David Roberge

By: David Roberge on March 25th, 2016

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Lap-Sealers VS Side-Sealers: Which Is The Better Choice?

Equipment | Investment

As you move to automate your shrink packaging line, be aware of the options available with respect to the type of sealing systems to choose from.




This is basically a material consumption vs. flexibility decision.


Lap Sealers




  • Lap Seal Machines are scrapless systems
  • Offer significant savings in film usage, reducing material cost for every product that you wrap
  • This savings can range from 10% to 30%
  • Environmentally friendly (no scrap)
  • Important for your sustainability program
  • Eliminate the need to collect and dispose of the scrap
  • Require special tooling for each product  (a film forming plow)
  • This is an expense
  • Use singlewound shrink film, rather than centerfolded film
  • Requires longer lead time and potentially higher inventory
  • Require a specific film width for each set of tooling


Need Help Choosing The Right Sealer?

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Side Sealers




  • Don’t require product specific change parts
  • Generate scrap, which you pay for and must dispose of
  • Allows flexibility of shrink film selection.
  • You can substitute a wider than necessary film width if you are in a jam, but you will generate extra scrap and extra cost.


If you produce many SKU’s, need lots of flexibility, have lots of short runs, a side sealer might be for you.  If you have sustained runs of specific products, a lap sealer could save you a lot of money


No matter what you are choosing when making an equipment purchase, its always best to have a knowledgeable Equipment Specialist on your side. Talk to our Packaging Professionals to find the optimal equipment for your needs.


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About David Roberge

I am grateful for my 9 years as part of the outstanding Industrial Packaging team. I was able to hang out with some of the most knowledgeable folks in the packaging industry. I feel even luckier that I was able to share that knowledge with you. I love learning, hiking, and growing people and teams both personally and professionally, and helping companies grow better.