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Shrink Wrap FAQ

Have More Questions? Check Out Our Shrink Wrap & Film Guide.

L-Bar Shrink Wrap Machines       I-Bar Shrink Wrap Machines       Shrink Wrap Film       Shrink Wrap Tunnels

Shrink Wrap Machines

We have compiled a list of the most common shrink wrap questions from our customers and have put them in this useful shrink wrap FAQ. If you are trying to learn more about shrink wrap, or are in the initial stages of looking for a machine, this FAQ is perfect for you. Feel free to read through this. Give us a call at 1-800-658-8788 for more information on shrink wrap machines.

What is shrink wrap?

Shrink wrap is the process of using PVC or Polyolefin plastic film to package a product for preservation or retail.

What is the film made from?

Shrink wrap film is made from either PVC or Polyolefin plastic. Both films are widely used. The type of film used is a matter of preference. You can read more about differences between the two films here.

Is the film safe? The PVC film does emit an odor that some people find unpleasant and it is not safe to use with food. It is recommended to use PVC film in a well-ventilated room. Polyolefin emits little to no odor and can be used with food.

How long does it take to package a product?

This depends entirely on what you will be packaging and the machine you are using. A typical CD or DVD can take anywhere from two minutes to 10 seconds.

How do I know what size of film to use?

Here is a good reference chart, in PDF format, for determining what size of shrink wrap film to use for your products. Correct Film Roll Size

What is an I-Bar sealer?

An I-bar sealer is a shrink wrap machine that uses a single bar to cut shrink wrap film around a product. These are sometimes referred to as a straight bar sealers. They can be used with a heat gun or a heat shrink tunnel. They are typically used for low to mid-volume shrink wrapping.

What is an L-Bar sealer?

An L-bar system uses a square shaped bar that uses an L-shaped wire to cut film around a package. Film can be cut around a package in a single pass of the bar. L-bar sealers are usually used in conjunction with a heat gun however our larger L-Bar Sealers are often used with heat tunnels.

What is an L-Bar sealer with a tunnel?

An L-bar system with a tunnel is simply an L-Bar sealer and a Heat Tunnel that come as one machine. These machines are typically the fastest method of shrink wrapping. After sealing your product you can slide it directly into the heat tunnel where the shrink wrap is shrunk around the product leaving you free to move on to packaging your next item.

What is a One-Step Shrink Wrap system?

A One-Step Shrink Wrap system is the middle ground between an L-Bar sealer with a heat gun and an L-Bar / Heat Tunnel combination. First you bring your product in the shrink film onto a tray and under a hood. Around the hood is an L-Bar sealer. The hood is then brought down over the product sealing the film. Next hot air is blown up from below shrinking the film. At that point you can lift the hood and your item is done. You can view a video of an one-step shrink wrap machine in action here.

What is a heat gun?

A heat gun is used to shrink the film around a package. It looks much like a hair dryer, but creates significantly more heat.

What is a heat tunnel?

A heat shrink tunnel is the fastest way to shrink film around a package. It evenly and quickly applies heat to the film. The entire process takes seconds.

What is the best shrink wrap machine?

It is too difficult to label any one brand as the best. At ABC Office, Minipack and AIE are customer favorites, but that does not mean they are the best.

What is the gauge of the film?

The gauge of the film is the thickness of the film. The higher the gauge number, the thicker the film. Most people prefer 75 gauge as a multi-use film.

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