Archive for the ‘Shrink Wrap / Packaging’ Category

Impulse Bag & Direct Heat Sealer FAQ

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Bag Sealer FAQAt ABC Office, we sell a lot of impulse bag sealers and direct heat bag sealers. These tools are used by people around the world to package food, parts and other products for retail sale. Having spoken to hundreds of customers over the past decade, I would like to provide a list of answers to frequently asked questions regarding our bag sealers (found here).

What is the burst strength of the seal? – Many people want to know just how tough the seal is made by a bag sealer. While there is no set burst strength, the wider the seal the stronger it will be. I have found in my own experience that the bag will often burst before the seal. The reason I can’t provide a set burst strength on the seal is because it can vary wildly depending on the bag’s material makeup and the product being packaged.

Should I use a hand sealer or a foot sealer? The type of sealer you use depends on the size of the bag and volume you are packaging. Hand sealers make sealing smaller bags, anywhere from a few inches to 12″, very easy. If you are packaging 12″ or larger, the foot sealers are nice because they allow you to use both hands to support and insert the bag for sealing. Foot sealers are also ideal for higher volume packaging needs (hundreds to thousands a day).

What types of materials can I package with my bag sealer? A lot of it depends on the sealer. As a general rule, impulse sealers work well with polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) bags, where constant heat sealers work well with gusset bags, poly cello films, coated Kraft papers, cellophane, waxed paper, mylar, coated polypropylene (PP) and other thick materials

Direct Heat SealersAre bag sealers safe to use? – Impulse bag sealers heat up and cool down in just seconds, making them safe to handle and use. Direct heat (aka constant heat) sealers get very hot and stay hot. Using a direct heat sealer does require the operator to be mindful of the hot sealing jaws.

How hard is a bag sealer to use? Bag sealers are extremely easy to set up and operate. Most allow you to set the sealing time and some the sealing temperature. These sealers, in most cases, are as easy to use as a pair of scissors. Very little training is required.

Which bag sealer should I buy? There are two factors to consider. First, what types of bags are you sealing? An answer to that question will determine if you need an impulse sealer or a direct heat sealer. Second, what is your packaging volume? If your volume is low, a hand sealer should be fine. If your volume is high, you may need a more robust machine like a foot sealer.

What are the power requirements? Most bag sealers that we sell run on a 110-120 volt system. This means if you are in the US or Canada, they should be able to be plugged into any standard outlet.

These are some of the most common questions we receive, but we receive several other less common questions every day. If you need more advice or answers to other questions, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-658-8788. We have years of experience with these machines and would sincerely like to help you out. You can find our entire selection of bag sealers here. Feel free to post your questions as a comment.

Sealer Sales KF-300CS & KF-200CS Heat Sealer Review

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Sealer Sales KF-200CS & KF-300CS Direct Heat SealersWhen it comes to sealing thicker bags shut, such as cellophane, coffee bags, coated aluminum and Kraft paper, you are probably going to need something a little tougher than your standard impulse bag sealer. That is where direct heat sealers come into play. Two of our most popular direct heat sealers are the KF-200CS (found here) and the KF-300CS (found here) from Sealer Sales. These machines are similar in every way except the sealing width. So is the KF series direct heat sealers a good match for you? Read on!

Impulse sealers are extremely popular tools for sealing bags shut, often made from materials such as polypropylene and polyethylene. Impulse sealers are designed to be quick, safe to operate and efficient. The only downside with impulse sealers is that the often can’t handle the thicker stuff, unless you go with a double impulse sealer (often more expensive). For this reason, direct heat sealers (often called constant heat sealers) fit the bill.

Direct heat sealers are continually on and produce a lot of heat. The result is the ability to quickly seal thicker bags shut such as those made from cellophane, Kraft paper and coated aluminum. The KF-300CS is 12″ wide and the KF-200CS is 8″ wide. This is enough width to seal most retail food bags and other thicker bags. Both models feature an adjustable temperature control. The seal produced by both of these sealers features a nice serrated pattern (horizontal lines) that is 15mm thick.

