Shrink wrap machines apply heat to shrink a plastic film around a product. This process is often done by automated equipment, but manual and semi-automatic shrink wrap machines are also available. Shrink wrap machines cover the item, and then sent it through a heat tunnel or oven for shrinking. They are used to wrap many different types of packaging, including aerosol containers, bags or pouches, blister packs, bottles or jars, cans, capsules, cartridges, cases, cups or trays, drums or kegs, pallets, tubes, vials, and other packaging containers. Specialized and proprietary shrink wrap machines are also available for a variety of applications and industries.
Types of Shrink Wrap Machines
There are two main types of shrink wrap machines: I-bar sealers and L-bar sealers. I-bar shrink wrap machines are often used for low-to-mid volume applications. These shrink wrap machines have a long bar to make single cuts in PVC or polyolefin film. Once cut with the I-bar, the film is often shrunk with a heat-gun or heat tunnel. L-bar machines are used for medium to high-level shrink wrap applications. The cutting bar is “L” shaped and only requires one pass around a product for cutting. These shrink wrap machines can be used along with a heat gun or heat tunnel as well.
With shrink wrap machines, materials can be supplied in a few different ways. These including flat rollstock, center-folded film, and pre-formed shrink bags. Flat rollstock shrink wrap is wrapped around a product. Center-folded machines are supplied by a roll of shrink wrap. The plastic is folded in half and placed in the center of the machine. The remaining edges of the shrink wrap are sealed, form a bag, and the package is heated – causing the bag to shrink to the product in the bag. Pre-formed bags are another option of shrink wrap machines. These bags have one open end, allowing the product to be placed in, sealed, and shrunk.
Extra features for shrink wrap machines include aseptic or sanitary options, feeding device, hazardous location protection, portability, processor interface, and stainless steel construction. Additional features for shrink wrap machines, such as robotic automation, may also be available.