Archive for the ‘Shrink Wrap / Packaging’ Category

Minipack Mailbag Digit Magazine, Catalog and Mail Bagging System Review

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Minipack Mailbag Digit Magazine, Catalog and Mail Bagging SystemHave you ever received a magazine or a catalog that was wrapped in plastic in your mailbox? This type of packaging is called mail bagging. If you’re in the marketing for a mail bagger, one model you may want to consider is the Minipack Mailbag Digit mail bagging system (found here). This is my review.

Mail bagging is done to provide protection to magazines, newsletters, publications, catalogs and mail. It can also be used to bundle multiple magazines, fliers and other material.

Minipack is known for making high quality machines. Their line of mail bagging systems is designed and manufactured in Italy. Minipack makes a wide variety of shrink wrap machines, mail bagging systems and vacuum sealers.

The Minipack Mailbag Digit is not only designed to protect and bundle material, but also saves money by packaging material in plastic film (polyethylene) instead of paper envelopes. One nice thing about packaging mail in plastic is that contained products are visible to the recipient. The entire mail bagging process is very simple and very efficient.

This is how the Mailbag Digit works:

  1. Make sure the Mailbag Digit is loaded with film. The Mailbag digit uses a roll of film that is mounted roller inside the machine. The gauge and width of the film will depend on what you are bagging.
  2. Place your magazine, newsletter or catalog into the open slot on the front of the machine.
  3. The machine then places the material in a polyethylene bag and seals it shut.
  4. The material comes out the other end of the machine completely packaged and sealed.
  5. A conveyor system keeps bagged material organized and in order.

The Mailbag Digit operates at a speed of about 20 wraps per minute.  For higher-volume jobs, you may want to consider using the Minipack Continua (found here). The Continua is completely automated and runs at a speed of about 50 pieces per minute.

Overall I consider the Mailbag Digit to be a very solid machine. The build quality is excellent and is should be able to provide years of hassle-free service. The Mailbag Digit sits on casters, making it portable.

You can find the Minipack Mailbag Digit mail bagging system here.

Can You Package T-Shirts With A Shrink Wrap Machine?

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

T-Shirt and Clothing Shrink Wrap SealerI had a customer ask me today if you can package t-shirts and polo shirts using a shrink wrap machine. The answer to this question is yes. There are a few things you will need to know ahead of making a shrink wrap machine purchase, but they can be used to easily package all types of fabric. Here are some helpful tips.

To begin with, most people packaging shirts and clothing don’t need the shrink wrap machine to shrink the film, they only need it to cut and seal the clothing in plastic for retail sale and shipping purposes. If this is all you need to do, you really don’t need a complete shrink wrap machine (with heat tunnel or heat gun). All you really need is an L-bar or I-bar sealer.

The most important factor to take into consideration before purchasing a sealer is to ensure that the sealing dimensions will fully encapsulate the clothing. Luckily clothing is very pliable and easy to fold in a way that it will probably work with most machines. If you use a machine to fold the clothing, you will definitely need a sealer that fits the folded clothing’s dimensions in order to save time.

Shrink wrap machines and sealers use two different types of film for packaging purposes. These two types of film are PVC and Polyolefin. PVC film has almost a cellophane feel to it where polyolefin has more of a saran wrap feel to it. The type of film depends on your preference (and budget).

If you find a good deal on a shrink wrap machine that has a heat tunnel built into it, don’t worry. Most shrink wrap machines with tunnels can have the tunnel portion turned off so that it only seals.

With regards to the customer I was speaking with about packaging t-shirts and polo shirts, he was interested in these two machines:

The Minipack Prima is an L-bar sealer only, where the Minipack Galaxy includes a built in heat tunnel. I told the customer that Minipack machines allow the operator to turn off the heat.

Still have questions about packaging fabric and clothing? Speak with one of our packaging specialists at 1-800-658-8788.

You can find our entire selection of fabric shrink wrap sealers here. You can find all our shrink wrap machines here.

AIE Impulse Bag and Hand Sealer Review

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

AIE Impulse Bag and Hand SealersSo you need to seal products in a bag and need a reliable impulse hand sealer to get the job done. Which model should you go with? One model that you may want to consider using is the AIE impulse bag and hand sealer (found here). This is my review.

