethanol, not refined sugar. Ultimately, Coca Cola’s goal is to use non-food, plant-based waste, such as wood chips or wheat stalks, to produce recyclable PET plastic bottles. Coca-Cola is currently sourcing raw materials for its PlantBottle from suppliers in Brazil, where third parties have verified that best-in-class agricultural practices are the norm. As of November 16, 2009 the company announced that beverages in its innovative PlantBottle packaging are beginning to arrive on store shelves in select markets throughout the world, initiating the production of 2 billion of the special PET bottles by the end of 2010. While the bio-based component can account for up to 30 percent of the resulting PET plastic in PlantBottle packaging, the percentage varies for bottles that also contain recycled PET. For example, Denmark uses recycled content in its PlantBottle packaging.

The combined plant-based and recycled content makes up 65 percent of the material, with 50 percent coming from recycled material and 15 percent from plant-based material. For the PlantBottle packaging in the United States and Canada, up to 30 percent of the content in the PET plastic comes from plants.

PLA Shrink fIlm – Polylactic acid from NatureWorks. A film made from corn instead of oil. Not only is it produced from renewable resources but it is biodegradable in composting conditions.  Currently being introduced, it is destined to be the shrink film of the future.

Plastic Codes for Recycling (source: http://www.PlasticFreeBottles.com)


Plasticizer – Liquid or solid additive used to impart flexibility to a dry ink film or overprint varnish.

Plastisol – A liquid mixture of resins and plasticizers which is solidified with the application of heat.

Rexam plastopPlasTop closure for juice – Trademark of Rexam – Tamper-evident closure designed for non-carbonated hot, cold and aseptic fill beverage containers. The compression moulded closures feature a reliable wing design for high speed and easy application. Available in narrow neck and wide mouth finishes.

PlasTop II closure – Trademark  of Rexam – Lined tamper-evident closure ideal for carbonated soft drinks, bottled water and specialty drink products.

Plate – Piece of paper, metal, plastic or rubber carrying an image to be reproduced using a printing press.

Platemaker – (1) In quick printing, a process camera that makes plates automatically from mechanicals. (2) In commercial lithography, a machine with a vacuum frame used to expose plates through film.

Platen – The flat mounting plates of a press to which the entire printing assembly is fastened.

Plate-Ready Film – Final photographic film or other artwork used to “burn” printing plates. No additional paste-up or stripping should be required if artwork is actually plate ready.

Plating Range – The current density range over which a satisfactory electroplate can be deposited.

PLI – Abbreviation for Pounds per Lineal Inch. A unit of tension measurement expressed as the total force (in pounds) on the web in the machine direction (MD) divided by the width (in inches) of the web. Expressing tension in PLI allows comparison of typical tensions between various width webs or various web substrates. See the chart for Typical Recommended Running Tensions for Common Web Materials.

Plotter – A device that exposes photographic film or paper, printing plates or cylinders in a sequential linear raster fashion.

Plow-Bottom Stand-up Pouch – a stand-up pouch that is made from one piece of film. The front, gusset, and back are continuous, so there is no seal at the gusset. Hold more weight than Doy-style pouches, and are commonly used for products weighing more than one pound.

Plug – A push fitting closure.

Plug lid – A removable lid that is a push fit into the opening of a container.

Ply – One of the layers of boxboard formed on a multi-cylinder paperboard making machine. Each cylinder adds one web or ply to others which are pressed together and dried to achieve the desired thickness.

PMMA – Polymethyl-Methacrylat.

PMMI – Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (USA).

PMP – Polymethylpentene.

PMS (Pantone Matching System) – A means of choosing and matching specific colours by assigned numbers. See also – Pantone Colors.

PMS Number – The Pantone Matching System is the universally accepted colour definition system. Colours can be blended or individually specified to match a specified Pantone reference colour exactly.

Point – (1) Regarding paper or cardboard, a unit of thickness equating 1/1000 inch. See “Calliper.” (2) Regarding type, a unit of measure equalling 1/12 pica and .013875 inch (.351mm).

