Posts Tagged ‘Shrink Wrap Machines’

Best Equipment for Retail Packaging

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Shrink Wrap Packaging EquipmentI speak with people every day who are looking for the best piece of equipment to use for packaging their product for retail sale purposes. While there are some tools out there that can be used for “general purpose” packaging, most packaging tools are designed for very specific projects. I would like to cover a few popular pieces of equipment that can be used for your own in-house packaging.

At ABC Office, we over over a dozen different types of machines that can be used for packaging. In fact, you can find our entire selection of packaging machines here. We carry gravity drop sealers, band sealers, carton sealers, sleeve wrappers and more. For the sake of time, and keep this article from going on over 20 pages, I am limiting this to the top four most popular categories.

Shrink Wrap (found here) – Shrink wrap is the most popular method of packaging products for retail sale purposes. Shrink wrap machines use special thermoplastic film that literally shrinks down when heat is applied. The process is pretty cool and the thin layer of plastic provides protection, makes items tamper proof and can be used for bundling. We offer three different types of shrink wrap machines:

  • I-Bar Sealers (found here) – Our I-Bar sealers are the most popular tool we offer. They are ideal for low to medium volume packaging needs and they are extremely affordable. The I-bar contains a single element that uses impulses of electricity to seal off the film. When used with centerfold shrink film, the I-bar has to be pulled down to seal all opened sides (usually involves two passes). Most I-bar sealers include a heat gun that is then manually used to shrink down the film.
  • L-Bar Sealers (found here) – These tools are similar to the I-bar but have an “L” shaped impulse sealing blade. This doubles the speed at which you can package products. L-bar sealers can be used with a heat gun or with a shrink tunnel, depending on the speed you need to package products.
  • Shrink Wrap Systems (found here) – These systems usually feature an L-bar sealing blade integrated with a heat tunnel dome. The result is a machine that can cut shrink film around a product and shrink the film down all at the same time. This improves efficiency and speed. This type of system is ideal for medium to high-volume packaging needs.


Bag Heat SealersHeat Sealers (found here)
– Heat sealers, often called bag sealers, are designed to seal the open end of a plastic bag. This includes a variety of plastic films including cellophane, mylar, poly film and much more. Depending on the sealer, they can be used with a variety of thicknesses of plastic. These sealers also come in different sealing lengths and widths. They are used for packaging food, tools, powders, liquids and more. Heat sealers are broken down into two categories:

  • Impulse – Impulse bag sealers are designed for speed and can be used with thinner plastic. They use a sealing element that only heats up when it is sealing a bag. It is quick to cool down and very safe to handle.
  • Direct Heat – These sealers, sometimes called constant heat sealers, use a heating element that needs to warm up and remains hot. They are typically a little less money than impulse sealers and they can be used with thicker plastic.

Vacuum SealersVacuum Sealers (found here) – Vacuum sealers are used to provide an air-tight seal, typically for packaging food or sterile medical instruments. Thanks to an airtight seal, vacuum sealers can be used to dramatically extend the life of food and are excellent for preventing contaminants. We offer two different types of vacuum sealers:

  • Chamber Vacuum Sealers (found here) – Chamber vacuum sealers are extremely popular for packaging food and they are ideal for industrial / commercial level packaging needs. You simply insert your item into the vacuum bag, insert it into the chamber and let the machine do the rest. The chamber sealer will remove all the air inside the chamber, seal the bag and return the atmosphere inside the chamber back to normal. The results are long lasting and professional.
  • External Vacuum Sealers (found here) – External sealers seal products outside the machine. Once an item is placed in the back, the open end is inserted into the machine. The external sealer will then remove the air inside the bag and then seal the bag shut. We offer several different types of external sealers including channel sealers (much like a Foodsaver) and industrial external sealers that use nozzles for removing air.

Clamshell SealersClamshell Sealers (found here) – Have you ever purchased a toy, tools or other items encased in a hard plastic shell? This packaging is referred to as clam shell packaging. In the past this clam shell was held shut by staples. Today clam shell sealers are used to keep this packaging closed. This prevents injuries, rust and is an affordable alternative to staples. The clam shell sealer uses heat (or ultrasonic waves) to melt the plastic together.

I hope this has helped answer a few of your packaging questions. Because this is such a huge topic, you may still have additional questions. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 or post your question as a comment. We have decades of experience with these machines and would love to help you out.

Three Affordable Heat Guns for Your Shrink Wrap Film

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Shrink Wrap Heat GunsShrink wrap film, by design, shrinks down when put in direct contact with heat. Many shrink wrap machines are used in conjunction with heat tunnels and integrated hoods, but one of the most popular tools for applying heat continues to be the heat gun (found here). There are a lot of misconceptions about these tools. I would like to clarify what makes a heat gun and recommend a few you may want to use.