To begin with, AIE has been making hand sealers and shrink wrap machines for years. AIE stands for American International Electric. AIE is especially known for their exceptional build quality and reliability.  AIE tests all their sealers in their West Coast facility and provides a warranty that guarantees dependability and durability.

We carry a wide variety of AIE impulse hand sealers. The biggest difference between models is the sealing length and the sealing width. Models range from four-inches long to 20 plus inches long.

The sealing width ranges from 2 mm to 10 mm. The bag thickness these sealers can handle ranges from 5 mil to 8 mil (on select models). The “C” version of our impulse hand sealers include a sliding cutter. Some of these sealers even include a holding magnet for convenience.

Models include: AIE-100, AIE-200, AIE-200C, AIE-205, AIE-205C, AIE-300, AIE-300C, AIE-305, AIE-305C, AIE-400, AIE-400C, AIE-405, AIE-500.

Our sealers can be used to seal most plastic bags without any issue. AIE hand sealers provide exceptional air and watertight seals on most plastic materials up to about 6 mil. This includes  poly bags, mylar bags and much more. This may be to package food, protect products or for display purposes.

Customer satisfaction with AIE impulse hand sealers is exceptionally high. I very rarely hear about any customer service issues with these machines.

You can find our standard AIE impulse hand sealers here. You can find our AIE impulse hand sealers with cutters here. You can find our entire selection of impulse hand sealers here.

Packaging Playing Cards? Consider Using A Shrink Wrap Machine.

Monday, July 12th, 2010

I-Bar Shrink Wrap Sealers / MachinesSo you’re packaging playing cards for retail sale, for use in a casino or for promotions. What is the best way to do this? You may want to consider using a shrink wrap machine. Shrink wrap is a fast and effective way to package playing cards. There are a few different ways to do this.

The two ways people package playing cards is by using an I-bar or an L-bar sealer with a heat tunnel or heat gun. The method you use will depend entirely on the amount of decks you would like to package. As a general rule, I-bar sealers are designed for lower volumes and L-bar sealers are for higher volumes of packaging.

  • I-bar sealers can be used to package several dozen to a few hundred decks a day. The speed really depends on the operator. A total of two passes of the sealing bar are required to completely seal in the deck of cards. A heat gun is then used to shrink the film. The entire process takes about 30 seconds to a minute. Be aware that I-bar sealers are sometimes called straight-bar sealers.
  • L-bar sealers can be used to package several hundred to potentially several thousand decks a day, depending on the model. Only one pass of the sealing bar is required. Heat tunnels are general used with L-bar sealers, with many L-bar machines including built-in heat tunnels. The entire process usually takes a few seconds.

Again, take into consideration how many decks of cards you wan to package now and in the future. If you expect your packaging volume to increase, you may want to invest your money in an L-bar machine. This will save you money in the long run.

You can find our entire selection of I-bar shrink wrap machines here and our entire selection of L-bar shrink wrap machines here. Still have questions about packaging your decks of cards? Call us at 1-800-658-8788 or leave you question in a comment.

What Is Centerfold Shrink Film?

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Centerfold Shrink FilmShrink wrap is a great way to package boxes, DVDs, CDs, food and other products. So what is the best type of film to use with your shrink wrap machine? Most people use centerfold shrink film. This article will explain why.

So what exactly is centerfold shrink wrap film? It comes in a variety of widths and lengths. Most centerfold shrink film consists of a roll of film that can range anywhere from a few dozen to a few thousand feet in length.

The film itself is folded in half, hence the name centerfold. Let’s say you are using 24-inch wide shrink film. That 24-inch wide roll of film is actually a 48-inches wide sheet of film that has been folded in half, creating two 24-inch wide layers with a seem. This helps create a convenient pocket, making it extremely easy to place products inside.

Most L-bar and I-bar sealers are designed to be used with centerfold shrink film. One thing you will want to keep an eye on is the diameter of the roll you are using. Most I-bar sealers can use just about any roll out there, but L-bar sealers often have a diameter limitation.

We sell two different types of centerfold film. One is PVC centerfold film (found here) and the other is Polyolefin centerfold film (found here). PVC is typically used to package CDs, DVDs and boxes, where Polyolefin is more pliable and food safe.