Point-Of-Purchase Display – A box or rack, sometimes made of sturdy board, which displays merchandise near the cash registers of a retail outlet. See also POS – Point-of-Sales.

PolarChem – Brand of heavyweight mediums used in wet service applications.

Polar Solvents – Solvents with oxygen in their molecule, such as water, alcohols, esters and ketones.

Polarization – The change in potential of an electrode during electrolysis.

Polishing – Smoothing of a metal surface by means of the action of abrasive particles attached to the surface of wheels of endless belts, usually driven at high speed.

Pollution Prevention (P2) – Pollution prevention is the reduction or elimination of waste at the source by modifying production processes, promoting the use of non-toxic or less-toxic substances, implementing conservation techniques, and re-using materials rather than putting them into the waste stream.

Polyacrylnitril fibre (PAN) – It is a product of polymerization of acrylnitril. Dralon, Dolan (Germany) Orlon (USA).

Polyamide fibres (PA) – It is on market under Perlon(Germany) and Nylon(USA).

Poly-coating – Also referred to as extrusion coating. A continuous film extruded (molten polymer forced through a narrow slit) applied to a moving web of material, which typically consists of LDPE (low density polyethylene), HDPE (high density polyethylene), or LLDPE (linear low density polyethylene), and PET (polyester) to produce a moisture and vapour barrier, heat sealability, and printability.

Polyester – The typical molecular structure is …-CO-O-… (ester group). This group is repeated throughout the whole long molecule. It is being obtained by poly-condensation of high alcohols and carboxylic acid.

Polyester Resin – A solvent-based resin that was the original LPL resin. Polyester resin is extremely flexible but more expensive than melamine. Mineral fillers impart specific properties to the composite. Common fillers are calcium carbonate, clay and alumina tri-hydrate. The latter is used to impart flame resistance, track resistance, and low smoke density.

Polyethylene – A thermoplastic material composed of polymers of ethylene. It is normally a translucent, tough, waxy solid which is unaffected by water and by a large range of chemicals.

Polyethylene naphthalate (PEN) – A resin that has greater barrier properties than PET and can be blended with PET. Used for packaging alcoholic beverages, such as beer.

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) – A resin with outstanding clarity and good resistance to impact, along with good barrier properties to resist grease and oil, cold and sunlight.

Polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG) – A resin with good barrier properties and outstanding clarity, with a slightly higher tolerance to distortion temperatures compared to PET.

Polyethylene, high-density (HDPE) – In the high-density grade, this thermoplastic material is more rigid and less permeable than the low-density grade. It also displays a higher tolerance to distortion temperatures.

Polyethylene, low-density (LDPE) – Squezability is good, especially in the low-density grade of this thermoplastic material. It also displays better resistance to impact than the high-density grade.

Polyhydroxybutyric acid (PHB) – The biopolymer is regarded as a ‘sleeping giant’. PHB is a polyester which is fermentatively produced from renewable resources, with properties similar to those of the well-known plastic polypropylene. It has a melting point of over 130ºC, forms clear films and has outstanding mechanical properties.

Polymer – Organic chemical compound consisting of repeating structural units Cellulose is a polymer, as are many extruded coatings.

Polymerization – A chemical reaction in which the molecules of a monomer (simple chemical) are linked together to form large molecules whose weight is a multiple of that original substance. In the oxidation of drying oils, it is accompanied by the change from the liquid to the solid state.

Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) – It is the product of the polymerization of methacryl acid methylester. It is known as “organic glass” as security glass under the name of Plexiglas and Resartglas.


Polypropylene (PP) – A tough, lightweight, rigid plastic made by the polymerisation of high-purity propylene gas in the presence of an organometallic catalyst at relatively low pressures and temperatures. Has much higher melting point, thus better temperature resistance than PE. Two types of PP films are used for packaging: cast (see CAPP) and oriented (see OPP).

Polystyrene (PS) – A water white thermoplastic produced by the polymerization of styrene (vinyl benzene). Used to make plastic containers, closures and more.

Polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE) – Product of polymerization of tetrafluorethene. It is stable up to 260C, stable against ozone. It is used as gaskets.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) – A thermoplastic material composed of polymers of vinyl chloride; a colourless solid with outstanding resistance to water, alcohols, concentrated acids and alkalis. PVC was banned as food packages because of not entirely polymerized vinylchlorid (VC) which is carcinogenic. PVC creates although environment problems. Being burned chloridrig acid is formed which is liberated in the atmosphere and turns out to be a part of the acid rain which is a menace to forests. PVC is being substituted by many other polymerized products such as: Polyethylen (PE), being used also as layers in other packaging materials.

Polyvinylacetate PVAC – It is a product of polymerization of vinylacetate and is used in solution as paint.

Polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC) – Improves barrier properties to increase shelf life or to protect product. Used as a barrier material in a coating form, a layer in lamination or as part of a co-extruded structure for a rigid container.

POM – Polyoxymethylen.

Pool Run – The accumulation of small orders so that a minimum machine run can be made.

Poor Trapping – In printing, the condition in wet printing lithography when less ink transfers to a previously printed ink than to unprinted paper. The general problem is usually unsuitable ink tack, but can also be affected by the surface of the paper, the pH of the water and alcohol, improper blanket packing, oversensitive plates, ink of poor quality, incorrect ink sequence, etc.

P-O-P – point-of-purchase (P-O-P) displays

Pores – Discontinuities in a metal surface that extend through it.

Porosity – A structural property of paper reflected by the size distribution of pores, determined by the spacing between the fibres.

Positive – In photography and lithography, a film or print containing an image in which the light and dark values are the same as the original. The reverse would be a negative.

Post Blow – Parts moulded with a foam concentrate continues to swell after moulding because of insufficient cooling prior to de-moulding.

Post-Consumer Materials/Waste – Materials or finished products that have served their intended use and have been diverted or recovered from waste destined for disposal, having completed their lives as consumer items. Post-consumer materials are part of the broader category of recovered materials.

Post-Consumer Recycling – Use of materials generated from residential and consumer waste for new or similar purposes; e.g. converting wastepaper from offices into corrugated boxes or newsprint

Posterization – The deliberate constraint of a gradation into limited, compressed steps as a special effect.

Post Pasteurization Shrink Bags

Postprint (aka Direct print) – Print substrate after corrugating or laminating.

Potential to Emit (PTE) – The maximum capacity of a stationary source to emit a pollutant under its physical and operational design.

Pouch – A rectangular bag with three sides sealed prior to filling and closing.

Pouttle – pouch-bottle

Powder Coating – Powder coatings first originated in the metal industry and were used primarily in electrostatic coating of appliances, but this technology had been plagued with adhesion problems on glass containers. Deco Glass of Germany, a worldwide pioneer in glass container powder coating, developed a process and equipment designed specifically for glass containers, and compatible with water-based, alcohol-based and essential-oils based products. Powder coatings can achieve an endless array of colours and special effects for almost any glass container, not possible with other decorating processes.


PP – Polypropylene. Has much higher melting point, thus better temperature resistance than PE. Two types of PP films are used for packaging – cast, (see CAPP) and oriented (see OPP).
PPI (Pixels Per Inch) – A measure of the amount of scanned information. The finer the optics of the scanner, the higher the scan resolution.

PPO – Modified polyphenylenoxid.

Pre-consumer waste – Paper or scraps left over from manufacturing, converting or trimming.

Pre-made bags – Bags already formed at the factory. This is as opposed to roll stock.

Premium Coated Linerboard (PCL) – Designed specifically for roll-fed preprint flexographic printing. Offers a clay coated top layer that can be combined with corrugated medium for the construction of sturdy boxes. The result is superior printing and strength. End uses: consumer goods, personal care, electronics, sporting goods, toys, food products, hardware, and multimedia.