As mentioned earlier, shrink film contracts when applied to heat. This is designed to produce a tight, clear and smooth surface for packaging purposes. You have probably dealt with shrink film when opening a DVD, CD or other packaging. While there is a lot of different types of shrink film out there, two are used above all others. These are:

  1. PVC Film (found here) – This type of film is clear, common and cheap. It is extremely popular, universally compatible with pretty much all shrink wrap machines and is excellent for packaging boxes, CDs, DVDs and much more. This type of film has been around a long time. It should be noted that it is not food safe and it is more brittle than Polyolefin film.
  2. Polyolefin Film (found here) – This film is also clear and shrinks much like PVC film. The difference being that it is FDA approved for direct contact with film. Polyolefin film also has much stretchier properties to it when compared to PVC film. While it used to be more expensive per square foot than PVC, the cost has really come down over the years. Polyolefin, unlike PVC film, little to no odors and smoke.

Heat guns can be used to shrink down either one of these types of film without any problem. They can be used with centerfold rolls of film, bags, sheets and much more. One question I get frequently asked is, “Is a heat gun the same thing as a hair dryer?” The quick and simple answer to this is a definite “NO.” A heat gun is many times hotter than a hair dryer, even on the low setting. A heat gun would literally singe the hair off your head.

Heat guns shouldn’t be intimidating though. They are designed to be safe to use including insulated handles that will stay cool during use. You just need to use a little common sense when operating one. At ABC Office we currently offer three different models of heat guns. I would like to cover these three.

  • HG-1-CY Heat GunSealerSales HG-1-CY (found here) – This is one of the least expensive heat guns available on the internet. This gun is lightweight, has a dual temperature setting (high and low) and includes a kickstand that allows it to sit on end when not in use. At just 1 pound 10 ounces, this heat gun isn’t going to tire you out with continued use. It can be used with most types of shrink film including PVC, POF, PET and PP film. You really can’t go wrong with this heat gun, especially for the price.
  • SealerSales HG-1 (found here) – If you like the HG-1CY, but need some added temperature, consider going with the HG-1. This heat gun is just a few more dollars, but can go all the way up to 1,100 degrees for use with film that needs a little more heat. This heat gun also works with most film and is extremely easy to use. The design allows it to easily sit on its end without the need of a fold-out kickstand.
  • Traco Hot Shot (found here) – This heat gun is one of the most popular used today and has been around for over a decade. It features a variable temperature control that goes all the way up to 1100 degrees Fahrenheit.  This gun comes with Traco’s lineup of I-bar sealers by default, but it can be purchased by itself as a replacement or for use with other I-bar sealers, heat sealers and L-bar sealers.

Hopefully this list helps you out. At ABC Office we also offer a great selection of shrink wrap machines (found here). If you still have questions, please give us a call at 1-800-658-8788. We have over 30 years of experience and would love to help you out.

Video Demos of Shrink Wrap Machines w/ Integrated Tunnels

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Minipack FM760 Shrink Wrap MachineYears ago if you wanted to shrink wrap a product you had to use an L-bar sealer and a heat tunnel. While the results were very professional, the equipment itself took up a lot of room. Over the years the tunnel and the sealer have been combined to become an integrated shrink wrap system (found here). I have used several of these machines myself and am very impressed by the clever use of space. I would like to talk about a few of these machines and show you several videos to help you get a better idea of just how they work.

Shrink wrap systems (L-bar sealers w/ integrated tunnels) are remarkably easy to use. Regardless of the brand or model, the design is usually very similar. These machines usually consist of a film holder (on the right of the machine) that dispenses centerfold film. The machine usually has a film separator that creates a pocket where a product can be inserted.

Once inside the film, the product is moved over to the sealing area where a clear hood (with built in L-bar sealer) is pulled down. In one quick process, the film is cut and hot air is circulated around the film, shrinking it down. The process generally takes just a few seconds. I have seen these machines rated for 5-6 cycles per minute up to 10-15. The speed depends on the design of the machine.

Most of these shrink wrap systems allow the operator to adjust things such as the sealing time, chamber air time and the chamber air temperature. These settings allow the use of PVC film, Polyolefin film and can be adjusted to accommodate the packaging of temperature sensitive products such as chocolates.

As of this article, one of the most affordable “system” machines is the TP-48ST shrink wrap machine (found here). Here is a video demo of the machine in use:

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Another very popular system is the Compack 5800 (found here), which has been around for years. It is ideal for use with small or larger products.  This is a video demo of the Compack 5800 in use:

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If you were a fan of the Minpack Galaxy or Minipack Galileo, you’ll be interested to hear that it has been replaced by the Minipack FM760 (found here). This particular unit is made from stainless steel and is excellent for packaging food or other items. Here is a video demo of the FM760 in use:

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The above three videos feature our most popular shrink wrap systems. Larger units are available. The biggest differences between shrink wrap systems will be the size of the sealing area and the height of the sealing hood. Be aware that sometimes these machines can be fitted with taller sealing hoods, so please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions. You can find our entire selection of shrink wrap machines here.

