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    Popco's food for thought
    Nearly 40 years ago, in the earliest days of Popco, servicing the food industry was an important part of our business. Specifically, we were involved in the production of spring-loaded merchandising trays for food coolers. This work then led to our production of vacuum-formed trays, again, servicing the food industry. Over the course of many projects, we came to develop trays in all sorts of styles: some branded; some not; some colored; others clear; branded trays that were embossed, or hot-stamped or with labels applied. A constant on these projects is that one size does not fit all. Popco customers merchandise their projects in packaging that varies wildly in size and style. And, of course, branding is going to be unique to a customer. This is why we don’t offer vacuum-formed trays as a stock item. Instead, we work with our customers to develop trays specific to their needs. If you are in the food industry and you’re looking for merchandising options for your products, be aware that Popco can help. From concept to design to production, Popco can offer decades of experience in the production of vacuum-formed tray. We’ve given a great deal of thought to food and the marketing of food packages.
    Popco helps you through thick and thin
    “One size fits all” is such a lovely notion. Too bad it’s rarely true without compromise. For instance, the stocking cap that fits your son perfectly makes lines on your forehead and gives you a headache. The hip shoes your daughter loaned you look great but rub your feet raw. The same is true in the point-of-purchase world. Designers know this. They know that different stock thicknesses require different assembly hardware. The trouble is, sometimes thick and thin stocks are employed in the same display piece. Suppose you’ve constructed a dump bin using thick stock like foam board or Coroplast® so that it will last over repeated uses. Now suppose the bin will occasionally hold different products, or products that might go on sale. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could modify graphics without having to scrap the large, expensive panels that form the bin? Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a simple, inexpensive way of adding and swapping out graphics on the bin? Enter the saddle clip.
    Swatch you lookin' at?
    At Popco, we pride ourselves on practicality. We ought to since we are purveyors of widgets that are modest, simple, and useful – essentially, the definition of practical. Among our products, none is more practical that our push-lock post and loop-screw sets. Practical in that hand-assembly with these parts is rapid (no tools are required). Practical in that the screw portion of the set contains a loop connection point (ideal for swatch books that will be hung as shown in the photo). Practical in that post and loop-screw sets are visually discrete (your design is the star of the show, not our parts).
    Popco rides the coattails of an artisan
    Dear reader, if you are slavishly tethered to your phone, incapable of ignoring your social media accounts and have never (or no longer) listened to LP records, this post is not for you. If, instead, you have some fondness for old-school craftsmanship and timeless simplicity, read on. Recently, Mr. Alan Bourgault, a new Popco customer, placed an order for our PT-3 series poster rail. This product is typically used to hang light-weight signs and banners but Mr. Bourgault has found another clever use for the part. He uses the PT-3 as a blade protector for his hand-made bread knives, pictured above.
    Popco's suction cups do the heavy lifting
    In March of 2018, in this blog, Popco published the results of informal tests on our suction cups. The goal of the tests was to determine the weight-bearing capacity of our suction cups under ideal conditions. Of course, ideal conditions are elusive when mounting suction cups (or just slogging through life for that matter). For suction cups, “ideal conditions” means that the cups are applied to clean and non-porous surfaces (window glass is the best example).
    (0) Much has changed, much has not, and we’re still grateful
    This time last year, in this blog, we grappled a bit with the realities of the pandemic, global supply-chain disruptions, and our desire to remain positive and grateful during a challenging holiday season. One year later, we are still battling ever-increasing costs, continued delays in acquiring materials and producing product, and the challenges of communicating these unpleasant realities to our customers. Now that we’ve acknowledged the obvious, we’ll say that glimmers of hope – if not outright rays of sunshine, are all around us. Most of our customers have stayed afloat in this tough time and they’ve stuck with us. These customers understand our challenges and accept the unavoidable price hikes and delays. So, it is with special poignancy that we say, during this holiday season, thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all the loyal customers who are weathering the storm same as we are – same as folks the world over are. We hope that the spirit of this holiday will carry us through the coming year and, together, we and our customers can emerge stronger than ever. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a joyous New Year to all of our customers and their families. At Popco, once again, we’re grateful for all that is good; and plenty has been good, even in 2021.
    (0) Popco sizes up posts & screws
    Aluminum post and screws, also known as Chicago screws, are terrific parts for a wide variety of uses. Most often, they are used to bind booklets and corporate reports together. Other uses are as varied as binding together leather goods or even retail fixtures and displays. One feature of these parts is that the screws (male parts) top out at 3/8-inch in length, while the posts (female parts) are available in longer lengths. It is the 3/8-inch screw that is coupled with all of the longer posts and this results in a somewhat confusing combination of part lengths that we’ll address in our sizing chart below. If you’re not already confused, there’s this: For small posts, the opposite is true – longer screws are coupled with shorter posts. This is because the shortest posts feature an open-style head (shown above) and, when fully inserted, the slightly longer screws fill the open-style head. Trying to describe this with language alone is an exercise in frustration. We’re confident that the best way to communicate the minutia of these parts is through a chart, and we’ve made one for you below. Here’s all you’ll ever need to know about the sizing of Popco’s aluminum post and screws
    (0) Popco’s customer relationships
    Popco customers, new and old, have often told us that our customer service is exemplary and is a big reason why they choose to work with us. These customers believe, as do we, that good business is more than just offering the right product at the right price; good business is about developing relationships. Don’t take our word for it. Read what our customers have to say in their own words.
    (0) Opening Popco's steel snap-rings
    Book rings, binder rings, snap rings; no matter what you call them, they’re a handy bit of hardware. As the names imply, the rings are most often used for affixing booklets together. This means, among other things, that hand-assembly is likely part of a project’s fulfillment. Since our rings our sold in the industry standard, closed position, one step in the assembly process will be opening them. To open the most difficult small rings, we suggest a common automotive tool know as a seal-ring pliers or a retaining-ring pliers. At Popco, we use a seal-ring pliers with a 90 degree angled tip. We rest the tool on a work bench, lay the snap-ring over the tool tips (making sure that the ring’s hinge pin is at the 6:00 o’clock position). Then, closing the tool’s handle will pop open the ring.
    (0) Popco’s SNAPRAILS™ really stack up
    Typically, SNAPRAILS™ are used at the top of a poster, to grip poster stock and create hanging points, and at the bottom of a poster to add weight and stiffness so that the poster doesn't bow or curl. There is however another, little known, configuration that allows for stacking posters one above another. To use the SNAPRAILS™ in this way, you first create a center spine with the opening of one SNAPRAIL™ facing up and the other facing down.
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