Key Terms

Airless: a method of packaging that does not let air reach the product inside the packaging regardless of product level. 

Atomizers: A device for reducing liquids to a fine spray.

Blister Pack: Goods (usually glass) shrink wrapped together for stability. 

Boston: style of bottle characterized by a round cylindrical shape with a short, curved shoulder. Typically used by the drug and chemical industries.

Brimful Capacity: Refers to the maximum volume of space inside a vessel. Does not take into consideration closure displacement or requirements for head space when filling.

Bulb: The rubber, squeezable part of a dropper that is used to suction fluids into the glass pipette.

Bulk Production: large scale production of a product. 

Capacity: The volume of space inside the vessel used in reference to how much product can fit inside. See Brimful Capacity.

Caska Seal: a removable insert that sits at the top of the jar assisting in protecting your product. Usually made from PP plastic.

Closures: Products use to dispense or keep product in a vessel. Includes items such as droppers, pumps, flip top caps, screw caps, disc caps, CRC’s or tamper evident caps.

COC (Certificate of Compliance): A document provided by the manufacturer or supplier of a product that confirms that the product is within specification.

Collar: The raised ridge on a bottle located between the screw-threads and the shoulder; also known as the skirt.

CM’s: Refers to Contract Manufacturers. These are the companies that fill and/or label your packaging. 

CRC (Child Resistant Cap): A closure type usually found on drug or chemical products. Used to prevent children from ingesting potentially harmful or potent products. These closures require the user to press and turn or squeeze and turn to remove the cap from the vessel.

Diameter: Straight line passing through the center of a circle or sphere and meeting the circumference or surface at each end.

Dip tubes: The plastic straw that extends out of the base of a pump. 

Displacement: when the space that a closure such as a pump impacts on the amount of product able to fit in a vessel.

Dosage: refers to a specified amount of product/medication Usually used when describing the output of a closure.

Emboss: Raised design or lettering on the surface of a vessel.

FBOG: Refers to ‘From Base of Gasket’ and is used to indicate the length of dip tube required for your bottle. Check out our page on how to measure a dip tube.

Flint: Clear glass.

Foil Induction Seal: a foil laminate seal that has been heated and welded to the lip of jars and bottles.

Gasket: A liner applied between the lip of the vessel and the closure to aid with sealing.

HDPE: High Density Polyethylene. Plastic number 2.

Headspace: The space between the level of product in a vessel and the closure. Headspace is required to allow for pump displacement and product expansion. 

Housing: the casing on a pump that protects the internal spring and pump mechanism.

Incoterms: international rules for the interpretation of trade terms. 

  • EXW: Ex-works
  • FOB: Free on Board
  • DAP: Delivered at Place.
  • LCL: Less than container load
  • FCL: Full container load

Indent Orders: Orders for stock manufactured overseas. 

LDPE: Low Density Polyethylene. Plastic number 4.

Liner: A disc placed in a closure to aid in providing a sealing surface against the finish of a vessel.

Lotion Pump: A pump with controlled output for precise dosage of a product. These pumps are suitable for more viscous products such as lotions, soaps and other cosmetic products.

Mold: The cavity that is created to form the various product shapes. Different molds are required in the product of glass and plastic. 

Extrusion Molding: Typically used in the creation of HDPE bottles.  HDPE plastic is melted and then extruded into a mold where it cools and and air is blown to form the bottle shape. Excess material is then left between both the nozzle where the melted plastic is and the mold.The technical term for these bottles is “manufactured outside the neck” which means you end up with flash on the top of the neck where the excess material is punched off.

Blow Molding: Typically used in the creation of PET bottles. It is a process whereby both preform manufacture and bottle blowing are performed in the same machine and at the same time. This process includes injection, conditioning, blowing and ejection.

MOQ: Refers to Minimum Order Quantity. Minimum Order Quantities are set for different products to ensure running the job is both financially viable and less susceptible to rejects. 

Neck: The part of a vessel where the bottles diameter decreases to form the opening.