These sealers do produce a lot of heat. As a result, both of these sealers have had their jaws coated in PTFE, which is a non-stick surface much like what you find in a pan. This helps the sealer to seal the plastic shut without sticking to it. The design works remarkably well and is very fast, taking just seconds to seal a bag shut.

Because both of these sealers feature a portable handheld design, they are extremely easy to use, maneuver and operate. They are also great for use with odd sized packages and material. An included stand helps to keep the sealer in place when not in use or in place while packaging. Rubber handgrips help to protect the operator from the heat.

Here is a video demo of the KF series of direct heat sealers in action:

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One thing to keep in mind while using either the KF-300CS or the KF-200CS is that they get very hot. They take about 5-15 minutes to fully warm up and take several minutes to cool back down. Do not touch the jaws at any time as you could seriously burn yourself. As long as you take the proper precautions, you will be very happy with these direct heat sealers.

As is the case with most Sealer Sales products, both the KF-300C and KF-200CS are solid products. They are made using high quality metal products including the jaws and the handles.  If you need something a little bigger than 12″, you may want to consider using the 16″ FKR-400 bag sealer found here. You can find our entire selection of bag and hand sealers here. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions.

Traco Wand SuperSealer Shrink Wrap Machines now Available

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Traco Wand SuperSealer Shrink Wrap MachinesWe are proud to announce the addition of Traco Wand SuperSealer shrink wrap machines (found here) to our site. We have offered their fixed I-bar models for over a decade and they have been a best seller for years. We are excited to have this new addition to our lineup of shrink wrap machines and expect them to be very popular with people who need a wand style sealer for packaging products for storage or retail sale. Here are just a few things you may not know about the Traco wand sealers.

To begin with, we are offering the wand sealers in three different sizes. These are 24″, 32″ and 40″. The size you use will depend entirely on what you are packaging. Be aware that the larger sizes are perfectly compatible with smaller rolls of film. Just be sure you take into account what your future needs may be.

A wand sealer is essentially an I-bar sealer, but with a detached I-bar. The concept and the technology behind the sealing process is the same as you will find with any standard I-bar sealer. This detached “wand” is extremely portable and versatile, allowing the operator to cut the film at several different angles. This makes our Traco wand sealers excellent for use in packaging odd sized objects or for situations where multiple passes of the sealing bar may be required.

Because you’re not dealing with a hinge, as you find in fixed I-bar sealers, there is a lot of freedom in where that sealing bar can go. The wand sealer is pressed against the shred film you are cutting and ultimately ends up resting on a heat resistant pad that helps protect the table, counter or desk you are working on. These types of shrink wrap sealers are also ideal for use in smaller workspaces and in locates where working around a fixed bar may be difficult.

Much like traditional I-bar sealers, our Traco wand sealers still include a centerfold film roll dispenser and a film separator, making it easy to create pockets of shrink film for packaging products. Also included is the HotShot heat gun, which is the same gun you will find with the Traco Standard and Deluxe I-bar sealers. This heat gun has several temperature settings and includes a high and low trigger switch.

Our Traco wand sealers, and the included heat gun, are compatible with both PVC and Polyolefin centerfold film (found here). The Traco Wand SuperSealer includes a 100 foot roll of PVC centerfold shrink film, which means you get everything you need to get up and going with one single purchase.

As mentioned earlier, our Traco products have an excellent track record and we consider Traco to be a reputable and reliable manufacturer. Their products hold up well with continuous use and replacement parts, when needed, are readily available.

Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions you may have about wand sealers. You can find our entire selection of I-bar sealers by visiting us here.

Direct Heat Sealers vs Impulse Sealers – Which Should You Use?

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

If you are shopping for a bag sealer, you have probably noticed that they seem to come in two different flavors. These are direct heat sealers and impulse sealers (found here). The type of sealer you purchase really depends on the type of bag you are trying to seal. Both types of sealers are designed to quickly seal bags shut for packaging purposes. At ABC Office we offer both types of sealers. I would like to discuss the difference between the two technologies and help you determine which type you should use.

