Measurements can be tough, but they have to be done. Furthermore, they help with pretty much everything in terms of packaging – contents, shipping, printing style and more!
The good news is that we’ve decided to write a blog post about everything for you to reference in your time of need!
There are a few major categories of measurements, so we won’t ramble on. Let’s cut to the chase!
Dimensions of Products
There are 3 dimensions that we will refer to in this post: length, width, and height
Length – typically the largest dimension that we will measure. It is considered a bas unit, from which all other units are then measured. (e.g. in bags, it is the face of the bag from left to right)
Width – typically the second largest dimension in terms of measurements and is the side measured at a 90 degree angle from the length (in bags it is the gusset measured from left to right)
Height – the measurement from the top to the bottom of the product
When we send dimensions to clients, we will always refer to them as Length x Width x Height (LxWxH), and the units of measurement will differ depending on the needs of that particular client.
Most often, we will use millimetres (mm), centimetres (cm) and inches (in or “). Need a quick math recap? 10mm are in 1 cm, and 2.54cm are in 1 in. We use these measurements both for our bags and boxes, as well as our more unique shapes.
Volume or Capacity?
Volume is the measure of the amount of space that an object occupies and is typically measured in cubic units. On the other hand, capacity is the measure of an object’s ability to hold a substance (solid, liquid or gas). Common measurements for capacity are litres, pounds and gallons.
For example, if a glass is half-full (or half-empty depending on how you look at it – but that’s a whole different argument), it may have a capacity of 300ml, but only has a volume of 150ml (i.e. there is 150ml worth of water in that glass so it isn’t at full capacity).
For all packaging-related calculations, LeKAC Sourcing uses capacity as it shows the full potential of a product.
How to Calculate Capacity
So we’ve just gone over the differences between capacity and volume. Although slight, there are differences. But why mention volume if we don’t use it? Well, that’s the thing… In order to calculate capacity, you actually need to use the formula for volume.
Ironic, I know. So there are two basic formulas for volume – rectangular containers, and cylindrical containers
rectangular = length x width x height
cylindrical = π x radius2 x height
Once you calculate the total capacity that your packaging can hold, you can do wonders. Want to determine how many of your packaging products will fit into one shipping container? You can do that. Want to know how many of your products can fit into one corrugated box? You can do that as well.
Should I Be Using Internal or External Dimensions?
Honestly, it depends on what you’re trying to calculate. If you are concerned with how many products can fit into one box or bag, you should be using internal dimensions. However, if you want to know how many rigid boxes can fit into a larger box, then use the external dimensions.
Furthermore, if your box or bag is collapsible (which all bags will be), make sure you make it as small as possible as that will be how it will be shipped to your destination. Then you can record the proper measurements are determine how many units will fit into one container.
Follow these steps to work out how to fit little boxes into a bigger box:
- Work out how many boxes you can fit along the front of the box by dividing the length of the big box by the length of one small box and write down the result. Hopefully you’ll get a whole number, but if you don’t, round down. Even if your answer is 5.99, you can’t squeeze a sixth little box into the crate.
- Work out how many boxes you can fit along the side of the box by dividing the width of the big box by the width of the little box and write down the answer. Again, round down if you don’t get a whole number.
- Work out how many boxes you can fit going up the box. Divide the height of the big box by the height of the small box and write down the number. Then what do you do? Round down if it isn’t whole.
- Finally, you multiply the 3 numbers together. The number you end up with will be the amount of boxes that you can fit within your crate!
The only difference between internal and external dimensions is the thickness of the walls – if you’re referencing a kraft paper bag or folding carton, the dimensions will virtually be the same. But if you’re talking about an insulated corrugated box or a rigid box, the difference in dimensions could be drastic.
Do I Really Need To Do All of This?
We’ve had a lot of questions about how to determine how many products will be shipped together, how large the inside of their box will be and so on. If you don’t want to confuse yourself with the math of it all however, feel free to depend on us to get you this information!
At LeKAC Sourcing, we pride ourselves on our customer satisfaction, and getting these things done are part of our promise.
Contact us today for a free consultation on all things custom packaging!