Prepress – Collective activities of preparing copy for printing. In an analogue workflow, it includes colour separation, production of films, analogue proofs, using the film to make printing plates, and the make-ready of the press. In a digital workflow, this would include manipulating digital files for producing the printing plates, digital proofing, and make-ready of the press.

Prepress Services – The various steps necessary, up to final printing, to transform original copy and art into the form required for printing. Services include: (1) Colour Proofing. Proofs made from the separate plates in colour process work, showing the sequence of printing and the result after each additional colour has been applied. (2) Digital Colour Proofing. An off-press colour proof produced from digital data without the need for separation films. (3) Image Manipulation. Custom alterations of digital images. (4) Image setter. A typesetting system that can process both text and images. (5) Scanning. Desktop, High-End, Mid-Range Electronic process used to make colour and tone-corrected separations of images. (6) Scanner. A device that interprets the reflected light from a physical image and digitizes it so it can be stored on a computer. Using a scanner can eliminate the need for human contact with individual documents. (7) Thermal Dye Sublimation. Proof-making process where pigments are vaporized and float to desired proofing stock.

Preprint – Print substrate prior to corrugating or laminating.

Press Proof – An image printed before the production pressrun to verify that the desired effect can be achieved, using the production inks and production substrate. The pressrun may or may not be the one used for the production pressrun.

Press Sheet – The untrimmed, full-size sheet as it leaves the press.

Pressrun – The actual running of the press to print the job, immediately following the makeready.

Pressure-assisted thermal sterilization (PATS) – A sterilization technology for flexible packages that provides an alternative to retorting. PATS combines mild heat with high pressure to produce commercially sterile low-acid food products in shelf-stable pouches. In development for seven years, the technology has undergone a rigorous validation process and safety assessment in the past two years. The PATS development and validation efforts are the work of the National Center for Food Safety and Technology (www.ncfst.iit.edu), Chicago, and NCFST’s Dual Use Science and Technology (DUST) consortium.
Members of the DUST consortium include scientists and engineers from ConAgra Foods, Hormel Foods, General Mills, Basic American Foods, Unilever, Mars Co., Avure Technologies Inc. and the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center. Avure (www.avure.com), Kent, Wash., manufactures the pressure vessel used for PATS processing.
The key benefits of the process are food safety and product quality. PATS significantly improves the quality of thermally processed foods while eliminating the safety risks associated with bacteria such as Clostridium botulinum.

Pressurised or “Snap-on” – A capping system which secures the closure onto the bottle by means of vertical pressure.

Pressurized groundwood pulp (PGW) – Mechanical groundwood pulp produced by grinding logs against a grindstone in a pressurized chamber.

Primary Backing – The fabric, usually woven or non-woven polypropylene or jute, into which a carpet is tufted.

Primary Colours – Additive primaries are red, blue and green. The subtractive primaries are cyan, magenta and yellow. See also – Additive and Subtractive Primaries.

Primary Current Distribution – The distribution of the current over the surface of an electrode, in the absence of polarization.

Primary packaging – (1) Is the core printed or labelled packaging for a product. All other packaging is referred to as secondary packaging. (2) The packaging that immediately envelops a product and is expected to provide most of the strength and moisture/vapour/grease barrier needed to safeguard its purity, potency and integrity. (3) The definition of this term in EN 868-1 is synonymous with the definition of Final Package (ref. ISO 11607 – 2003(E)). (4) Sealed or closed packaging system that forms a microbial barrier, enclosing a medical device (ref. ISO 11607 – 2003(E)).

Printability – Describes suitability for a given printing process, how well a particular sheet appears after printing, the overall performance of the substrate on press. It involves a complex interrelationship of many paper properties that enhance the reproduction, e.g., ink receptivity, uniformity, compressibility, smoothness, opacity, colour, and resistance to picking. The best methods for measuring paperboard printability are those which simulate actual printing conditions and which are reproducible from test to test, such as K and N Ink, IGT, Blue Varnish Print, and Prufbau. Distinguished from runnability, which deals only with the paper’s ability to pass mechanically through the press.