  • Direct Heat Bag SealerDirect Heat Sealers (aka Constant Heat Sealers) – These sealers use constant heat to seal plastic shut. This usually involves both sides of the sealing jaw. This means that the jaws are constantly hot. These types of sealers are excellent for use with sealing thicker materials. Materials that are ideal for use with direct heat sealers include gusset bags, poly cello films, coated Kraft papers, cellophane, waxed paper, mylar, coated polypropylene (PP) and other thick materials. Because direct heat sealers remain hot while it use, a little extra caution is urged to prevent burns.
  • Impulse Bag SealersImpulse Sealers – These sealers don’t need to warm up. They use impulses of electricity to quickly heat up and seal a bag shut. Once the sealing process is complete, impulse sealers quickly cool down. These types of sealers are very convenient because they can be immediately used and the chance of being burned is minimal. These types of sealers are perfect for use with thermoplastic materials. This includes those made from polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP). Impulse sealers can be used with bags and plastics such as padded mailers, foil, coated bags, Kel-F, Polyethylene, Polyurethane, Pilofilm, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Polyvinylchloride, Nylon, Sara, Mylar, Tyve, Polyflex and bubble packs.

Both direct heat sealers and impulse sealers come in different designs, depending on the size of the bag, the volume you are working with and the usage. Here are the different types of sealers:

  • Hand Sealers – These sealers look a lot like an I-bar sealer and are extremely portable and easy to move around. These sealers use impulse-sealing technology and come in different lengths. Most can seal film up to 10 mil thick.
  • Foot Sealers (aka Pedestal Sealers) – These sealers are ideal for continuous sealing operations and situations where both hands are needed to position bags. They usually have some sort of foot pedal that can be pressed to bring down the sealing bar. You can find foot sealers in both impulse and direct heat designs, depending on what you are sealing. Most foot sealers handle film up to 15 mil thick. The heavier-duty direct heat sealers can often handle 20 mil bags.
  • Double Impulse Sealers – These are the toughest impulse sealers you can buy. These include two sealing bars (top & bottom) and can be used with film up to 20 mil thick. These sealers are ideal for heavy duty projects and applications.
  • Sealers w/ Cutters – These sealers are designed to quickly seal a bag shut and then cut off the excess plastic. The cutting blade is usually built into the sealing arm of the sealer.
  • Automatic Sealers – These are heavy-duty sealers designed for continuous operation throughout the day and come in semi-auto and fully automatic designs. They usually sit on a table or countertop. These are designed to be programmed to accommodate the film you are using and then repeat the seal over and over again.
  • Continuous Band Sealers (found here) – These are the fastest bag sealers you can buy. They are designed to seal bags on a mass scale and use a conveyor-style system to quickly seal bags shut. These come in horizontal, vertical and tilted designs.

There are a few things you will want to keep in mind when picking a bag sealer. First, you will want to determine the type of film you are using and establish whether you need a constant heat sealer or an impulse sealer. You will then need to determine the speed that you need to package. You will also need to establish the maximum sealing length you need and how wide you need the seal to be. The nichrome sealing wire, depending on the model, comes in 2mm, 3mm, 5mm, 8mm or 10mm sealing widths.

We carry several different brands of bag sealers. We have great luck with models from AIE, SealerSales and Traco. If you need additional assistance with finding a machine, or if you have some questions, please give us a call at 1-800-658-8788.  You can find our entire selection of direct heat and impulse bag sealers here.

Best Shrink Wrap Machines for Packaging Food

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Food Packaging Shrink Wrap MachinesWhether you are trying to package chocolate or you simply need a way to package and present fruit baskets, shrink wrap (found here) is an effective food packaging tool. There are a few things you will need to know before purchasing a machine, but ultimately shrink wrap is an affordable and easy way to package food for a variety of reasons. I would like to cover a few machines that may help you and go over a few tips that may help you out.

There are two types of shrink wrap machines you’ll want to consider when packaging food. The first uses an I-bar sealer (found here) and the second uses an L-bar sealer (found here). An I-bar sealer shrinks film along one length at a time, requiring usually about two passes to seal a product in centerfold film. An L-bar sealer seals the film in two spots completing the sealing process in a single pass. As you might imagine, the L-bar sealer is much faster than an I-bar sealer, making it ideal for industrial and commercial applications. An I-bar sealer, however, is better for sealing and packaging products with awkward shapes and sizes.

