Archive for the ‘Shrink Wrap / Packaging’ Category

Minipack Galileo / Galaxy Has No Electrical Plug?

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Minipack Galileo Shrink Wrap Machine SystemIt’s already a well-known fact that the Minipack Galileo and Galaxy are two of the most popular and highest-recommended shrink wrap machines around. There is one small thing that you may need to be aware of, however, before purchasing one of them.

While we do try to specify this on the respective product pages, both the Minipack Galaxy and Galileo ship without an electrical plug. The power cable is still with the machine, but the end (where the plug should be) has exposed wires. So why is this?

This is because of the various outlets used throughout the country and world. Remember, these machines are made in Italy.  The Galaxy is a 110-120V system and the Galileo is a 220-240V system. The end connector you use will depend entirely on what’s available in your building.

Minipack Galileo Electrical Plug ConnectorAn end connector can be found at just about any hardware store, including Lowes, Home Depot and Ace Hardware. For just a few dollars, the correct end connector can be purchased.

Connecting the plug to the exposed end cable is easy to do and takes just a few minutes. Our Service Department is more than happy provide you with over-the-phone assistance to help connect the plug to the cable if needed.

In conclusion, don’t worry if your Galaxy or Galileo has no plug. This is perfectly normal and is done for your convenience (funny as it may seem).

You can find the Minipack Galileo here and the Minipack Galaxy here. You can find our entire selection of shrink wrap machines here.

Do-It-Yourself Shrink Wrap Packaging

Monday, November 29th, 2010

I-Bar Shrink Wrap MachineAre you starting up your own business or are you trying to sell your own unique product? If you are selling goods, of any sort, you may be in need of a shrink wrap machine. Many people are intimidated at the thought of packaging their own products. Some think it is too hard and others think it is too expensive. This isn’t the case.

You may be surprised by how many of our customers buy shrink wrap machines and film from us for their own do-it-yourself packaging. The most popular type of shrink wrap machine for start-up businesses is the I-bar sealer. We offer models from both AIE and Traco that are both huge hits.

An I-bar (aka straight bar) shrink wrap machine has a single bar that is used for cutting film around a product. When used with centerfold shrink wrap film, a total of about 2 passes are required to completely package a product. A shrink bag only requires one pass. Once the package is fully sealed, a heat gun is used to shrink the film down.

The entire packaging process only takes a few minutes. Here is a video demo of me using a Traco I-bar shrink wrap machine. I have had customers use I-bar sealers to package CDs, DVDs, fruit baskets, soap bars, chocolate and more.

The I-bar shrink wrap machines we sell are made from high quality components. They rarely need servicing. Most servicing involves changing the pad, the tape or the wire element. We offer all of these parts and they can be replaced by anyone.

You can find our entire selection of I-bar shrink wrap machines here. You can find our polyolefin shrink film here and our PVC  shrink film here.

Good luck packaging your products! I am certain that you will have great luck and success with your do-it-yourself packaging operations. The end results will be very professional and will make a great impression on your customers.

Best Type Of Shrink Wrap Film

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Shrink Wrap Machines & Film
I have had several customers ask me which type of shrink wrap film is the best. Naturally, they want to get the best type for their machine. In order to answer this question, there are some details you will need to be aware of. Here are a few tips that may help you come to a decision.

There are two main types of shrink wrap film used today, regardless of whether it is centerfold or shrink wrap bags. These types of film are PVC and Polyolefin. While the shrink film rolls themselves look very similar, the end results are a little different.

Polyolefin Shrink Wrap Film
PVC film has been around for years. It is cheap and works on pretty much any machine out there. It has a more brittle feel to it than Polyolefin and is general ideal for use in single-product packaging. It doesn’t hold up as well when packaging multiple items together. PVC film is not safe for use with food.

Polyolefin film has also been around for some time, but is newer on the market than PVC film. Polyolefin is sometimes referred to as poly film. Polyolefin film is more pliable than PVC and is food safe. One thing I really like about Polyolefin film is that it puts off less odor than PVC film during the shrinking process. Poly film is also better for packaging multiple products.

