All entrepreneurs know that when it comes to creating, distributing, and selling your product, packaging is everything. Packaging is what gives your brand its identity, what protects your product from damage, and what encourages customers to pick your item up from the shelves.
There are a million and one ways to package a product, but there are only a few that will work well for your business. You need a method that allows you to meet demand, increase your output and boost efficiency. Whether you are a manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, or even re-seller, it is likely that you will find shrink wrapping to be a useful piece of machinery.
If you’re not too sure what a shrink wrapping machine is, or how your business could benefit from one, keep reading to find out more.
What is a Shrink Wrapping Machine and What Is It Used For?
Shrink wrapping machines use a variety of shrink films to create a sleek, tight, and protective coating over any product. This type of machine comes in several forms, however, it is often employed to secure boxes, combine canned goods, protect large palletised loads, and seal combination packaging.
Unlike over wraps or stretch wraps, a shrink wrapping machine is capable of giving your products a stronger and more resistant finish. This is due to the heavier gauges of shrink wrapping film available. To shrink wrap a product you first create a sealed bag around it using the sealing section of the machine and then subject the bag to directional heat, often created by a shrink tunnel.
How Does a Shrink Wrapping Machine Work?
Technically speaking a shrink wrapping machine works by heating a Polythene or Polyolefin shrink film that has been wrapped around a product to create a sealed bag, which then creates either a ‘transport pack’ like 6 cans of coke, or a ‘presentation pack’ like a box of chocolates or mobile phone box.
How to Use a Shrink Wrapping Machine
The logistics of a shrink wrapping machine are considerably less complicated. If automated, you simply place your item on the conveyor belt and let the machine wrap the product with a reel of centre folded shrink film.
Then, depending on the type of shrink wrapping machine you use, the film will be sealed manually or automatically creating a sealed bag around the product before entering a heat tunnel to shrink the film and create the desired pack.
Types of Shrink Wrap Machines
Generally speaking, there are two main types of shrink wrapping machines. These are known as L sealers and trim sealers.
L sealers are typically used for low-to-mid volume production lines. These machines use an L shaped sealing bar to seal a bag around a product. The film coating is then shrunk with a heat tunnel.
Trim sealers are normally used for mid-to-high volume production lines. These machines use one cross sealing bar and a side mounted trim sealing station. These machines allow for longer products to be wrapped due to the continuous trimming of film, rather than the fixed length of an L Sealing bar. This design also allows for a continuous, box motion sealing jaw which creates a cross seal between products whilst the product is still moving. This can increase the machines speeds by up to 35%.
Shrink tunnels are available in single, double or quad chambers and depending on the speed of the sealing machine, the tunnel will need to be specified to suit. As a rule of thumb, the faster the sealing machine, the longer / more chambers the tunnel will need.
At Advanced Dynamics we offer a wide range of shrink wrapping machines to suit all of your production, packaging, and distribution requirements.
How Much Does a Shrink Wrapping Machine Cost?
As with most large pieces of machinery, the price is dependent on varying factors. The price of a shrink wrapping machine will be contingent on its size, functionality, automation, and its speed. The general rule is that the simpler the machine, the cheaper it will be whereas a bespoke machine will undoubtedly set you back more.
How to Clean a Shrink Wrapping Machine
No matter what machine your production line uses, it’s important to keep all equipment clean and in good working order. Always read the manual carefully and follow the cleaning instructions we provide.
Setting up daily cleaning tasks is a great way to ensure your machine is always spotless. A simple wipe down before and after every shift is a great place to start. You can then set up less regular deep cleaning jobs to make sure your machinery remains pristine.
Our Top Tips to Maintaining Your Shrink Wrapping Machine
Introduce Training for Staff
If you want your equipment to last as long as possible, you’ll need to make sure that all staff are using and cleaning the machine properly. It’s important, both for maintenance as well as health and safety reasons, to train everybody that comes into contact with your new machinery. Once you’ve trained them up, don’t forget to set daily tasks for your employees, such as wiping down the station before and after every shift.
Schedule Regular Maintenance Checks
Let’s face it, high-quality machinery is an investment in itself, so it’s only natural that you take care of this valuable asset. It’s always better to prevent something from happening than struggling to repair it, so regular maintenance is key when it comes to your shrink wrapping machine. Schedule a yearly maintenance check with a technician, to make sure your equipment is performing optimally. The better the performance of your equipment, the faster you can recuperate your investment.
Pick Your Equipment Manufacturer Wisely
Having the right equipment manufacturer on your side can make all the difference in moments of urgency. The slightest breakdown or hiccup in a production line can be very costly. You’ll need a partner that picks up the phone when you’re in need, no matter the time of year. In a production environment, time is money, so a reliable partner with an attentive customer service team and qualified technical engineers can save you hundreds if not thousands of pounds in the long run.