When it comes to shopping around for film, you’ll probably want to use Polyolefin film (found here). Polyolefin film is safe for direct contact with food, where PVC film is only safe for indirect contact with food. Most shrink wrap machines can use either type of film.

What are the benefits of packaging food with shrink wrap? Shrink wrap provides a protective barrier from the outside. This may be handling by customers, shipping, the elements and much more. Shrink film also makes products look much more presentable. Shrink wrap can also have food preservation benefits by helping contain moisture and flavor.

Which machine design should you use? There are a lot of factors to take into consideration, but the biggest is packaging volume. I-bar sealers are good for packaging a few dozen to a few hundred items a day. If you are packaging more than that, you should really be using an L-bar sealer equipped machine.

What are some of the limiting factors? The biggest limiting factor will be the sealing width. In the case of an L-bar sealer it will be the width and the length. If you are using an L-bar sealer equipped with a heat tunnel, you will also need to take the height of the product into account. Many people remember the width and length, but forget the height. Remember, the height of the product will take up film. You’ don’t want to end up with a machine that won’t accommodate your product or future products.

What about heat damage? If you are worried your food item may suffer from heat damage, you may want to use a machine that utilizes a heat tunnel. A heat tunnel applies heat evenly and shrinks film much faster than a heat gun. Because heat guns are manually operated, they are subject to human error such as leaving the gun in a single spot for too long. I have had people package chocolates and other temperature sensitive food without suffering any damage.

Which brand is best? There are a lot of shrink wrap brands out there. Those that I have personally used and trust include AIE, Traco, Intelli-Pack, Minipack and Strategic Group.

If you still have questions about our shrink wrap machines, or if you would like samples to be tested on the machine we offer, please give us a call at 1-800-658-8788. We have over 30 years of experience and are more than happy to help you out.

Packaging Pizzas – Should You Use Shrink Wrap or a Vacuum Sealer?

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Pizza Packaging MachinesI had a great conversation with a customer yesterday who was interested in packaging his own pizzas. He had a small startup business and was only looking at packaging about 50 pizzas a day for retail sale. He was looking at several machines to package his 10″ and 12″ pizzas. He asked me, “Should I be using shrink wrap (found here) or a vacuum sealer (found here) for my pizzas?” This is how I answered him.

To begin with, I asked him what he was doing with the pizzas. He said he was packaging them for retail sale and needed professional packaging for sanitary purposes, preservation and professional presentation. These are all important when it comes to packaging food. While a good answer, this still isn’t enough information to answer the Shrink Wrap or Vacuum Sealer question. I then went on to explain why people use one or the other.

Shrink Wrap for Pizzas – Shrink wrap is one of the most common methods used for packaging pizzas. It is fast, looks great and is relatively affordable. One thing I let the customer know is that you need to use Polyolefin film (found here) when packaging pizzas. It is approved by the FDA for direct contact use with food. PVC shrink film is not. Shrink Wrap helps keep the food together (for presentation purposes), keeps it from drying out and also helps provide a barrier from outside contamination.

Shrink wrapping a pizza, however, is not good for long-term preservation. Shrink wrap is excellent for refrigerating a pizza, for use in displays and for a customer carrying the food home. It does not, however, provide adequate protection in a freezer. Most people, especially in a pizza retail environment, will be eating the purchased pizza the day they purchase the pizza or shortly thereafter. This is why shrink wrap is still extremely popular for packaging pizza. Shrink wrap is ultimately great for refrigerator preservation purposes.

Vacuum Sealers for Pizzas – Vacuum sealers are for pizza manufacturers that intend on distributing their pizzas to grocery stores and other food outlets. Vacuum sealers provide pizzas with excellent preservation. Vacuum sealers remove almost all of the air from the vacuum bag ensuring long term preservation. The vacuum seal bag also prevents the pizza from frost burn. I recommend that a cardboard backing be used or the pizza will loose its shape during the packaging process.