Another thing you will want to take into consideration is the gauge of the film. The higher the gauge, the thicker the film. If you only need shrink wrap film for protecting a product, something as thin as a 60 gauge film may be more than enough. If you will be bundling multiple products together, you may want to go with something thicker, perhaps 75 gauge or more.

Before purchasing shrink film, be sure you know what you will be packaging. You don’t want to end up with a roll of film only to find out it isn’t the right type or the right thickness.

Also be sure and take into consideration the height of the product you are shrink wrapping. Many people don’t realize that increased product height will decrease the packaging width effectiveness of the shrink wrap roll.

Hopefully this information helps you out. If this article has left you with even more questions, please feel free to call one of our shrink wrap experts at 1-800-658-8788. You can find our entire selection of shrink wrap film here and shrink wrap machines here.

Shrink Wrap Machine Troubleshooting Tips

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Shrink Wrap MachinesIs your shrink wrap machine acting up and causing a fuss? As with any machine, shrink wrap machines will eventually need a little maintenance and preventative care. I have come up with a list of some of the most common shrink wrap machine problems reported to me by our customers along with solutions that should help fix these issues.

Common Shrink Wrap Problems

  • Burrs – Burrs are clumps of burned plastic that form along the edge of sealed shrink wrap film. These burrs are usually caused by the cutting wire element getting dirty. Cleaning this wire, or replacing it, will usually eliminate burs from occurring.
  • Bag Not Sealing – There are several possible situations that may be occurring if the bag is not sealing correctly. The least expensive solution is to try adjusting the sealing time or temperature. If this does not help, you may need to replace either the wire element or the teflon tape & pad.
  • Excessive Smoke – Excessive smoke is usually caused by a dirty sealing wire element. First try cleaning this wire. If that doesn’t solve the problem, the wire may need to be replaced.
  • Holes – If holes keep occurring in the shrink wrap film, during the shrinking process, your heat gun or heat tunnel is running too hot. Try turning down the temperature. This should fix the problem.
  • Wrinkles – If wrinkles keep occurring in your shrink wrapped products, more than likely your heat tunnel or heat gun are running too cold. Wrinkles are usually the result of un-shrunk film.

These are some of the most common issues I have experienced with shrink wrap machines. These are also some of the easiest fixes available. If you are experiencing more serious issues, you may want to contact our Service Department by filling out this form.

You can find our entire selection of shrink wrap machines, supplies and accessories here.

Streamline Your Shrink Wrap Operations With A Gravity Conveyor

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Nestaflex Gravity ConveyorShrink wrap machines are amazing things. They can be used to package just about anything, whether it is DVDs, a bar of soap or a basket of fruit. If you are packaging products on a high-volume basis, you may find that you are having trouble packaging and moving products in a streamlined fashion. One great way to speed things up is by using a gravity conveyor.

Gravity conveyors are just like the conveyors you may have seen in factories, but there is no motor involved. Products are carried along the conveyor by means of wheels or rollers. These wheels and rollers spin on silent and smooth bearings, which make it extremely to move boxes along the conveyor line. The type of conveyor you use will depend on the size of package you are dealing with and how long you need the conveyor to be.

Most gravity conveyors have some sort of accordion-like design, making it possible to shrink or stretch the conveyor. They are also typically designed in a way that allows them to bend in an S or snake-like fashion. Sitting on casters, they can typically be moved around to accommodate any situation.

At ABC Office we carry Nestaflex brand gravity conveyors. Our customers that have purchased a gravity conveyor for their shrink wrap system typically put the conveyor at the end of their heat tunnel or machine (if an integrated tunnel is being used). As the package is finished being wrapped, it is either ejected onto the conveyor or manually placed on the conveyor. The next product is easily lined up right behind.

Overall I consider a gravity conveyor to be a great way to streamline high-volume shrink wrapping. The machines are very easy to set up and install.

You can find our entire selection of Nestaflex gravity conveyors here and our entire selection of shrink wrap machines here.

Traco HotShot Shrink Wrap Film Heat Gun Review

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Traco HotShot Shrink Wrap Film Heat GunDo you have an L-bar or an I-bar sealer and either need a heat gun or are in need of a replacement? One model you should look at prior to making a purchase is the Traco HotShot shrink film heat gun (found here). I have used this heat gun and this is my review.