Print drums – When rotogravure printing, the images onto the reverse side of the outer substrate, round print drums are used. They are made of stainless steel. For smaller production runs, etched drums are the most cost effective solution, for very high quality or large, repeated print runs, more expensive engraved print drums are the best solution. Print drums are re-usable.

Printed Gloss – Reflection of brightness or lustre from a printed surface.

Printer-slotter – A printing machine which also converts corrugated board into cases using simple wheel or cross creasing and punch-slotting devices.

Printing – The process of applying ink to a substrate. Most printing of corrugated board is done by the flexographic method, which can be thought of as a sophisticated method of printing with rubber stamps. Flexo printing is used for both pre-print and post-print applications. Most printing on corrugated boxes is done in the conversion process after the corrugated sheet is produced, ie. post-printing. Pre-printing refers to the process of printing a design or pattern onto a roll of paper before it proceeds to the corrugating stage. This process is typically used for high volume jobs where quality printing is required.

Printing paper – Paper specially designed for printing, e.g. newsprint and magazine paper.

Printing Plate – Surface carrying an image to be printed. Quick printing uses paper or plastic plates; letterpress, engraving and commercial lithography use metal plates; flexography uses rubber or soft plastic plates. Gravure printing uses a cylinder. The screen printing is also called a plate.

Printkote – For all types of packaging and printing applications. C1S has a bright white, glossy top side and an ultra smooth, uncoated backside. Runs smoothly on press, in filling lines, and in all types of high speed converting operations. Good strength. End uses: consumer packaging, cosmetics, toys, foods, software, media, book covers, greeting cards and postcards, brochures and folders, calendars, point of purchase.

Printkote Advantage – Printkote grades (C1S and C2S) with higher brightness and a more blue/white styling than regular Printkote; for graphics applications to make images pop. End uses: consumer packaging, cosmetics, toys, food, software, media and electronics, pharmaceuticals, book covers, greeting cards and postcards, brochures and folders, calendars, and point of purchase.

Printkote Blisterpak – A paperboard that provides a superior surface for powerful graphics and high-end printing to support face-seal blister packaging. Seals extra securely to the see-through plastic blister and works equally well with solvent or water based heat seal coatings and blister films. End uses: pharmaceutical, personal care, cosmetics, hardware, and electronics.

Printkote Eagle and Printkote Advantage Eagle – Contains 10% post-consumer recycled fibre. Meets FDA requirements for direct food contact. End uses: consumer packaging, cosmetics, toys, food, software, media and electronics, pharmaceuticals, book covers, greeting cards and postcards, brochures and folders, calendars, and point of purchase.

Printkote Litho Lam – A bright white, glossy paper that is typically offset printed and laminated to a single-face corrugated medium. Outstanding printability due to smooth surface and double blade coating; performs well on press and in filling lines. End uses: electronics, software & peripherals, frozen or refrigerated food (indirect contact), toys & games, sporting goods, small appliances, liquor, hardware, and counter-top point-of-purchase displays.

Printkote Ovenable – Enables user to eliminate expensive, excess, or redundant packaging by using one container that can go from the freezer or shelf directly to conventional or microwave oven, and then to the table. Clay coated top side provides a superior printing surface, and allows the package to maintain integrity and appearance in any condition. Extrusion coated with PET to provide an excellent barrier to oils and water. End uses: cartons that must withstand the stress of freezers and ovens; cartons used for storage, cooking and serving prepared foods; dinners; entrees; side dishes; take out, and bakery.

Printkote Polycoated Cartonboard – For all kinds of packaging and printing applications, for every sort of consumer and industrial product. A polyethylene coating adds a moisture-barrier and heat-sealability attributes to Printkote’s standard visual and performance characteristics. Runs smoothly on press, in filling lines, and with any production demand. End uses: premium food and bakery, confectionery cosmetics and personal care, pharmaceutical, tag and label, cup applications, hot and cold drinks, and ice cream tubs.

