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Exploring Different Types Of Shrink Wrap Sealers: Applications And Uses

By: Nathan Dube on January 12th, 2021

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Exploring Different Types Of Shrink Wrap Sealers: Applications And Uses

Equipment  |  Investment

If you are shrink wrapping products, chances are, you currently have or will be purchasing a shrink wrap sealer. As a machine that commonly sits in a packaging line prior to the heat tunnel, it is a required element for properly shrink wrapping your products.


Unless of course, you are wrapping a smaller number of products and are choosing to instead employ a heat gun (OK)  or a  hair dryer (please don't). If this is the case, this article will only be of use to you if you plan to expand production and upgrade to using a heat tunnel.


Suppose you happen to be in the first situation and are, in fact, in need of a sealer of some type or another. In that case, you’re in the right place.


Having helped countless clients purchase, install, and optimize the full spectrum of shrink-wrapping related machinery and materials, Industrial Packaging can help you to choose the right sealer for your specific product packaging applications.


This article will review the most common types of sealers and explore their related materials, applications, and uses. By the end of this article, you should have a solid understanding of the different types of sealers and which you should continue doing research on.


L-Bar Shrink Wrap Sealers


L-Bar Shrink Wrap Sealers are an everyday staple of packaging lines that feature shrink wrapping packaging applications. As with other types of shrink sealers, these machines usually sit before a heat tunnel and seal the product in shrink film before going into the heat tunnel for uniform shrinking.

Manual L-Bar Shrink Wrap Sealers


L-bar sealers are a common choice for shrink wrap packaging applications. They can be run efficiently by a human operator to cut and seal the shrink wrap by clutching the handle and pushing down to make it level with the product being packaged.  The heating element (known as a wire) will seal and cut the film. From there, the package is moved to the heat tunnel for shrinking.


Semi-Automatic L-Bar Shrink Wrap Sealers


With the semi-automatic version of this type of sealer, the L-bar automatically seals the package after the operator puts the item to be packaged inside the shrink film. The jaws open and the product moves out of the seal area.  The L-bar is controlled with a simple control panel that allows you to change settings, such as heat.


Automatic L-Bar Shrink Wrap Sealers


This type of machine is entirely automated and does not require an operator, with the exception of turning the device on and starting the equipment's pre-programmed processes on the control panel.


Applications And Uses For L-Bar Shrink Wrap Sealers


L-Bar sealers are used to seal your product inside of a bag made of shrink film. After the L-bar has heat-sealed the shrink film bag shut, your product is moved down a conveyor into the heat tunnel. When the bag is exposed to the tunnel's heat, the film will uniformly shrink around the product.


Products commonly sealed with an L-bar include produce, tea boxes, electronics, small consumer goods, and a wide array of other types of products and objects.


When installed, set up, and run by a properly trained shrink machinery operator, these machines will help you package your items in shrink film without issue. That being said, some common shrink film problems can arise due to improper use and materials. These issues can be easily negated with a few simple optimizations for the most part.


As for which type of shrink film you should use, that is case sensitive and depends entirely on the type of sealer you are using and the type of products you are packaging. See your machinery's documentation or speak with your packaging machinery technician for guidance.


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Intermittent Motion Shrink Wrap Side Sealers


Intermittent Shrink Wrap Side Sealer Machines are completely automatic sealers that may be used for various shrink wrapping applications. For packaging lines that do not have a high output rate (2,000 packages per hour), but want a machine that can achieve professional-quality seals, these machines are a good fit.


This type of shrink sealer is very dynamic. It is customizable to package a broad selection of products of different sizes and shapes. Because of their industrial metal frames, this type of sealer will run quietly and without annoying vibrations. They are a favorite among packaging line operators.


We recommend Kallfass brand intermittent motion sealers, which feature modern motion control. On average, these machines offer about 30% lower operating costs compared to comparable makes and models of competing equipment brands.


Applications And Uses For Intermittent Motion Shrink Wrap Sealers


Intermittent motion side sealers are created to work with a variety of differently sized products at low to moderate speeds. They are commonly used for the fulfillment of e-commerce orders. This type of sealer generally runs the same types of products as an L-Bar Sealer.


However, they can also generally wrap larger sized products than those of which you can run on an L-Bar sealing machine. As for the exact dimensions, these are case sensitive based on the make and model you choose.


Continuous Motion Side Sealers


Continuous motion side sealers feature servo motor motion controls. Before you say “What the heck is that?”, a servomotor is a rotating actuator that provides a non-stop continuous motion of packaging on a fully automated machine.


You can dial in precision control of your angular and linear position. The machine also allows you to alter the acceleration and velocity of the packaging process. It features a motor with a sensor that allows for feedback on the position of the device.


With servo motor motion controls, continuous motion side sealers allow for film savings of around 20%-30% when compared to machines that do not feature servo capabilities.


Applications And Uses For Intermittent Motion Sealers


Continuous motion side sealers are automatic machines that allow companies to package high quantities of products in shorter amounts of time. These machines provide high-quality shrink packaging for products, including candy, video game boxes, compact discs, DVDs, books, electronics, and other consumer goods.


Next Steps In Sourcing A Shrink Wrap Sealer


When researching different shrink wrap sealers with the intention to buy one, you need to do some homework about the various different brands, makes and models available. There is tons of information about each make and model from all current vendors available online.


After doing some research via the internet, it is well advised that you request information on the brands, makes and models that you are interested in.  Research at least three or four different vendors so that you can compare cost, functionality, and the other related elements of the equipment you are most interested in.


When it comes to buying any type of sealer for your shrink packaging, you have several options. For instance, some sealers can be bought directly from the manufacturer. However, if you choose to do so, you will only be reviewing options from one brand.


And while buying directly from the manufacturer will ensure you are purchasing the machinery from the foremost experts on that specific brand, some manufacturers actually won’t sell directly to the consumer. So, you may be required to buy their machinery from from another vendor.


Another purchasing option is buying your packaging machinery from a distributor. As a packaging distributor ourselves, Industrial Packaging is a bit biased towards this type of vendor. Our opinions aside, many people choose to buy from a distributor rather than a manufacturer for multiple reasons.


For one thing, distributors are brand agnostic, which means they sell multiple different brands of packaging machinery and can help you choose the right brand for your budget, applications, and related elements.

It should be noted, that while distributors give you a far greater variety of machinery to choose from, they often come along with higher costs. This is because they are a reseller of the machinery. They buy the equipment from the manufacturer and then resell it to their clients.


If you are unsure where to start, or would like some guidance on choosing the right vendor, consider speaking with one of our packaging experts. They will be able to help you choose the right machinery and vendor, even if you do not ultimately choose us.


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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.