Nathan Dube

By: Nathan Dube on January 12th, 2021

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Exploring Different Types Of Shrink Wrap Sealers: Applications And Uses

Equipment | Investment

Are you shrink wrapping products? Then, chances are, you currently have or will be purchasing a shrink wrap sealer. Shrink wrappers play a part prior to a heat tunnel on your packaging.

They are a required element for properly shrink wrapping your products. Unless of course, you are wrapping a smaller number of products. If that is true, then you are likely using a heat gun instead (OK) or a hairdryer (please don't). In that 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. Then you’re in the right place.


Industrial Packaging has helped countless clients purchase, install, and optimize their sealers. And, we can help you choose the right sealer.


This article will review the most common types of sealers. And, we will 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. Then, you will be one step closer to choosing the right machine.


Types Of Shrink Wrap Sealers


To make things easier for you, the links below will direct you to the individual sections. If you already have an idea what type of sealer you’re interested in, use this for easy navigation.


  • L-Bar Shrink Wrap Sealers
  • Intermittent Motion Shrink Wrap Side Sealers
  • Continuous Motion Side Sealers


L-Bar Shrink Wrap Sealers


L-Bar shrink wrappers are an everyday staple of packaging lines. They are used for shrink wrapping packaging applications. As with other shrink sealers, these machines usually sit before a heat tunnel. They seal the product in shrink film before going into the heat tunnel for uniform shrinking.


Applications And Uses For L-Bar Sealers


L-Bar sealers are used to seal your product inside of a bag made of shrink film. Next, the L-bar heat-seals the shrink film bag shut. Then, 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.


Your sealer should be installed and set up by a properly trained technician. If you do this, 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.


As for which type of shrink film you should use, that is case sensitive. It 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.


Manual L-Bar Sealers


Manual L-bar sealers are a common choice for shrink wrap packaging applications. They are run by a human operator. And, they are used to cut and seal the shrink wrap by clutching the handle and pushing it down. This makes it level with the packaged product. Then, 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 Sealers


Next, we have the semi-automatic version of this type of sealer. On this device, the L-bar automatically seals the package. It does this after the operator puts the item in 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 Sealers


This type of machine is entirely automated. It does not require an operator. Except, for turning the device on and starting the equipment's control panel.



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Intermittent Motion Shrink Wrap Side Sealers


Intermittent shrink wrap side sealer machines are completely automatic sealers. They are used for various shrink wrapping applications. Maybe you don't have a high output rate (2,000 packages per hour). But, you want a machine that can achieve professional-quality seals. If that is the case, these machines are a good fit.


This type of shrink sealer is very dynamic. It is customizable to package a broad selection of products. They can package items of different sizes and shapes. They feature industrial metal frames. Because of that, these sealers 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 than comparable models.


Applications And Uses For Intermittent Motion Sealers


Intermittent motion side sealers can work with a variety of differently sized products. They run at low to moderate speeds. These machines 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.


But, they can also generally wrap larger-sized products than 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. The actuator provides a non-stop continuous motion. This allows for smooth, fully automated packaging.


You can dial in precision control of your angular and linear position. The machine 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% compared to machines that do not feature servo capabilities.


Applications And Uses For Continuous Motion Sealers


Continuous motion side sealers are automatic machines. They allow companies to package high quantities of products in a shorter amount 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.


Sourcing A Shrink Wrap Sealer


By now, you should have a solid foundation of information about shrink wrappers. But, you are probably not sure which type of shrink wrapper is right for you. To properly answer that question, you need to have some additional information before choosing your equipment.


To figure out which types of shrink wrappers are right for you, you will need to know what kind of materials you will be using, what types of products you are packaging, and your monthly volume.


With this information in hand, you can figure out which type of shrink wrap system is best for your needs. If you would like to learn how to choose the right sealer, you will want to read Lap-Sealers VS Side-Sealers: Which Is The Better Choice?


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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.