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Choosing the Right Shrink Wrap

November 26, 2018 | Packaging | No Comments

shrink wrap palletThe type, size, and gauge of shrink wrap that you use will determine the overall cost of packaging that you will incur. This is an obvious observation that anyone running a business will have in mind. However, the vast majority of companies that use shrink film for packaging tend to use thicker gauges to package their products in a bid to compensate for using less efficient packaging machines and or having less experienced technicians do the packaging. As such, they use capabilities they do not require, which end up increasing the cost of packaging, and ultimately, the cost of running their business.

Luckily, there is a better way to go about it. By choosing the right gauge and the right type of shrink wrap for your packaging needs, you reduce the cost of packaging, ultimately reducing the cost of doing business. Herein we will explore how to go about choosing the best shrink wrap material for your specific needs. The goal of this read is to help you choose the right material, while also satisfying your packaging needs with compromise.

Determining The Shrink Film Best For Your Application

There is a wide variety of shrink films on the market. These include:

#1. PVC Shrink Film

PVC is a typically a material with glossy, crystal clear, with high clarity. The material can come in tubular form or centrefold form. Typically, this material is best used for air-tight packaging where preservation of scent is important. This material is perfect for packaging uniform object such as soaps, boxes, CD cases, etc.

However, it is important to note when heat is applied to this material during heat treatment, the material becomes brittle. As such, the material is not the best to use when packaging heavy and or pointy objects.

#2. Polyolefin Shrink Film

This material is a slightly better than PVC shrink wrap in almost every way. For starters, polyolefin is typically approved by the FDA for direct food contact. As such, you can package edible products using this material. Furthermore, the material is very strong and has exceptional puncture-resistant properties. As such, it is the perfect material to package irregular materials that are heavy and or have point edges and corners. Moreover, the make-up of the material makes it the best option when you have to print custom labels on.

The other material used is the polyethylene Shrink film. It is used in heavy industry and it is thermostatic printable material on offer.

That being said, you should note that it does allow scent to pass through. As such, it is not very effective in helping products retain their original levels of scent.

Determining The Thickness (Gauge) Of Shrink Wrap Appropriate For Your Application

After determining whether to use a PVC or Polyolefin shrink film, the next bit is to determine the thickness of the film that will suffice for your application.

Shrink film thickness is usually measured in Mil, with 1 Mil being one-thousandth of an inch. However, most polyethylene sheets are measured by gauge, with one gauge being one-hundredth of an inch. As such, 1 gauge equals one-hundredth of a Mil.

When it comes to PVC, the common gauge is the 75 gauge and the 100 gauge. That being said, figuring out which gauge to use in the case you use PVC is quite easy as it is not usually used to package irregularly shaped items.

As for the polyolefin, the thinnest material you can get is the 50 gauge. This is usually used to package very light food items. However, owing to the thinness, it is commonly used. The next gauge is the 60 gauge polyolefin shrink wrap, which is used to pack food items such as small cookies, confectioneries, stationery items, and other products.

The next polyolefin gauge is 75, which is best used for items with a weight just below 30 to 35 pounds. Anything beyond the 35-pound mark is best packed using the 100 gauge polyolefin shrink wrap.

Polyethylene shrink film comes in thickness weights range of 4 to 12 mil. The thicker the polyethylene shrink film, the larger and the heavier the item is can package.

With the above considerations in mind, it is still important that you make use of a combination of the best machines possible and the well-trained technicians. The shrink wrapping process will determine the integrity of the package. Therefore, if you intend to use the appropriate thickness, you should ensure that the packaging process is done right.

By Ewan

Packaging Machinery Technology

November 26, 2018 | Machinery | No Comments

When you receive a package in the mail, one that has been neatly wrapped, you may not realise that modern technology has made that possible. In the past, all packaging was done through manual labour, but today it is almost always the result of machinery and technology.

There have been many advancements in the field of packaging machinery, so much so that it has allowed companies to send out millions of items that are automatically packaged with little to no human involvement. Here is a brief overview of the technology that is involved in packaging virtually any product that you are going to sell.

Machinery for Packaging

How Do These Machines Work?