So which machines did I recommend? Before we established the type of packaging he needed, we went over these four machines for packaging his 10″ and 12″ pizzas:

  • AIE I-bar Sealer Shrink Wrap Machine (found here) – This machine is excellent for packaging a few dozen to perhaps a few hundred pizzas a day. It can be used with polyolefin film. Just be sure you get a machine that is the right size for your pizza. In this case, I recommended the 18″ model. Simply insert your pizza, seal the two open sides and use the heat gun to shrink the film.
  • Preferred Pack PP-48ST “All-in-One” (found here) – This machine is excellent if you need to package a pizza in a very short amount of time. Simply insert your pizza into the film, pull down the hood and let the machine do the rest. While the hood is down, the Galaxy will cut the film around the pizza and blast it with air to shrink the film.
  • Compack 5800 Shrink Wrap Machine (found here) – If you need a larger sealing area, the Compack 5800 is a great option. Like the 48ST, it quickly packages products in seconds. It can be used, depending on the speed of the operator, to package 8-10 pizzas per minute. This machine has a great track record with our customers.
  • Minipack MV 45 VacBasic Vacuum Sealer (found here) – This is a vacuum sealer that can be used to vacuum seal pizzas in a very short amount of time. It is Italian-made and features high-quality components. It is a great machine to have for vacuum sealing pizzas on a daily basis.

The customer told me he was not selling directly to the public and needed something for longer-term food preservation purposes, so he ended up going with the Minipack MV 45X vacuum sealer. At ABC Office we offer a huge lineup of shrink wrap machines and vacuum sealers. We are bound to have a machine that will fit your business’s needs. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 for answers to your pizza packaging questions.

Hopefully this information helps you out. Thank you for reading and have a great day!

Shrink Wrap Machines for Stacks of Paper

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Shrink Wrap Stacks of PaperIf you are filing away stacks of paper, invoices and other material from previous years, one great way to keep that paper protected is by shrink wrapping it. Shrink wrap provides a barrier from pests, dust, moisture and other damaging elements. Even better, shrink wrap helps keep paper bundled together, makes it easy to move around and makes it easier to organize. This is a process we use here at ABC Office. So which machine (found here) should you use to package your stacks of paper?

Shrink wrap machines come in a variety of shapes and sizes, depending on what you are packaging and how much you are packaging. The two most common shrink wrap tools people use for packaging paper is I-bar sealers and shrink wrap systems. Here is what the two systems consist of:

  • I-Bar Sealers (found here) – This is a type of shrink wrap machine that uses a single straight bar to cut a line through film. The bar cuts the film and seals the edge shut. While I-bar sealers can be used with shrink bags, most people use centerfold shrink film (found here) to package paper. The centerfold film is affordable, only requires two passes of the bar and is excellent for packaging volumes of stacks of paper. Once the I-bar has been used to cut the film around the paper, a heat gun is used to shrink the film down. I-bar sealers are probably the most common machines used by small to medium-size businesses for shrink wrapping old documents, invoices and other paperwork.
  • Shrink Wrap Systems (found here) – Shrink wrap systems are designed for higher-volume packaging than your standard I-bar sealer. They use what’s known as an L-bar to seal the film The L-bar is designed to seal two sizes of the film, essentially completely sealing the paper in a single pass. Most shrink wrap systems include a heat tunnel either integrated or to the side of the machine. Heat tunnels shrink film at a much faster speed than your standard heat gun.

Shrink Wrap SystemsSo what size of machine should you use? You will need to measure the paper to determine the sealing width dimensions. What you will need is the width and the height of the paper. I recently had a conversation with a customer that was packaging 12″ x 18″ paper that was about 4″ high. Sealing length with I-bar sealers isn’t such a big deal as the length of the product can be as long as the film roll is. What’s really important is the sealing width. So follow this formula when shopping for an I-bar sealer:

Width + Height + 2″

So for a 12″ x 18″ sheet size at 4″ tall, you would take 12″ + 4″ + 2″, which is 18″. So in this situation, the customer needed an 18″ I-bar sealer.

When shopping for a shrink wrap system (L-bar sealer), you will need to take the width and length into account.

