How Manufacturer’s Joints Affect Corrugated Fiberboard Performance

Published July 12, 2019

Would a doctor ever advise a runner to sign up for a marathon shortly after diagnosing him or her with debilitating arthritis? Just like healthy joints are crucial to a runner’s success, the manufacturer’s joints of your corrugated cases play a pivotal role in maintaining lifespan and performance, as well as in ensuring the overall health of your packaging process. If the wrong type or a poorly sealed joint is used during the case erection process, that case could fail during sealing or distribution, damaging your product and ultimately hurting your bottom line. To help avoid these types of inefficiencies, we’ve put together some information on the all-important manufacturer’s joint.

What Are Manufacturer’s Joints?

A manufacturer’s joint is an even piece of corrugated fiberboard that has been cut, slotted, and scored for the purpose of holding the two ends of a box blank together. When a case is assembled correctly, this joint forms a tight seal with the help of staples, glue, or tape. Crucial to protecting your product during the packaging and distribution processes, these joints can (literally) make or break the structural integrity of your case.

Categorized into three common types, manufacturer’s joints are used to help seal a majority of cases constructed from corrugated fiberboard and other similar materials. Each type of joint comes with different strengths and considerations that make it more useful for certain products and machines.

Types of Manufacturer’s Joints

Stitched Joints 

The original joint type, stitched joints utilize staples or other fasteners to join case tabs together at the edges. 

Glued Joint

Effective but more costly, hot-melt glue joints use liquid adhesive to join case tabs. Typically, cases will have glue tabs on one end of the box blank that can be adhered to either the outside or inside of the case. This is the more commonly used joint in today’s manufacturing world.

Taped Joint

Often used to seal cases made with no tabs at all, tape joints require a certain amount of overlap (usually 1¼ inch) to provide an effective seal.

If you’re unsure how to select the most effective corrugated material for your products, take a quick peek at our blog post regarding corrugated cardboard types. 

How Manufacturing Joints Affect the Lifespan of Cases

If our imaginary runner were to attempt to complete a marathon with unbearable arthritis, he would not only inflict further damage on his body, making any future races improbable; he’d be ill-equipped to finish his initial race. In the same way, using poorly constructed corrugated boxes with improperly sealed manufacturer’s joints does not only fail to properly protect your products – it also informs potential customers that any future purchases might be distributed with similar results, encouraging them to turn to your competitors.  

These joints also play a large role in the case erecting process, determining how and which case erectors work most cohesively with your existing production line. Converting case blanks into fully erected, bottom-sealed cases may not sound like a difficult process, but if you’ve ever struggled to open a package or to construct a perfectly square case, you know that the joints that support cases, and the machines that assemble them, are no small part of any case.

How Case Lifespan Affects the Secondary Packaging Ecosystem

The performance of a case is significantly impacted by the conditions that case encounters throughout the production, packaging, and distribution processes. Some factors like stacking, time, humidity, and third-party impact are hard to foresee. Others, however, we can predict and plan for accordingly when evaluating the lifespan and performance requirements of corrugated materials. 

Consider the processes you currently have in place concerning your packaging method, packed product weight per case, pallet size, overhang, gaping between pallet slats, and mode of pallet transportation. If your cases are being erected with the wrong manufacturer’s joints, just one of these external factors could completely alter the performance of your case, limiting the effectiveness of your entire packaging system. 

To ensure that your cases perform to their highest potential, evaluate your packaging equipment, product design and fit, and distribution process. Since these aspects of production play a key role in determining the lifespan of your case, they should be thoroughly examined to ensure that no point in the process is hindering case performance in any way. In addition to revealing points of weakness, an examination on this level can also reveal strengths in your production, packaging, and distribution processes that might confirm that your cases are set up with the manufacturer’s joints that best benefit your packaging process. 

Maximize Your Case Performance With INSITE

At INSITE, packaging is in our DNA. If you seek practical, cost-effective solutions for your case erecting or case sealing needs, you’ve come to the right place. Our website isn’t just our storefront; it’s also a great place to get general information about what we do, specific help, advice, or product information. Feel free to send us a message, and our stellar customer service will get back to you almost as fast as our products can revolutionize your packaging process.


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