How To Use An I-Bar Sealer for Shrink Wrapping w/ Video

I-Bar Sealer for Shrink Wrap PackagingIf you are trying to package your own products, whether it is a DVD or a box of chocolates, you will probably want to use some sort of shrink wrap packaging. One of the most affordable and effective ways to package products on a low to medium-volume scale is by using an I-bar sealer. These sealers are remarkably easy to operate, take very little time to use and are very affordable. I have used dozens of different models of I-bar sealers (found here) and would like to provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to use one. I am going to include a very informative video demo in this article.

This how-to guide can be used with just about any I-bar sealer, although most of my experience is with Traco, Intelli-Pack and AIE brand machines. There are very few differences between I-bar sealers other than perhaps the build quality. I have found Traco, Intelli-Pack and AIE machines to be top of the line. Most I-bar sealers feature a film roll holder, a film opener, a spring-loaded sealing bar and many include a heat gun. Most I-bar sealers can be used with PVC and Polyolefin centerfold film rolls or bags.

Before I go into how to use an I-bar sealer in this article, I would like to post our video demo on how to use an I-bar sealer.

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How to Use an I-Bar Sealer

  • Step 1 – If you are using centerfold shrink film, place your roll of film on the two supporting film rollers. These rollers spin on smooth-rolling bearings, making it easy to dispense film.
  • Step 2 – Once the film is in place, feed the open end of the film over the film separator. The film separator is a metal bar (usually round) that helps keep the film opened for easy product insertion.
  • Step 3 – Take your product and put it inside the open pocked of film. You don’t want too much excess film, so try and make sure the product you are packaging isn’t pulled too far left of the sealing bar.
  • Step 4 – Pull down the sealing bar and cut the film to the right of the product you are packaging. If the bar isn’t cutting the film properly, you may need to increase the sealing time. Once you have your first side sealed, take the package and rotate it 90 degrees to the left and seal the other open side shut.
  • Step 5 – Now that your product is completely enclosed in film, take your heat gun and begin applying heat. Apply heat to all sides of the product you are packaging. This will cause the film to shrink and hug tightly to the item you are packaging. The heat gun’s temperature can typically be increased or decreased. If you notice the film is breaking or holes are melting through, you may need to decrease the temperature, hold the gun further back or move the heat gun around instead of leaving it in a single spot.

Using an I-bar sealer is extremely easy as you can see from the video demo and my step-by-step instructions. If you are packaging dozens to hundreds of products a day, an I-bar sealer is an affordable option. If you are packaging thousands a day, you may need to upgrade to an L-bar sealer with an integrated tunnel. You can find our entire selection of shrink wrap machines here and shrink film here.

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