You can find our entire selection of shrink wrap machines here. Still have questions about centerfold shrink wrap film? You can either call one of our experts at 1-800-658-8788 or post a comment. Have a great day!

Best Machine for Shrink Wrapping CDs, DVDs and Video Games

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

I-Bar Shrink Wrap Machine for CDs, DVDs and Video GamesSo you want to shrink wrap CDs, DVDs or video games but don’t know where to start? You’re in luck. We offer several options for packaging and shrink wrapping DVDs and CDs. You have two options for doing this.

The first option is the all-popular I-bar system and the other is the L-bar system. The shrink wrap machine you use will depend entirely on how many you would like to package per day. Shrink wrap protects, presents and provides a tamper-proof way to sell products.

The I-bar shrink wrap system, sometimes called a straight-bar system, is the most common and popular method used for packaging CDs, DVDs and video games. This may be for re-packaging video games for “used” sales or for packaging an independent artist’s CD.

I-bar shrink wrap machines use centerfold shrink film, which is very affordable. Once encased in plastic, a heat gun is used to shrink the film. This can be used to package anywhere from a dozen to a few hundred items per day. The entire process can take 20 seconds to a few minutes, depending on the skill of the operator and the size of the item being packaged.

Minipack Galaxy Shrink Wrapper for DVD, CD and Video Game PackagingHere are two good I-bar sealers for packaging CDs, DVDs and Video Games:

L-bar shrink wrap machines are faster than I-bar systems. They use an “L” shaped sealing bar that completely encloses a CD, DVD or video game in plastic in one single pass. Many have a built-in heat tunnel. The entire process takes a few seconds. These can be used to package hundreds of disks a day. Little manual effort is needed.

Here are two good L-bar sealers for packaging CDs, DVDs and Video Games:

You can find our entire selection of shrink wrap machines here. Good luck packaging your CDs, DVDs and video games!

Traco Super Sealer I-Bar Shrink Wrap Machine Review

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Traco I-Bar Shrink Wrap MachinesI-bar shrink wrap machines are economical, compact and perfect for packaging products on a low to medium-volume level. There is a wide selection of I-bar (straight bar) systems to choose from, but the Traco I-Bar shrink wrap machines (found here) continue to be one of the most popular models offered. Here are a few reasons why:

First off, the total cost of packaging a product with this system costs just pennies. The Traco Sealer uses a heat knife to cut and seal shirk film around a product. Once sealed, an included heat gun can be used to shrink the film. The entire process takes just a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on the operator.

Traco makes their I-bar shrink wrappers in various different sizes and lengths. They also offer their machines in a Standard (SS) and Deluxe (DS) version. The deluxe version includes a 50 foot starter roll of film and a parts kit. Other than that, the two systems are very similar. Both Traco I-bar shrink wrap systems can use both PVC and Polyolefin film.

The size of Traco system you use will depend entirely on what you are packaging. Be sure, however, to take into consideration what your future packaging needs may be. If there is a possibility that you may be shrink wrapping a larger product a year or two down the road, get the larger machine now. You can easily package smaller products with a larger machine.

Traco has built up a reputation for making some of the highest quality shrink wrap machines available today. The build quality of the Traco I-bar systems is great. You may need to change the wire, pad or tape with consistent use, but you should be able to keep your Traco I-bar shrink wrap system going for years.

The biggest con of these machines is that they is not more automated. You have to manually cut and shrink the film. This is to be expected with an I-bar sealer though, and for the price, you can’t complain too much.

What I really like about the Traco I-bar sealer is that it comes with everything you need to get started. The Deluxe model even includes a starter roll of film. You can view a video demo of the standard Traco I-bar shrink wrap machine here.

You can find the Traco Standard I-bar sealer here and the Traco Deluxe Super Sealer I-bar sealer here. You will find our entire selection of shrink wrap machines  here.

Top Five Best Rated Handheld Heat Sealers

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Handheld Heat SealersHeat sealers are one of the best ways to package a product. Simply place your product in a bag and use a handheld heat sealer to seal it shut. The process is fast, simple and very economical. Handheld heat sealers do not cost much, especially when compared to other packaging options. So which heat sealer should you purchase?

Things to keep in mind, when looking for a handheld sealer, is the length of the sealer and the with of the seal itself. Some sealers include a cutter. Make sure you are future proof and don’t get a sealer that will be too small a year down the road.

