Many people understand the benefits of using shrink wrap machines to package their products, as it is a great packaging solution for anything from baked goods to mechanical gears. When companies choose shrink wrap packaging; they get protection, product display, and tamper evidence.
When determining the best shrink wrap machine, you should consider the details of the machine and shrink film being used. These details include the gauge, size, and clarity of your shrink film, along with the shrink tunnel length, storage, environmental conditions, and packaging purpose should all factor into a machine purchase. We have a previous blog post focused on the right shrink wrap machine for your business. This post offers more detail to help make an informed purchasing decision.
Continue reading to learn the factors you should consider when choosing the best shrink wrap machine.
Why Do Businesses Use Shrink Wrapping?
There are many ways businesses can wrap their products, and shrink wrapping is growing in popularity. There are several reasons why they choose this method, including the following:
1. Protection: Shrink wrapping offers protection for products. Once you apply the shrink wrap, seal the ends to create a fully enclosed package and heat the material to conform to the product. It protects products against water damage, dust, rubbing and tearing.
2. Durability: Shrink wrap protects products from rubbing during transit in palletized loads. No dirt or moisture can get inside, so it creates a durable barrier to keep products safe as they ship from warehouses or directly to customers.
3. Tamper-resistance: Another reason businesses use shrink wrapping is tamper-resistance. If anyone tampers, it is obvious and the products can be pulled before going to the customer. It also helps end-users feel confident in the purchases they make.
4. Cost-efficiency: Shrink wrapping is affordable compared to other packaging options, and it also requires less storage space and is more efficient. Products can be wrapped and labeled for pennies.
5. Convenience: You can use shrink wrapping on many different shapes and sizes of products. It can cover objects with odd shapes and protect any size of product.
6 Display: Businesses can use shrink wrapping and still display the products on shelves. The transparent film allows products to be seen before customers make a purchase.
How to Choose the Best Shrink Wrap Machine for Your Business
When choosing the best shrink wrap machine for your business, selecting a suitable shrink wrap for your products is essential. Companies often choose PVC shrink wrap for everyday products, and POF is approved for direct contact with consumable items. The film thickness is rated in gauge or mil with several shrinking options available. Some POF film shrinks at low temperatures, and others require more heat for durable seals.
Shrink wrap machines come in different classifications, and different sizes are available for products that might have obscure uses. Consider the following:
1. Volume of Products: You can choose a smaller machine for smaller volumes and smaller products. These machines are affordable and work well for small eCommerce businesses and online stores. Impulse sealers, I-bar sealers, and heat guns are used for low volumes because they can all be purched with lower entry costs.
2. Full Automation: Some machines offer full automation, usually used for businesses with large scale and large production over 10,000 products daily. Full auto machines can wrap up to 30 products per minute.
3. Type of Sealers: There are three types of shrink wrap sealers: the I-bar shrink wrapper, L-bar sealer, and continuos.
I-Bar Shrink Wrapper
The I-bar shrink wrapper is a manual device, and it uses an I-bar sealer and a feed roller. It will cut the film to size and seal the side. It works with stock bags as well. This type of shrink wrap machine can pack around 200 items a day. Single I-style sealers are used with automatic bundlers and some side seal machines.
L-Bar Shrink Wrapper
The L-bar shrink wrapper has a square frame and a heat seal device on an L-shaped sealer. It seals two intersecting sides and works well for higher-level applications. This type of machine can do thousands of products daily with semi-auto or full automatic capabilities.
What Are Shrink Wrap Tunnels?
Shrink wrap tunnels are temperature controlled to heat packaging shrink film as it moves through the heated chamber. They help businesses package products more quickly. They have a conveyor system, and they are mobile. They can accommodate high volume, but they can also work for medium-sized products. Larger shrink tunnels can package tens of thousands of products daily. They are more efficient than a handheld device when you have more packages to wrap.
Businesses that do industrial-level manufacturing use larger automated machines to speed up production and increase efficiency.
Choosing a Shrink Wrap Machine: What Is Your Projected Output?
Your projected output is a critical factor that will help you decide what shrink wrap machine is best for your business. Higher output levels will require more expensive machines, but it will save you money in the long run. Take a look at the best shrink wrap machines based on output levels.