Traco is a leading U.S. manufacturer of shrink wrap film, sealers and equipment. This includes I-bar sealers, heat & bag sealers and other shrink wrap machines. One key element used in many of their shrink wrap systems is the HotShot heat gun.

The Traco HotShot is an efficient and portable machine designed to shrink film. This can be done from just about any angle and the entire shrinking process takes just seconds. This can be used to shrink film around a book, a DVD, a box and many other products.

I get asked the question all the time, “Can a hair drier be used to shrink film?” The answer to that is no. The Traco HotShot can produce up to 1100 degrees of heat. Hair driers never exceed 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius). That said, a hair drier doesn’t even come close to reaching the needed temperature to shrink film.

The HotShot is an affordable alternative to using a heat shrink tunnel. Heat shrink tunnels can often cost in excess of over $1,000 and are primarily used for high-volume packaging. If your packaging needs are low to medium volume, the HotShot should be able to keep up with demand.

The HotShot has two different fan settings and includes an adjustable temperature dial. This heat gun also includes a protective hand guard to help prevent injury.

I have used this heat gun and it is very easy to use. There is no special training needed other than a little common sense. Simply plug it in, turn it on, select the temperature & fan speed and you’re ready to go.

You can find the Traco HotShot shrink film heat gun here. You can find our entire selection of shrink wrap machines and supplies here.

Great Compack 5800 Shrink Wrap Machine Deal – Limited Time

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Compack 5800 Shrink Wrap MachineI just wanted to fill you all in on a great deal we are offering on our Compack 5800 shrink wrap machine. For a limited time, we are offering free shipping. Keep in mind that this machine is heavy and ships via truck (crated). All said and done, this is a great deal.

We are offering free shipping on the Compack 5800 shrink wrap machine until October 15th, so you have about a month till this deal expires.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Compack 5800, it continues to be one of our best-selling shrink wrap systems. It can be used to package CDs, DVDs, Boxes, soap, paper and much more. The tunnel area is large (18″ W x 22″ L x 10″ H) and it is extremely easy to use.

It has a built-in heat tunnel. Simply put your product in the plastic shrink wrap, pull the arm down to cut the film and the machine does the rest. If you package items on a daily basis, this is a great machine to have on hand.

You can read more about the Compack 5800 by reading our official review found here.

You can find the Compack 5800 shrink wrap machine here. Take advantage of this deal while you can. Call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions.

Sircle WiAir 200 Inflatable Air Cushion Packaging System Review

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Sircle WiAir 200 Inflatable Air Cushion Packaging SystemAre you looking for an affordable, space-saving method for packaging boxes and products for shipping? One machine you should take a look at is the Sircle WiWair 200 inflatable air cushion packaging system. This is my review.

Many warehouses use packaging peanuts to protect merchandise and for packaging purposes. Packaging peanuts can cost a lot (over time) and take up a lot of space. Many people are now switching to inflatable air cushion packaging. This is not only in an effort to save money, but because this type of packaging requires little space.

The Sircle WiAir 200 uses a plastic roll of film to create packaging material. It essentially seals the end of the plastic, fills a pocket with air and seals the other end shut. Air pockets can range anywhere from 4 to 12-inches in size. These pockets are easy to handle, clean and don’t make a mess.  The Wi-Air 200 uses its own self-contained air compressor for filling the bags.

Example Of Inflatable Air Cushion Pockets Made By The Sircle WiAir 200These pockets can then be placed in a box and provide excellent protection during shipping. Many argue that air pockets are even better at protecting merchandize than packaging peanuts. This is due in part to the fact that packaging peanuts can shift around during transit, where air pockets stay firmly in place.

One roll of WiAir 200 film equals about the same amount of packaging as you will find in 7 bags of packaging peanuts. That is a huge amount of space savings. The film used in the WiAir 200 is made from a low-density polyethylene (biodegradable).

The film rolls themselves are about 328 feet long and 2 mils in thickness. Each roll weighs about 4 pound. This equals out to about 50 cubic feet of void fill. This film has been UPS ASTM D6653 tested and certified.