Three Affordable Options for Packaging Your Own Cds or Dvds

Monday, July 29th, 2013

CD & DVD Shrink Wrap Packaging MachinesHave you ever thought about packaging your own CDs, DVDs, Blu-Rays or video game cases, but never really knew where to start? It isn’t really that hard and most packaging processes take just a few seconds. There are many different options out there with some of them being affordable enough to do in your own home. This is primarily done using a process called shrink wrap (found here). Machine options range from entry-level units to high-end machines.

Shrink wrapping is actually a very simple process. A product is placed in some sort of film pocket or sleeve, the open ends are sealed shut and heat is run over the plastic. Shrink wrap film is made from a thermoplastic material, so when heat is run over it the film begins to contract. This process is what creates a clear stretched film over CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays that you buy in the store.

As mentioned earlier, machines for shrink wrapping media material come in a variety of sizes. Some are designed for packaging a few dozen to a few hundred a day, where some of the larger systems are designed to package thousands to tens of thousands a day. I would like to point out some of the most affordable machines in an effort to help you get the most for your money.

Sealer Sales SWK-8-04 Heat Sealer (found here) – These kits consist of thermoplastic shrink bags (500 total), a heat sealer (used for sealing the open ends) and a high-end heat gun that is used for shrinking down the film. These kits are available for less than $100 and can be used for home or small business packaging needs.

AIE I-Bar Sealers (found here) – These machines are very versatile and can be used for packaging CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and other stuff as well. These machines use what’s known in the packaging industry as centerfold film. Basically it is a long sheet of film that has been folded in half and rolled up. Because the film is folded in half, a pocket is formed. The width of the film is determined by the roll, but the length can be set by the operator.

Once the product is inserted into the centerfold film, the open ends are sealed shut using the I-bar. The film can then be quickly shrunk down using the included heat gun. This particular machine includes a 500-foot roll of centerfold film.

Here is a video of an AIE I-bar sealer in use:

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Truline TP-48ST Shrink Wrap System (found here) – If you need to increase your packaging speed, you may want to consider using a shrink wrap system. These machines are designed to package several hundred to thousand products a day. The TP-48ST is an L-bar sealer, which means it seals all open sides on a centerfold roll of film in a single pass. It also includes an integrated heat tunnel that seals and shrinks the film in a single pass. This model can be used with a standard wall outlet, which means no special power requirements are needed.

Here s a video of the TP-48ST in use:

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These are three solid options that I recommend you consider when packaging CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays or video game cases. The seal is extremely durable, provides tamper proof packaging and is very professional. The results from any of these machines will look just as professional as anything you’ll see in your local retail store.

We have been selling shrink wrap machines and supplies since 1980, so we have a lot of experience behind us to help you find the right machine for the job. If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-658-8788. We would love to help you out. You can find our entire selection of shrink wrap machines here and shrink wrap supplies here.

TP-48ST “All In One” Shrink Wrap Machine Review

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Truline All-in-One TP-48ST Shrink Wrap MachineIf you were a big fan of the Minipack Galaxy, the Minipack Mini or other compact Minipack shrink wrap machines, you may be finding it hard to find an affordable replacement. If you’re stuck in this boat, I would like to recommend that you consider the Truline TP-48ST (aka PP-48ST and 48-ST) found here. We have been offering this machine for a few years now and have found it to be an affordable and comparable replacement. Here are a few reasons why.

There are a lot of reasons why I really like this machine. Here are just a few:

  • Power Supply – Many people want a shrink wrap machine that they can simply plug into a wall and use. They don’t want to have to call in the electrician or have to deal with special power requirements. The TP-48ST can be plugged into a standard wall outlet. This means it can be used almost anywhere a wall outlet is available. This is a huge plus. As of this article, Minipack doesn’t offer any shrink wrap machines with a 110-120 volt power supply.
  • Chamber Size – The TP-48ST has a 12″L x 18.5.”W x 6″H sealing chamber. This is ample room for packaging small boxes, CDs, DVDs, chocolates and other products. This is a nice well-rounded size for most people. If you need a bigger chamber, you may want to consider the Truline TP-76ST (found here).
  • Heat Tunnel – I-bar sealers and many shrink wrap systems use an independent heat tunnel or heat gun. The TP-48ST uses an integrated heat tunnel. This helps save on space and is extremely convenient for single step operation. Simply place your product in the film, pull down the hood and the TP-48ST will seal the product and shrink the film down in a single pass. A clear hood lets you see what is going on during the packaging and sealing process. It also includes a magnetic lock that keeps the hood down during the sealing and shrinking process.
  • Controls – The controls are right in front of the machine and are pretty straightforward. They are located on the front of the machine and can be used to adjust the heat, tunnel time, sealing time and more. The results are very professional.
  • Film Compatibility – The TP-48ST can be used with both PVC and Polyolefin film. Polyolefin film, sometimes called poly film, can be used with food. Both types of film are very professional and can be used to package a wide range of products. The TP-48ST is designed to be used with centerfold shrink film and even includes a film dispenser, a film perforator and a film opener.

