Shrink Wrapping Machine for Packaging
A shrink wrapping machine is used to encapsulate a product or group or products in plastic film. This type of packaging serves a variety of functions depending on the application. For retail packaging, films are often selected for their optical qualities, in order to enhance the sparkle of products graphics on the store shelf or in a point of purchase display, or POP. For industrial applications, light and heavy duty films with reduced optics are employed to securely hold products of varying weight and density in place for shipment and storage. In some cases, films are selected to protect materials or finished products from contamination or exposure to harsh elements. A wide range of equipment types are available for manual, semi automatic, and fully automatic operations. The systems also cover a very wide range of product sizes, shapes, and packaging speed and throughput requirements.
Applications and Industries
Manufacturers, distribution centers, and contract packagers frequently use a shrink wrapping machine in their operation. The systems are in widespread use for printed materials, CDs and DVDs, electronic products, medical and pharmaceutical packaging, household items, consumer packaged goods or CPG, food and beverage items, toys and games, plastic molded parts, and chemicals. Systems are comprised of two basic components. A sealing unit applies an L-shaped seal to film which has been placed around the package, to form a bag. Then, the package passes through a tunnel where heat is applied, shrinking the film around the package. High speed systems are capable of processing upwards of 150 packages per minute, depending on the size of the product. At the other extreme, tabletop models are available for low volume or intermittent packaging needs. Generally, the larger the product, the longer the cycle time to run through the shrink wrapping machine. This is primarily because the more film that is applied to a product, the slower it must pass through the shrink tunnel.
Optimizing Performance of the Shrink Wrapping Machine
While the basic concept of these systems is simple enough, many film and equipment factors must be controlled and monitored to ensure consistent and high quality wraps. Heat sealing mechanisms must be fine tuned to the correct temperature and dwell time. Otherwise, seals will not be strong enough to hold, or burn partially or completely through the film. In addition, sealer settings must be readjusted when a different film is used, since all shrink films have unique sealing characteristics. The shrinking process must be carefully adjusted as well. If packages pass too quickly or slowly through the tunnel, and if the temperature setting is too high or low, items will be packaged either too tightly or too loosely. Either way, packaging integrity and product appearance will be severely compromised. And again, different shrink films have different shrink characteristics, necessitating shrink tunnel readjustments when new films are introduced. Heritage Pioneer is experienced in the selection, installation, and service of these highly efficient and highly complex systems and can assist on any level.