- Low Output: Less Than 100 Products Per Day
If your business has low output with less than 100 products per day, you can use a hand impulse sealer and a heat gun. You can wrap your products with shrink tubing, centerfold shrink wrap, or shrink bags.
2. You will use the impulse sealer to seal open ends of the bag or film, and then the heat gun will shrink the film to match the product’s shape. Shrink bags are the most efficient type of wrap because you only need to seal one side. Low to Medium Output: Less Than 250 Products Per Day
If your business has an output of fewer than 250 products each day, you might consider using an I bar sealer. The best type of film to use with this machine is a centerfold shrink film. When you get an I-bar sealer, it comes with a centerfold roll of film, a sealing bar, film rack, heat gun, film separator, and gun rack. It is easy to use with centerfold film dispensing.
3. Medium Output: 250 to 750 Products Per Day
If your needs fall in this category, a few different shrink wrap machines will do the job. Many businesses choose the shrink chamber because it is an all-in-one machine and an affordable option. Place products in the centerfold shrink film, and the L-bar sealer will seal the open ends, and the chamber will shrink the material. The compact design is perfect for offices and tight spaces.
Another option is to use a tabletop L-bar sealer and a shrink tunnel. This approach is more efficient than the chamber. The L-bar sealer seals the open ends of the shrink film while the shrink tunnel applies heat to the film. This option can do more than 750 products a day, making it more popular with businesses looking to increase their output.
One advantage of the L-bar sealer and shrink tunnel combination is the continuous heat and motion of the shrink tunnel. The chamber always needs to reheat with a one-step machine, shrink tunnels maintain consistent heat with an adjustable speed conveyor moving products through the machine.
4. High Output: More Than 750 Products Per Day
You can also use the L-bar sealer and shrink tunnel combination unit for outputs as high as 2500 to 3000 per day. If exceeding this number, consider a fully automatic shrink wrap machine.
Other Factors to Consider
In addition to your output, you should consider the size of the products you are wrapping. Choose the shrink wrap machine that can accommodate your most significant products because a larger machine will do smaller products as well. Make sure that you consider your products’ length, width, and height when determining the size.
Types of Shrink Film
It is essential to understand the basics of shrink film. Some machines do not work well with certain types of film. Having a general knowledge will make sure your machine and materials are compatible.
This type of film is commonly used for both edible and nonedible products. It has fewer odors, a more robust seal, and more flexible storage when sealing. In addition, it doesn’t produce hydrogen chloride gas like PVC shrink film. It is used for nearly every product type, including toys, sporting goods, food, stationery, and more. Polyolefin shrink film is available in many different options. A low-temperature film shrinks at lower temperatures, crosslinked polyolefin requires more heat, but has stronger seals. Crosslinked shrink film is the best option for fully automatic machines, and many standard polyolefin films will not work.
PVC or polyvinyl chloride is the third most-produced plastic in the world. It is used to package boxes, CDs, DVDs, software, and other non-edible items. It is compatible with automated machines. The drawbacks are that it can be sensitive to extreme temperatures, releasing small amounts of hydrogen chloride gas into the air. PVC shrink film is commonly used on neck banding and tamper-evident seals for bottles.
There are other types of shrink film, including shrink sleeves and polyethylene bundling shrink film. Polyethylene is a heavier-duty shrink film that is used for large commercial items. Shrink sleeves can be made of several different materials. Some shrink sleeves require a steam tunnel to correctly shrink the sleeve to the product.
How to Choose the Best Shrink Wrap Machine: Step by Step
The best way to choose your shrink wrap machine is by following these steps:
- Determine the size of your most significant and largest products to make sure that the machine can accommodate all of them
- Determine your output levels today and in the future
- Consider the type of shrink film you need based on your products and what will happen to the products after they are packaged.
- Understand the different shrink wrap machines that are available and how each one can provide benefits.
Shrink wrapping is an excellent option if you want to protect your products. It provides many benefits, including protection, tamper resistance, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. There are several different shrink machines available, and you can choose the one that is ideal based on your product sizes and your output. Take a look at the various choices and get one for your products today.