I have used this machine myself and it is extremely easy to set up. There is no special training required. Once you have set the desired length and pocket size, simply turn the machine on and let it do the rest. It operates at about 3.3 feet of packaging per minute. It also features a built-in slitter for cutting the pockets from the film roll.

The money and space saving benefits alone are enough to convince me that inflatable air packaging is far superior to packaging peanuts. I give this machine high marks and highly recommend it to warehouses and packaging departments.

You can find the Sircle WiAir 200 inflatable air cushion packaging system here. You can find our entire selection of packaging equipment here.

Shrink Wrap Heat Tunnels vs Heat Guns

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Shrink Wrap Heat TunnelWhen it comes to packaging products with shrink wrap, there are two different ways to finish the process. One is by use of a heat gun and the other is by use of a heat tunnel. Both will get the job done. So which system should you use? I’ll explain the differences here.

The biggest and probably most fundamental difference between a heat gun and a heat tunnel is speed. A heat tunnel is significantly faster than a heat gun. Here is a brief description of the two different designs:

  • Heat Tunnels – Heat tunnels typically use some sort of conveyor system that transports the product. The tunnel is heated and blows hot air around the product, causing the shrink film to contract thus completing the packaging process. Heat tunnels are not only known for their speed, but also for their ability to evenly shrink film. Heat tunnels are often located to the side of a shrink wrap machine. Many machines now include a built-in heat tunnel. This process usually takes just seconds.
  • Heat Guns – Heat guns are essentially glorified hair driers, however, much hotter. They are manually held and manually operated. The operator typically blows hot air on one side of the product, flips it, and then shrinks the film on the other side. This process can take anywhere from 10-60 seconds, depending on the size of the product and the experience of the operator.

Apart from speed, price is also a differentiating factor. Heat tunnels are more of an investment where heat guns are a fraction the cost.

You really need to analyze how many products you need to package per day and where you expect your production volume to be years down the road prior to making a purchase. Heat tunnels can be used to package hundreds to thousands of products a day where heat guns are typically used for a few dozen to hundreds per day.

Both heat tunnels and heat guns will probably last you for years, so be sure your decision today doesn’t adversely affect your job later down the road.

You can find our entire selection of shrink wrap heat tunnels here and our heat guns here.

Traco TISH Impulse Bag & Heat Sealer Review

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Traco TISH Impulse Bag & Heat SealersAre you looking for a fast and effective way to seal bags, mailers and other plastic material? An effective way to do this is by using a heat sealer (aka bag sealer). One model that has quickly grown in popularity is the Traco TISH line of impulse heat sealers (found here). This is my review.

Traco is best known for their line of shrink wrap machines, including both I-bar and L-bar designs. While they have been making heat bag sealers for some time, they have recently increased dramatically in popularity. A lot of this has to do with the high-end build quality, considered to be equal to that of AIE. Regardless of the reason, these sealers are more affordable now than ever before.

TISH bag sealers come in a variety of different lengths. This includes the TISH-100, 200, 300, 400 and 500. Sealing time takes just 0.2 to 1.3 seconds (variable) and the sealing width is about 2mm wide. These sealers are pretty light and can be easily moved from table to desk and room to room without an issue.

TISH sealers are usually used to seal bags. They can, however, be used to seal seal Polyethelene, Polypropylene, PVC, Foil and Surlyn, Mylar or Bubble Pack/Padded Mailers.

What’s nice about the TISH sealers is that they can be used to package and seal a variety of products. Operating and output speed is really limited to the speed of the operator. Simply place the opening of the bag into the sealer, pull down on the lever and the bag is sealed.

Traco’s TISH sealers feature an adjustable timer. The time can be set for shorter periods of time for simply sealing the bag. The sealing time can be increased for tearing away excess plastic. Versions of our TISH sealers are available with optional cutters, making it even faster to get rid of excess plastic.

Overall I consider the build quality of the Traco TISH heat sealer to be about as good as it gets. These sealers are designed for continued daily use and I can safely say that I am unaware of any customer complaints regarding these sealers.

You can find our Traco TISH line of heat bag sealers here. You can find our entire selection of impulse heat sealers here.

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