Opaque: Refers to a solid material/substrate that will not transmit light. Used in reference to how dark (not transparent a vessel is).

Over cap: A secondary closure that fits over the primary closure/pump. It protects the primary closure, prevents it from accidently dispensing product and is also used for aesthetic purposes where a flush design is desired.

PET: Polyethylene terephthalate (also referred to as PETE). Plastic number 1.

Pilfer Proof: Vessels have a pilfer proof neck when they have a flat ring around the neck that prevents any attempted pilfering of the product. 

Pipette: The glass portion of a dropper.

Pressure Seal: A seal placed in a cap that adheres to the lip of a vessel when pressure is applied. Usually during application of the closure.

PLA: A bio-based renewable plastic alternative. 

PP: Polypropylene. Plastic number 5.

PPS: Pre-Production Sample – a sample of the product before manufacturing occurs. Requesting a PPS will usually attract a cost.

Purchase Order: Purchase orders (POs) are documents sent from you, as the buyer, to a supplier with a request for products or services as an order. Purchase orders are considered formal commitments to the items contained in the order and are often required before placing custom orders.

Registration Point: Ever noticed a small indent or swirl in the base of your bottle? That is a registration point! Registration points are used by machinery at printers and labellers to ensure your decoration or label is placed in the same position every time. Labellers use this point to position your label in the same place and decorators rely heavily on these points for artwork with multiple colours.

Rejects: product or packaging outliers from a manufacturing run that are inadequate or do not meet the outlined requirements or tolerance levels.

Shoulder: The part of the vessel between the main body and neck.

Set Up Fees: Decorators and packaging suppliers often charge a setup fee to cover the labour involved in setting up machinery and prepping any decoration requirements such as pad printing, laser engraving or embossing.

Stability Testing: A process undertaken by contract manufacturers to ensure that the packaging is suitable for a product formulation. All packaging must be subjected to the conditions that you intend the finished product to endure. CM’s should test the packaging for leakage, volumetric requirements, chemical reactions, dispensing and decorations.

Tamper Evidence: A feature of the vessel, closure or secondary packaging that shows visible signs of the vessel being opened. 

Tamper Evident Ring: Found at the base of the closure, the ring is snapped off and left on the bottle when the closure has been screwed off. 

Tamper Tel (TT) Neck: Vessels have a tamper tel neck when they feature a ring on the neck that aids in breaking off the tamper evident ring on the closure.

Thread:  The indented and curved section of the cap inside the skirt that engages and matches the thread of the container for screw fit purposes. It can be continuous or interrupted.

Tolerance Levels: Certain vessels such as glass bottles and jars have tolerance levels that indicate an acceptable amount of change in the vessel based on the way they are produced. For example: glass is blown and no piece is exactly the same. Tolerance levels can refer to changes in diameter or capacity and are usually quite important for labellers and contract manufacturers.

Torque – Application: The rotational force with which a closure is applied to a bottle finish during capping. It affects seal integrity and tightness between bottle and closure. A properly established application torque will provide sealing integrity under expected conditions of temperatures, vibration, humidity, and shock.

Tottle Bottle: Tottle bottles are oval bottles with rounded bases that stand on their caps.

Treatment Pump: A pump with controlled output for precise dosage of a product. Best used for fine cosmetic products such as serums, oils and moisturisers.

Trigger Spray:  A device that attaches to a bottle to allow a product to be dispensed in a fine or coarse spray. This pump has a trigger mechanism which is pulled versus pushed.

Twist Lock Pump: A pump that locks when twisted left/right to avoid accidental dispensing.

Unders/Overs: In the packaging industry it is acceptable to provide 10% more (overs) or less (unders) than the requested order due to over running or under running the product in manufacturing. Extras are usually produced to compensate for any rejects.

Veral: style of bottle characterized by a sloped shoulder. Typically used in the pharmaceutical, personal care and food and beverage industries.

Wad: A seal that sticks to the neck of a bottle or jar. Once lifted the seal is broken, often printed with “Sealed for your Protection”. Ideal for powder products and does not require any special equipment to apply.