Shrink film is a popular packaging solution used for a variety of products. To determine the most suitable options available to you may require an organic approach that considers everything from your specific needs to tunnel specs and environmental consequences.
It’s important to understand the effects of using the proper size, gauge and tunnel length which may have an effect on your specific packaging line. Knowing the variables can mean the difference between running a highly profitable and efficient production line to a wasteful and costly packaging process.
1. Use The Correct Film Gauge
If your production line involves high volumes, you are likely always watching your end line costs.The size and specifications of the shrink film you use has a direct impact on the overall cost of packaging your product. The price of shrink film is determined by gauge and width, so a thicker gauge film will cost more than a lower gauge film.
Many packaging firms use a thicker gauge to compensate for less efficient older machines however with the advancements in automation technology there are options for stronger and thinner shrink films that minimize the need to overcompensate with a thicker gauge film.
Using the correct gauge to more precisely match what you need can greatly reduce the actual costs of the shrink film.
2. Reducing Machinery Maintenance
Most people are not aware that the gauge of your shrink film has a direct impact on the wear of your machines. The heavier the gauge, the longer it will take to make a proper seal which results in the machine having to work harder which necessitates more frequent maintenance.
3. Packing Methods
While many companies still rely on the strength and durability of traditional corrugated boxes when packaging heavy products there are now more efficient alternatives such as polyethylene shrink films that can often handle heavy loads without the need for corrugated reinforcement.
4. Quality Materials
Using quality materials will usually result in far more attractively packaged products and there are a number of different film options available.
Using perforated films are ideal for non-perishable products. Perforated film allows air to escape as the film is shrunk around the product. The micro vents are practically invisible and produce an attractively packaged product.
Cross-linked polyolefin film is ideal for consumer products when the presentation is critical or when packaging multiple items together as it provides maximum strength. It is also less susceptible to temperature changes and one of the main attractions to this type of film is that it has excellent printability properties so high-quality logos can be printed which eliminates the need for additional labelling.
5. Shrink Tunnel Specs
The quality of the shrink film packaging process and the quality of the final packaged product depends largely on the shrink tunnel itself. Here are a few pointers to consider when setting up and choosing new machinery.
There are tunnels available to meet practically any final output so make sure you’re choosing a speed that enables efficient heating and sealing to minimize defects in the final packaging appearance.
The speed of the shrink tunnel is important because if it’s too fast, the film will not have enough time to heat up properly and unprofessional looking round patterns develop in the plastic. If the speed is too fast it leads to an incomplete sealing cycle, where unsightly strands of the melted plastic stretch from the product and the sealed part of the film.
Set the temperature or heat settings of your shrink tunnel to ensure it is hot enough to effectively seal and warp your package without damaging the product or integrity of the packaging.
The primary consideration would be to make sure the tunnel is not too short so that there is sufficient time for the shrink film to heat evenly. A shorter tunnel with higher heat is not considered as an alternative since higher heat will only create hot spots and produce a substandard packaged product.
9. Storage and Freighting
It’s important to select the right film for your application because not every shrink film is suitable for every environment. Certain shrink films are climate sensitive, so be sure to consider your storage and freighting requirements.
In an ideal world, shrink packaging is best stored in temperatures between 30- and 77-degrees Fahrenheit. Too hot and you may see your packaging shrink prematurely compromising the films ability to protect your goods. If your packaging shows signs of brittleness it’s likely that the storage temperature has been too cold.
You want to avoid working with climate-compromised packaging and therefore in general good quality polyolefin film is always recommended.
If temperature-controlled shipping options are not an option offered by your freight company, this will affect what type of shrink film you need. Load protection when transporting will be another determining factor when it comes to deciding on what film best suits your needs.
Using the right shrink film and shrink film machinery has several advantages such as flexibility, durability, printability, increased product shelf appeal and industry competitiveness so be sure to take the time in evaluating your current and future packaging needs.
For more view Melbourne Packaging Supplies range of shrink wrap film here https://www.melbpack.com.au/category/stretchwrap/machine-stretchwrap/