This machine is available from Truline as the TP-48ST and Excel Packaging as the PP-48ST. They are the same machine just with a different label slapped on them. This machine is also sometimes referred to simply as the 48-ST.

Here is a video demo of the TP-48ST in use:

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Besides the fact that this machine comes equipped with a lot of nice features, it is also really compact. For what it is and considering what it does, it really doesn’t take up a lot of space. It also sits on casters, making it really easy to move around. Two of the casters can be locked into place, keeping the machine stationary.

If you’re on a budget, and need something that produces reliable and professional results, this is definitely the machine to consider. You can find the TP-48ST here and our entire selection of shrink wrap systems here.

Best Way to Shrink Wrap Paper for Archival Storage

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Shrink Wrap Machines for Paper Archival PurposesDoes your business deal with stacks of papers, contracts, invoices or other paperwork and are looking for an effective way to package and archive this material? One of the most popular tools used to do just that is shrink wrap (found here). ABC Office has been selling shrink wrap machines for decades, with several models recommended for doing just this. I would like to answer a few common questions and offer a few machine recommendations.

Over time, businesses and organizations begin to accumulate paperwork such as invoices, contracts and other material. While it is a good idea to keep some of this paperwork accessible, eventually it becomes cumbersome and takes up too much space in a filing cabinet. Because most businesses don’t need paperwork going back more than a few years, many opt to archive older documents. Even here at ABC Office we eventually have to remove old invoices from our filing cabinets and archive them.

Shrink wrap has quickly become one of the most popular tools for archiving documents. This is because shrink wrap helps bundle and hold paperwork tightly together (thanks to the shrinking properties of the film). The plastic barrier created by shrink wrap also helps keep the paperwork protected, helping provide a barrier against insects, animals, moisture, dust and much more. We have customers that often use shrink wrap to bundle invoices and contracts alphabetically by year. They’ll take all of the invoices that are sorted by the letter “A” and shrink wrap those together. Customers will then take this paper and write on it with a marker or slap a label on it. These stacks of paper can then later be opened (if needed) and re-wrapped with shrink wrap film.

There are several factors to consider when buying a machine and film. I would like to answer a few common questions.

  • How much paperwork are you archiving? If you are only packaging a few hundred documents a day, a machine like an I-bar sealer (found here) may be adequate. If you are packaging a lot of paperwork per day, perhaps in the thousands of sheets per day, I recommend you use a shrink wrap system (found here) that includes an integrated heat tunnel. Keep in mind that an I-bar sealer uses a heat gun, which does require the operator to manually shrink all four sides. If you are dealing with a cumbersome stack of paper, you may need something more robust than just a heat gun (especially when shrinking the bottom of the stack).
  • How large are the documents you are packaging? The size of the stack of paper you are packaging will be one of the biggest determining factors in which machine you purchase. You need to take into account the length, width and height of the stack you need to package. I recommend once you have established the width in height, that you add a few inches on top of that to ensure there is ample room. When it comes to establishing the sealing width you need, I recommend you add the width of the stack plus the height of the stack and add four inches to that number (Width + Height + 4″).
  • What type of film should you use? I would say this also depends on the size of the paper (length & width) and the height of the stack. If you are only packaging letter-size paper no more than a ream thick, you are probably going to be fine using 75 gauge PVC film. If the stack is thick, or the size of the paper sheet is large, you may want to use polyolefin film. Poly film has more flexibility to it (much like stretch wrap) and won’t break or tear nearly as easily as PVC film. You can find both our PVC and our Polyolefin film here.

At ABC Office we use the Compack 5800 (found here) to package our old letter size invoices. It is ideal for medium to higher-volume use. Again, the machine you use will depend on the job you need to do. Just be sure to take into consideration how much your volume may increase over the years. Please feel free to contact us at 1-800-658-8788 with any shrink wrap or document archival 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.

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.
  • Minipack Galaxy Shrink Wrap Machine (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 Galaxy, 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 MVS 45X 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 MVS 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.

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