These machines are multifaceted units that consist of components that each serve a specific purpose. For example, there is the first part where different material such as plastic or paper will be brought into the packaging system. Based upon predefined variables, the machines will then wrap the items that you are going to ship. Within seconds, different items can be packaged using these machines that are extremely fast, sometimes taking up entire warehouses because of their complexity. Although they have reached a high point in technological advancements, there are still more to come. Soon these machines will likely eliminate a multitude of jobs that human beings have on these assembly lines.

Advancements In This Technology That Have Occurred

Part of the advancements that have happened in recent years revolve around what is called robotics. This technology has actually caused people to fear for their jobs. Although human beings are still necessary for different aspects of the processing of packages, the actual packaging of items that are then put into boxes is almost fully automated. There will be individuals that are trained to operate the computer systems which controlled the entire packaging plant. However, the work itself is completed by the robotics that is incorporated into these packaging plants which are becoming faster and better annually.

What Is The Next Stage Of Packaging Machinery?

The next stage is likely going to involve the replacement of even more people that will soon become unnecessary. As these machines become more advanced, they may incorporate a form of artificial intelligence that will be able to detect problems and repair them as well. Of course, human beings will still be in control, but it will slowly limit them as a necessary component of the system. The goal of most large companies that produce millions of packages every year is to cut costs, and this can certainly be done because of packaging machinery.

Machines will always be controlled by human beings. There will always be that aspect. However, it is certainly possible that the number of people that must play a role in the packaging process will be diminished to just a handful at each facility. They will be highly trained, capable of programming and reprogramming these units, but the robotics will continue to become more accurate and efficient. We are moving toward an age where assembly-line processes will soon only require a computer program and the robotic components to do the jobs that need to be completed.

By Ewan

Industrial Packaging Trends

November 26, 2018 | Packaging | No Comments

Smarter packaging translates into more efficient operations for many businesses out there. There are the companies that supply the industrial packaging materials, and then there are the companies that utilise them to push out product. What are the major industrial packaging trends in 2018 that are driving the market for years to come?

First, let’s identify the key players in this sector. There are of course the chemical and pharmaceutical companies. There are also the companies that sell lubricants. The building and construction industry is included on this short list, and there is one more major player. That industry is the bulk food and beverages industry.

Industrial packaging trends

Industrial packaging as a sector is growing steadily, and it is estimated in a couple of years to be a $60+ billion dollar industry. While the growth for the market is only a little over 3 percent per year, it’s still steadily climbing. Moreover, there is a major shift globally that is driving the market. Asia now leads this sector in market share, and the continent will continue to do so in the coming years.

That is one major trend that is being discussed among analysts. Furthermore, another trend is that the major industries involved in the industrial packaging sector are still recovering from the global economic downturn from a decade ago. That type of forecast really makes one think about the economy and how this sector ties in to consumerism.

Which type of industrial packaging is seeing the largest amount of growth? The answer to that question is IBCs, and both IBCs and drums are also responsible for the largest market share in general. If you look at the entire industrial packaging sector, these two examples are a third of the overall market. That’s a rather impressive statistic, wouldn’t you say?

Sacks also have a large market share, thanks to both pharmaceutical companies and chemical companies. Yet this type of industrial packaging is actually losing momentum and market share, just slightly. Bulk supplies, recycling and mechanisation all play roles in how the industrial packaging sector is being handled in 2018 and beyond. The changing trends are certainly driving the market, especially for the four industries mentioned.

Recycling efforts are helping to minimise the impact on the environment of course, and that is certainly a driving force in the sector and in each industry. If you are reading this and are a business owner, how has recycling and the packaging trends of 2018 affected your company? Metal packaging trends are one of the driving forces when it comes to recycling efforts.

There is down sizing that is taking place within certain industries as well. And it was definitely mentioned that there are global shifts going on, causing changes within the sector. There have also been technological improvements and a trend moving away towards manual operations. That has been happening for quite some time, but it is definitely reshaping industries moving past 2018 and into the future.

It is desired to use less materials across the board, conserving resources and cutting costs. That objective is more easily achieved for certain industries, but it is a goal of all companies. Environmental impact is a leading factor, and of course the consumers benefit from this type of company focus in more ways than one.

Given the trends described, which of them are having a major impact on your industry and company? Perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at what you are going to do for your company to change the way you handle industrial packaging. What can you do to make a difference in the way your company does business?

By Ewan