There are few media packaging options that offer the luxurious look and feel of Polyline’s vinyl albums or binders. The rigid vinyl interiors ensure the media product is well protected, while the pliable vinyl exterior provides a satisfying sensory experience that makes the packaging a downright pleasure to hold. They are also shaped to resemble a hard-cover book, making them the ideal packaging solution for study materials, seminar materials and books on tape.
It is the pliable nature of the product’s exterior, however, that has caused isolated instances of cracking – particularly during hot summer months or cold winter months.
“We’ve found that cold weather affects it more,” said Michael Schlobohm, COO of Polyline. “PVC – the base material for all vinyl compounds – is brittle by nature. Extreme changes in temperature will cause the softer vinyl to expand and contract, which could create cracks along the spine.”
This exposure to temperature change happens during shipping, when the cases of vinyl albums and binders are placed into trucks and cargo-holds that are not climate controlled. To maintain the quality of your vinyl binders and albums, just allow the product to slowly return to room temperature before using it. Schlobohm both recommend leaving the vinyl products in their cases (in the location they will be used) for 24- to 48-hours prior to using them. That should provide them enough time to become acclimated to room temperature.
“You also have to consider these temperature issues could affect you even if the weather in your location is moderate,” said Nilda Reillo, team leader and trainer in Polyline’s customer service department. “We ship from California and Illinois. So, while it could be 70 degrees in Florida, it could still be only 20 degrees here in Illinois.”
Another lesser seen problem with vinyl albums and binders has also been associated with temperature change: wrinkling. Wrinkling is most common when the overlay is made of poly or is very thin. When the vinyl packaging materials are exposed to extreme temperatures the vinyl and the thinner overlay are expanding and contracting at different rates, explained Schlobohm. It is this different expansion rate that is causes the wrinkles.
“The vinyl album we’re using now has a thicker overlay,” said Reillo. “Thicker is better: no wrinkles.”
Again, allowing the materials to rest at least 24 hours in the packing area prior to using the vinyl products is the best way to ensure quality. It requires a little extra planning, because customers need to plan for this rest period when they are restocking. The polished finished look of the packaging is well worth the wait however.
“Whenever we have a customer who is really trying to impress a client, we recommend vinyl,” said Reillo.