By: Nathan Dube on May 9th, 2019
How To Reduce Costs With Shrink Wrap Packaging & Machines
Companies are always looking for ways to save money and reduce costs. Often times the dynamics of your packaging line go ignored. You may be wondering, how can you reduce costs in regards to your company's packaging dynamics and what if any, are the true benefits of such an endeavor?
Choose A Shrink Wrap Supplier
If you attend a packaging expo you will find that different shrink film brands come up many times, creating some “colorful” conversations. However, when cutting through the sales speak, one piece of important information from consumer goods companies prevails: “Shrink film is shrink film.”
That expensive film with the dandy name may actually be a quality film and it very well may beautifully package your product while keeping it protected, but most likely, there are practically identical products offered by multiple competing vendors.
When it comes to shrink wrap, often times, the average offering is as good as the most expensive...
Instead of choosing your brand of shrink film based on a snake-oil elevator pitch such as, it's 'prime-time lowest cost', I would advise you to choose your selection on the customer service experience each vendor offers rather than focusing on the prior dynamics mentioned above.
Is your vendor providing you with an experience worth the price you pay for your wrap? If you answered no, I would consider finding a supplier who does.
Learn everything you need to know with our Complete Guide To Shrink Film!
Save On Your Shrink Wrap Packaging Machine Line
Word on the street is, you have an automatic shrink wrapping machine or you are planning to purchase one on a future date. Did you know that you can nip some costs in the bud without losing an arm and a leg? You can do this by examining the following:
- The Speed Of Your Shrink Wrapping Machine: Again, subtle adjustments here can result in unexpected cost savings when put under the microscope…
- Current Bag Length: It may seem trivial at first, but minor adjustments to this particular dynamic of your packaging line can result in major cost savings.
In our own warehouses, our operators will adjust the bag length from the original specs to ensure the packaging machine line is running efficiently and with ease. This is most noticeable on older pneumatic shrink wrap equipment.
So why do we do this? Running your shrink wrap at just 1" larger than necessary can equate to 2,000 extra feet per day. That means you are wasting 118 extra rolls per year!
I can see you are about to lose sleep over this but don’t freak out… Keep calm and get a check on your packaging machine lines! A good starting point would be to set up a weekly check on your bag length adjustments to be sure you are optimized for maximum savings.
Decrease Your Shrink Wrap Bag Length
There are various ways to cut costs with your shrink packaging, and one of best ways to do so is to look at your bag length. Follow these steps and you can potentially save yourself up to 9.1% on your shrink film costs.
- Package one of your products on your shrink wrapper
and remove it before it goes into the shrink tunnel.
- Slit the film to allow you to remove the product and
lay the film flat.
- Measure from one end seal to the other. This
is your bag length.
- If you can reduce this, for example, from 11”-10”, you
will save 9.1% immediately!
- Often you will find you are using more film per
package than required.
Get Thinner Shrink Wrap Gauges
Most of our customers have chosen to employ new film technologies to reduce the gauge of their shrink film. There are multiple advantages to implementing these changes:
- Film cost savings of up to 25%
- Fewer roll changes thereby reducing equipment downtime
- Better scores on Walmart's Sustainability Scorecard
- Reduced waste (fewer cartons and cores to discard)
- Reduced packaging material inventory space. Thinner gauges yield more "film feet" per pallet
How Do I Choose The Best Shrink Wrap Machine For My Needs?
Well that is the burning question, is it not? Honestly, you need to ask yourself these serious questions before making a purchase. These questions include other important dynamics involved with shrink wrap packaging lines. Check out the items below:
- What comes to mind when you consider cost?
- Purchase Price? TCO: Total Cost of Ownership? Cold Hard Cash?
- What is more important to you, price or performance?
- In 3 to 5 years, will it still be important?
- How much use will this machine be getting?
- 24/7 or 1-2 Times Per Week?
- Are your maintenance technicians certified and capable of fixing your equipment?
- Can you operate complicated machinery, or do you need basic controls?
- Your capabilities decide the machinery you will need. Sometimes simplicity is more important than sophistication.
- Will your machine operators be stationary or constantly moving around?
- Buying decisions may be effected by these dynamics.
- Is the cutting edge of technology an important dynamic for your business or would you prefer to use refurbished equipment?
- Do you depend on your supplier to keep your line running at optimum pace?
- Do they have available parts and maintenance plans?
- When unexpected downtime occurs, how much can you really afford?
- Are perishable products something you package?
You need to slow down if your supplier is not available for your emergency needs. Buying new equipment is always more than just “buying new equipment” and dynamics such as consumables, running time, size of production and cost of service and supply should all be taken into consideration.
Mulling over the questions highlighted above will allow you to better prepare your packaging processes. Optimizing your machinery in regards to consumable quality/cost, technological needs and associated costs of repairs and maintenance will save you money.
Armed with all of the information above, it would also be a good idea to write out a set of questions you have in regards to your shrink wrap and machinery needs. Be prepared to ask them when meeting with each of your potential vendor's sales reps in advance of the initial sales meeting.
This will allow you to better vet the options before you and present an educated contact from your own company to host the meeting. This will keep each of the reps on their toes and under the impression that you will not be easily swayed by well a rehearsed elevator pitch.
About Nathan Dube
As the Digital Marketing Specialist at Industrial Packaging, I am honored to create content for such a phenomenal company and work with one of the greatest teams in the Packaging Industry. Whether creating a video, writing blog posts or generating other pieces of content and multimedia, I am always excited to help educate and inspire our prospects and clients to reach their highest potential in regards to their packaging processes and needs.