What kind of film should you use? Centerfold shrink film, which is what you use for shrink wrapping paper, comes in two types of materials. The first is PVC and the second is Polyolefin. PVC film isn’t food safe, but since you are packaging paper that doesn’t matter. Here are a couple of things to consider between the two film types:

  • Centerfold Shrink Wrap FilmPVC Film (found here) – PVC film in most cases is going to be the cheaper of the two. If cost is an issue, you may want to consider using PVC film for packaging paper. Most people use 75 gauge film for packaging paper, however, if you are packaging over 2″ of paper, you may want to consider thicker 100 gauge film. PVC film is more brittle than Polyolefin film and can break in situations where Polyolefin film will stay together.
  • Polyolefin Film (found here) – Polyolefin film is rising in popularity for packaging paper for many reasons. For one, polyolefin film is more pliable and has more give for bundling large stacks of paper. Second, Polyolefin gives off fewer odors when heat is applied, making Polyolefin more desirable for packaging in enclosed places.

Regardless of the machine you go with, shrink wrap film is by far one of the most economical and long term tools for packaging and storing away paper. The film is clear, making enclosed paper easy to see, and you can easily write on it with a magic marker. If you are packaging invoices for a specific month and year, simply write on the film what the stack of invoices contains. It makes paperwork organization easy.

Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions about packaging paper for storage purposes. We use shrink wrap here at ABC office for filing away paperwork and are more than happy to provide you with tips and advice. You can find our entire selection of shrink wrap machines here.

Best Packaging Machines for Your Business

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Popular Packaging MachinesIf you are trying to package a product, you may be looking for a machine or a technique that can help you get the job done quickly, professionally and in an affordable way. At ABC Office, we offer hundreds of different machines that can be used to package products. Many of our customers use our products to package food, music, videos, games, boxes and much more. So which machine should you use to accomplish the job at hand? I will cover some of our most popular packaging machines (found here) in this article.

Having sold machines, spoken with customers and used much of the equipment we offer, I would like to speak of the top 7 types of packaging machines we offer. Each of these machines are made from high quality materials and are all very affordably priced. Please call us at 1-800-658-8788 for answers to questions regarding any of these products.

  1. I-Bar SealersI-Bar Sealers (found here) – I-bar sealers are one of the most basic types of shrink wrap machines we offer. They typically involve a single sealing bar that is used to close a single side of a shrink bag or shrink film. After multiple passes, a heat gun is typically used to shrink the film down around the product. These machines are excellent for low to medium-volume packaging. Popular brands include AIE and Traco.
  2. Shrink Wrap Systems (found here) – Our shrink wrap systems typically involve an L-bar sealer and an integrated or separate heat tunnel. These machines are designed for high volume packaging. The L-bar sealer used in our shrink wrap systems is designed to seal all sides of a product in a single pass. The heat tunnel quickly applies heat around the entire product, quickly shrinking down the shrink packaging in just seconds. Popular brands include Minipack and Truline.
  3. Hand SealersHand Sealers (found here) – Hand sealers, often called impulse sealers or bag sealers, are designed to seal the open end of a variety of plastic bags. These are perfect for packaging seeds, screws, food, art prints and many other products. Hand sealers come in different sealing lengths, widths and are capable of handling different mil thicknesses of bags. Popular brands include Traco and AIE.
  4. Pallet Stretch Wrappers (found here) – These machines are designed to apply type of film called stretch wrap. This stretch wrap helps keep bundled products together and are excellent for putting multiple products onto a pallet. The pallet is loaded onto the pallet wrapper’s base, which spins and applies stretch wrap evenly around the pallet of goods. Our pallet wrappers are made by Truline.
  5. Vacuum Sealers (found here) – Vacuum Sealers can be used to package a variety of products, but are especially popular with the food industry. This is because vacuum sealers provide an easy and effective way to preserve meat, fruits, vegetables, fish and other perishable items. We offer both external and chamber vacuum sealers from Minipack.
  6. Band SealersBand Sealers (found here) – Band sealers work much like a hand sealer, but on a larger scale. Bags are fed into the band sealer, which in turn quickly seals the back shut and ejects them from the other side of the machine. We offer a great selection of both vertical band sealers and horizontal band sealers from AIE. Most of these machines have a tabletop design although larger floor models are available.
  7. Mail Baggers (found here) – Have you ever received a magazine or several magazines that were packaged in a plastic bag? This is done by using a machine called a mail bagger. These machines essentially take your newspaper, magazine or other literature and put it into a bag and seals it shut. This bag can then be easily mailed via USPS or other mail carrier.