Printkote Release – Enables bakeries to reduce costs by baking and serving food in a single, attractive, and printable container. This unique substrate is stable in both conventional and microwave ovens and can be formed into a variety of trays, containers, and flat sheets to address the needs of institutional bakeries. It offers excellent release properties coupled with grease and oil resistance. End uses: bakeries, food service operations.

Print Quality – The properties of paper that affect its appearance and the quality of the reproduction.

Print Station – A workstation on which a printing operation is conducted.

Prism – Triangular-shaped glass or other transparent material. When light is passed through a prism, its wavelengths refract light in such a manner that the visible spectrum can be seen.

Process – Within the SGP Partnership registration program, the process includes all manufacturing steps (e.g., prepress, press and post press) involved with converting raw materials into a finished product including process by-products (e.g., solid wastes, air pollution and wastewater) that have an environmental, health and safety impact.

Process Colours – In printing, the subtractive primary process ink colours are cyan, magenta, yellow plus black in four colour process printing. When viewed under a loupe, the individual colour halftone dots are visible in a process colour image. See also – CMYK.

Process Control – Using densitometric and colorimetric measurement data from press sheet colour bars to monitor press performance throughout the press run. Data is analyzed in relation to established control limits.

Process Printing – The printing from a series of two or more plates containing halftones representing process colours in order to produce intermediate colours, shades and tones.

Producer – Natural or legal person, individual or organisation with the responsibility for manufacturing the packaging material and/or system (ref. ISO 11607 – 2003(E)).

Product – (1) Combination of both the medical device and/or additional components with the final package (ref. ISO 11607 – 2003(E)). (2) Within the SGP Partnership registration program, the product includes the design aspects and input material management to create the product.

Product and Packaging Rotogravure Printing – The production on a rotogravure press of any printed substrate not otherwise defined as publication rotogravure printing. This includes, but is not limited to, folding cartons, flexible packaging, labels and wrappers, gift-wraps, wall and floor coverings, upholstery, decorative laminates, and tissue products.

Production Run – Press run intended to manufacture products as specified, as compared to makeready.

Programmable Choice-Enabled Packaging

Programming – The extrusion of a parison which differs in thickness in the length direction in order to equalize wall thickness of the blown container. It can be done with a pneumatic or hydraulic device which activates the mandrel shaft and adjusts the mandrel position during parison extrusion.

Progressive Proof – (Also called a “progressive”) A series of colour proofs that include the finished four-colour proof, a three colour proof, each individual process colour and two-colour combinations of each process ink, which makes it possible to see each combination of colours separately. Progressive proofs are printed with ink-on-paper and used for process control when visually compared to the press sheet.

Proof – (1) A trial impression made in conjunction with a printing process to determine the need for corrections. Impressions must be taken singly from each colour plate of a set, showing each colour alone, and in combination with each of the other colours in proper sequence. Proofs should be made on the board and with the inks to be used for actual production. (2) In graphic arts, a coloured material, substrate or dye used to simulate the subtractive printing primaries of cyan, magenta and yellow and also includes black, as well as the other colours. The colours used in these proof materials should render process colours with no apparent hue error. When the proof colours are combined in registration they will show the approximate printing values, colours and hues of how an original will look when printed or compared to how the original looked.

Proofer – A printing device used to simulate colour achieved on press. A service bureau uses proofers to create images as contracts (also called a contract proof) to match in the final output from the offset press. Traditional analog proofers create prints from the actual separation negatives. Examples of these kinds of proofs are MatchPrint, Fuji Colour Art, or Chromalins. Newer digital proofers and proofs are becoming more popular. These proofers do not use the film used for the final print job. Instead, they simulate colour using ink-jet, dye-sublimation, or other technology.

Proofing – The technique of making a proof, the visual impression of the expected final reproduction. There are many proofing methods depending on the type of proof that is needed. The most common types of proofs are contract proof, DDCP, digital proof, hard proof, off-press, overlay colour proof, position proof, press proof, prog, single sheet colour proof and soft proof.
Proofreader Marks – Standard symbols and abbreviations used to mark up manuscripts and proofs. Also called correction marks.

