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Full vs. Industrial Gauge

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

One of the most ignored but least understood concepts in packaging is “industry tolerances.”  

  • “Industry tolerances” allows the manufacturer to run an order up to 10% light.

  • One of the ways an order can run light is in its gauge.

  • “Gauge” is the industry’s term for thickness.  Gauge = thickness.

  • “Industrial Gauge” will be run up to 10% lighter than a “Full Gauge” run of film or bags.

The following is always true:

  • The thicker the film, the more it will weigh.

  • The thicker the film, the more it will cost (assuming all other factors are equal.)

  • When 2 suppliers quote the exact same product and price, the industrial run will always end up costing more per lb. because it contains less product.

Let’s take a look at the following poly bag example:




  • Ask your suppliers if they are supplying or quoting full or industrial gauge

  • Look for disclosure information on the packing slip or shipment paperwork--such as total weight shipped, gauge supplied, width, length.

  • Verify the information in the shipping paperwork by using the procedure below to find out weight per roll/bag  and compare to paperwork

  • When comparing quotes, ensure both suppliers are supplying the same type of gauge (full or industrial). If there is one offering full versus one industrial, ask the industrial gauge supplier to requote in full gauge to compare apples to apples.




















Murphy Packaging always specifies FULL GAUGE when submitting orders to our mills and quotes to our customers.  Call for a more detailed explanation or for help in discovering whether “industrial gauge” pertains to your shipments.

This process can get complicated if you are trying to figure out the gauge of your material for the first time. Lucky for you Murphy Packaging has over 42 years of expertise under our belt. So, whether you are a current customer or just want to be an informed buyer, give us a call. We can help you determine the gauge of your material with no strings attached.