A shrink wrapping machine provides a fast and effective solution for securing pallets and protecting inventory. With an outer layer of plastic, you hold the load together and prevent damage to the items inside.
If you are moving a lot of inventory through a warehouse, then a shrink wrapping machine can be an excellent investment. This equipment is efficient and cost-effective, helping to optimize the productivity of your team, save costs on material waste, and ensure a safe and secure load.
Here are the top things to think about before making the final decision.
The size and gauge of the shrink film you use will affect the overall cost of packaging your product. Shrink film is priced by gauge and width, so thicker gauge film costs more than lower gauge film. Most companies use shrink film that is too thick for their application, usually because it allows them to use less efficient machines, inexperienced or competent operators, or even sub-standard settings.
However, reducing your specifications to what you need can significantly reduce the price and maintenance costs of shrink film. Rather than arbitrary specifications, evaluate your exact requirements.
The heavier the gauge, the longer it will take to make the right seal, which will wear out your machine more quickly and require more frequent maintenance. Today, thinner, stronger shrink films are available, minimizing the need to overcompensate for gauge thickness. It's worth running some film tests on your product to determine what gauge you need to properly protect your product without wasting money on thicker film.
See what your product and distribution environment can handle. Rigid containers such as metal cans easily transition from a tray to a pad. But what if you’re dealing with a 3-ounce plastic bottle with an hourglass shape? Be very careful and do a lot of testing to see if it’s even possible to move from a tray to a pad to an overwrap. Shrink-only packs will obviously save corrugated costs, but such a move requires foresight and planning to ensure package integrity with package development experts.
The speed at which you’re wrapping is a key parameter. The number of products remains on the upside of the growth curve; consider this as you examine potential equipment. While there are no hard and fast rules, the impact of product development on speed cannot be ignored.
Flexible robotics requires extra capacity; have one or two extras so, if one machine fails, your whole line isn’t down. Designing in excess packing capacity can improve overall uptime.
If a product is affected by temperature, case packing is preferable to shrink wrapping. If product visibility is important, shrink packing is better, unless the product is affected by shrink wrapping pressure.
Flexible materials are having an impact on multi-packing. Certain flexible bags cannot be shrink wrapped because they are prone to distortion; otherwise the shrink bundle could be fused onto the primary packaging.
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