Proprietary Solvent Alcohol – A completely denatured ethyl alcohol, mixed to government specifications and sold by vendors under a trade name.

Prototype Mould – A simplified mould construction often made from light metal casting alloy or from any epoxy resin in order to obtain information for the final mould and/or part design.

PS – Polystyrene.

Psychological Aspects of Colour – Individual perception of colour is not directly measurable by the human eye. Subjective interpretations of colour can differ in matters such as light wavelength, amount of hue, saturation, and brightness. Therefore, printers measure colour and ink thickness with densitometers.

PTE (Permanent Total Enclosure) – An area segregated from the environment for safety, health, or customer consideration.

PTFE – Polytetrafluorethylene.

Pulldown – Ink testing procedure, conducted by spreading ink on a substrate sample with a rod or K-coater, by hand or by mechanical means. Also known as Drawdown.

Pulp – (1) Primary raw material from which paper is made. A fibrous product produced by mechanical or chemical processes, or a combination of both. (2) The basic cellulose fibres resulting from the disintegration of wood, rags or other vegetable matter by chemical and/or mechanical processes or combination from which all paper and paperboard are made. Kind of pulps:

• Bleached pulp – Pulp of a high degree of whiteness produced from pulp of a natural colour (brown/buff) by a chemical bleaching process
• Chemical pulp – Pulp obtained by chemical treatment of de-barked wood to remove non-cellulose material, resulting in separation of fibres without mechanical aids to create longer-fibred pulps
• Chemi-thermo-mechanical pulp – Pulp derived from a combination of chemical and mechanical pulping processes, often partially or fully bleached (BCTMP)
• Mechanical pulp – Pulp obtained by a mechanical process of grinding or refining de-barked wood without the use of chemicals
• Recycled pulp – Collections of waste paper and board, generally from selected sources and of known quality
• Sulphate/kraft pulp – Cellulose fibre separated by a chemical (alkaline) process to give a brown coloured pulp of good strength
• Unbleached pulp – Pulp of natural colour

Pulp and paper industry – Covers production of pulp (both chemical and mechanical), paper and board, as well as paper and board converting.

Pulper – Unit for defibrating (slushing) pulps and paper machine broke.

Pulpwood – Wood suitable for making into pulp; not usually good enough for sawmilling.

Puncture resistance – Force acting perpendicular to a paper or board surface needed to puncture the sheet.

Punt – The indentation on the bottom of the wine or liquor bottle.

Purging – Cleaning one colour or type of material from the cylinder of an injection moulding machine or extruder by forcing it out with the new colour or material to be used in subsequent production.

Purple Boundary – The line in a chromaticity diagram that represents additive mixtures of monochromatic stimuli of wavelengths.

Push fit closure – A closure, usually plastic, that is pushed into the neck or opening of a container to form a seal and is held in place by friction.

PVAC – Polyvinylacetate.

PVC – Polyvinylchloride. A tough, stiff, very clear film. The oriented version is used mainly for shrink film applications.

PVC Shrink Films – Polyvinyl chloride shrink film. Shrink percentages vary from about 40% for extruded PVC shrink tubing to over 60% for seamed material. The most cost-effective shrink film for full-body shrink sleeves.


PVDC -Polyvinylidene chloride. A very good oxygen and water vapor barrier, but not extrudable, therefore it mostly used as a coating to improve barrier properties of other plastic films, (such as OPP and PET) for packaging.

PVOH – Polyvinylalcohol.

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4 responses to “P

  1. Pingback: Packaging Dictionary « Best In Packaging·

  2. Hello,

    I’m looking for some Printkote® Litho Lam Paperboard. I need about 10 sheets to start. If that is too small a quantity for you to sell, could you possibly refer me to your distributor?


  3. Good afternoon we are interested in equipment for packaging liquid bag with spout Doypack the corner.

    The need for food and vegetable oils, are at your service in Guadalajara Jalisco Mexico, telephone 33-38-80-70-00.

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