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

Part of the outstanding Industrial Packaging team. I'm lucky to hang out with some of the most knowledgeable folks in the packaging industry. I feel even luckier to be able to share our knowledge with you. I love learning about our readers and helping them grow their brand through unique, flexible package design from the birth of the product idea, through the supply chain, and to the launch and placement on the shelf or at the consumer's door.