The stuff no one talks about, but matters big time: projection screen packaging

Packaging is probably last on your mind when it comes to buying your projection screen. It’s not something manufacturers inform you about either.
But when you take a day off to wait for your screen and it arrives all beaten up, you know important it is that your screen is kept safe during transportation.

And this is not how you want your screen to turn up:

Image of a projection screen with torn packaging - transportation damage

And because screens are long and thin and light compared to regular products, they are often thrown into the van or truck. As you can see below (and that’s not even the worst I’ve seen):

Photo of projection screens thrown in a truck

This would be a nightmare scenario for a poorly packed projector screen – with almost guaranteed damage to the product when it arrives. And that’s why you need to know how to see if your screen has the proper pacakging to survive.

1. Internal protection

Styrofoam is a nightmare in packaging, because once it breaks, there’s no protection left. What’s worse, once broken, the screen gets room to move inside the packaging, leading to an even bigger chance of transportation damage.

Shock absorbing foam is what you need. You can see below what this foam looks like. This photo shows the internal elements of the packaging of a Beamax in-ceiling projection screen

Image showing the improved packaging of the Beamax in-ceiling projection screens

This image also shows the importance of another element: the strength of the material that makes up the box.

2. The box itself

The ideal material to protect a projection screen is wood. A wooden crate around the screen almost never arrives with any damage to the screen.

But it would raise the transportation cost through the roof. And that’s because a crate adds a lot of volume and weight to that of the screen itself. It’s not uncommon for a wooden crate to be 2 or 3 times the weight of the projection screen itself.

Add to that the cost of the crate itself and you’ll see that it’s uneconomical to use crates for most projection screens.
And that’s why crates are only used for expensive screens.

A carton box is the packaging of choice for all projection screen manufacturers for the majority of their screens. But..the quality of the boxes varies enormously.

What you want is a box of at least two layers of a good thickness. That would be around 0.4 cm per layer. Thinner boxes would have only one layer or 2 layers of only a few mm each.

These boxes just do not provide enough protection and are easily torn to pieces.

3. External protection

The corners of the carton packaging can benefit from extra protection. It’s not that corners are week. They are actually the places that can withstand more pressure than a spot in the middle of the packaging.

In practice though, I have seen that screens are most often dropped on the corners. And I am not alone in that observation, which is why a few manufacturers have started adding corner brackets around their boxes.

These brackets make the packaging more shock-resistance and improve the chances of the screen arriving undamaged.

What you need to do when your projection screen arrives

Make sure you check for transportation damage. If there is damage to the screen, make sure to indicate that on the delivery note or see to it that the driver takes note of it.

If you don’t do that, you risk not being able to claim the damage and you have a chance your supplier won’t accept your claim.

Take pictures if you can to ensure you have evidence if needed.

Then, inform your supplier immediately.

But what do you do when you find out there’s damage only after you’ve installed the screen?

These are times when supplier customer service really counts

Sometimes,  screens get damaged, despite having the best possible packaging. And that’s when the service of your supplier really counts. Because the damage can be apparent only after some time.

When a box has been dropped for example, it’s not always visible from the packaging. But in the screen itself, things might have broken. In particular the pieces that connect the roller tube to the side covers (for manual and electric projection screens).

That’s when your supplier won’t be able to make a claim to the forwarder, because you won’t have signed the shipping documents indicating transportation damage.

So all you can rely on is your supplier trusting you and giving you the service you deserve. And that’s where there are big differences between manufacturers and resellers. Make sure you choose the ones that are known for great after-sales service whhen you buy your screen.

If you have our own story you want to share about this issue, please do so. I look forward to it. The same for questions, anything unclear or want to know more, let me know!

Thanks,

Otto

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