I have spoken with many customers, having sold heat sealers for years, and have come up with a list of the top five best rated handheld heat sealers according to our customers. These are sealers that are not only popular with our customers, but also sealers that have few issues and returns.

Top 5 Best Rated Handheld Heat Sealers:

As you can see, AIE is considered the king of heat sealers, but the TISH model from Traco has risen to the top as one of the most popular models. You can find our entire selection of heat sealers and bag sealers here.

Minipack Galaxy Shrink Wrap Machine Review

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Minipack Galaxy Shrink Wrap MachineThere are a lot of different ways to package your DVDs, playing cards, soap bars, boxes and other products, but shrink wrap is probably the most economical and easiest way to do this. The Minipack Galaxy makes shrink wrapping even easier by making a machine that is compact enough to be used in just about any room. I have a lot of experience using the Minipack Galaxy and will post my thoughts on this shrink-wrap machine here.

To start with, the Minipack Galaxy is actually a replacement to the Minipack Mini Plus. The Minipack Mini Plus was a huge hit with our customers, so it comes as no surprise that the Minipack Galaxy not only rivals that popularity, but now also surpasses it.  You can find the Minipack Galaxy shrink wrap machine here.

The Minipack Galaxy is a compact shrink-wrap system that incorporates a shrink film feeder, an L-bar sealer and a heat shrink tunnel into one single machine. From start to finish the entire process only takes a few minutes. The Galaxy is available in five different systems, depending on exactly what you need.

The system sits at about waist height, which makes it really easy to set stuff on the surface. The control panel is on the front of the machine’s bezel, which is really easy to set up. The control panel will allow you to adjust the amount of time the sealing blade is on and the amount of time the heat is applied.

The Minipack Galaxy can be used with both Polyolefin film and PVC film. I have used it with both and the results turned out well both times. The Galaxy is designed to be used with centerfold shrink film.

The film is easy to feed through the machine. Once the film is loaded, simply place your product in the open end of the film, slide it over to the L-sealer, pull down the hood and the machine does the rest.

The Minipack galaxy is probably my favorite entry-level shrink-wrap system I have used. It can be used continuously throughout the day without a hiccup. I don’t know how Minipack does it, but the Galaxy emits very little

The only con I can really think of is that you may be limited by the size of the machine’s hood. If you need more sealing area or height, you may want to look at the Galaxy’s big brother the Minipack Galileo found here.

Do you have a Minipack Galaxy or have you used one? Post a comment here!

Compack 5800 Shrink Wrap Machine Review

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Compack 5800 Shrink Wrap MachineThe Compack 5800 shrink-wrap machine has been around for a while and I have had several opportunities to use it. To start with, the Compack 5800 (found here) is an L-bar shrink-wrap system that includes a built-in heat tunnel. It uses an impulse sealer to cut the film and a heat tunnel to shrink the film. It is primarily designed to be used with centerfold shrink film, although it can be used with pre-sized shrink bags as well.

At first glance the Compack 5800 may look a little intimidating. It sits at about waist height for operator comfort and includes a few knobs and adjustment settings on the control panel. Not to worry though, the Compack 5800 is actually very easy to set up and use. Best of all, it only requires one person to operate.

Assembly of this shrink-wrap machine will require a few people. The bulk of the machine ships assembled, but you will need to attach the legs. This is where you will need a few people. Thanks to the included casters, the machine is very easy to move around.

I have used the Compack 5800 to package DVDs, software boxes, soap bars, paper and much more. While the Compack 5800 is not fully automated, I would consider it a commercial / industrial shrink-wrap machine for the fact that it can be used all day without any problems.

From start to finish, the packaging process only takes a few seconds. Simply place your product in the film, pull down the arm and let the machine do the rest. The Compack 5800 includes a magnetic lockdown that will hold the sealing arm in place during the cutting and shrinking process.

The only issue I have experienced with the Compack 5800 is a dirty wire from continued use that caused incomplete cuts, which is perfectly normal for a shrink wrap machine.

I would compare the Compack 5800 to a Minipack-style system. As far as the packaging process is concerned, it is right up there with the Galaxy and the Galileo. You can find the Compack 5800 shrink wrap machine here.

Do you have experience with this system? Post your comments here!

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