These are the seven most common packaging machines that we offer. We also offer a large selection of carton sealers, sleeve wrappers, blister sealers and more. We also offer a great selection of shrink wrap and vacuum sealer film. You can find our entire selection of packaging machines here. Again, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with your questions. Have a great day!

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

Friday, August 24th, 2012

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.

Why is the Minpack Galaxy Such a Good Machine?

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Minipack Galaxy Shrink Wrap MachineHave you ever used a machine that worked so well that it simply exceeded all of your expectations? This is the case with the Minipack Galaxy (found here). I have used this machine time and time again and I am always impressed with how the results turn out. As I sat back and thought about it, I believe there are several reasons why it is such a good machine. I would like to include a few of those in this article.

Before I start talking about the Minipack Galaxy, I would like to emphasize that Minipack by itself is a great company. I have had the opportunity to use several of their shrink wrap machines and chamber vacuum sealers. The quality, which is Italian, is about as good as you will find in a packaging machine. Their products don’t use cheap sheet metal, but use thick steel and other high-end parts.

Here are just a few of the reasons I like the Minipack Galaxy:

  • 115 Volt – It doesn’t require a 220-volt power source and you don’t need an electrician to wire your business to use it. You will need to purchase a 115-volt electrical plug end, but you can find those at any hardware store and they are easy to attach. Once ready, just plug it into a wall outlet and you’re ready to start packaging.
  • Large Sealing Area – The 12″ x 14″ sealing area is more than enough space to package CDs, DVDs, boxes and many other products. It is an ideal sealing area for most small to medium packaging needs.
  • Large Chamber Height – The chamber height is set at 8″, which is more than enough for most packaging needs. Again, this is a well-rounded chamber height.
  • Large Roll Diameter – The Minipack Galaxy can handle a film roll up to 10″ in diameter, which is a fairly large roll of film.
  • Perforating Wheel – The Galaxy has a perforating wheel that pokes tiny holes in the film. This allows air to quickly leave the packaging while heat is being applied, which allows for more even and professional results. It also helps cut down in large holes during the packaging process.
  • Italian Design & Build – There’s something to be said for Italian engineering and ingenuity. While many shrink wrap machines are built with cost saving measures in mind, which often lead to sub-par products, the Italian-made Galaxy is about as good a machine as you will find.
  • Integrated Heat Tunnel – This machine doesn’t require a separate heat tunnel for packaging. The Galaxy seals and shrinks the film in a single pass.
  • Magnetic Lockdown – Once you pull down the hood, the Galaxy will keep the hood down using built-in electromagnets. Once the packaging process is completed, the Galaxy will automatically release the hood and return it to an open position. This means less manual effort on the part of the operator, creates a cleaner seal and allows the operator to begin working on the next item while another is being sealed.
  • Fast – This machine takes literally just seconds to seal the film around your product and shrink it down using the integrated heat tunnel.
  • Programmable – The Minipack galaxy can hold up to 10 customizable programs, making it easy to quickly reference a program for the product you are packaging.
  • Multiple Settings – The Galaxy allows you to adjust the temperature, sealing time and tunnel time. This makes the Minipack Galaxy extremely versatile.
  • Multi Film Compatible – This shrink wrap machine can be used with both PVC and Polyolefin shrink film.

I simply can’t say enough good things about the Minpack-Torre Galaxy shrink wrap machine. It looks good, is easy to use, is fast and is very reasonably priced.

This is a video demo of the Minipack Galaxy in use:

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You can find our entire selection of shrink wrap machines here. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions about this machine or about shrink wrap machines in general.

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