How To Work Out Shrink Film Sizes

Firstly, you don't need to be a mathematician to figure out how to work out shrink film size, though you do need to read a bit slower to understand. An engineer that you employ would wonder what all the fuss is about. Each shrink wrap machine employs the use of different types of shrink wrap, either SWS (single wound), CFS (centre-folded), LFT and GLFT.

Also different heat settings and packaging requirements may see you work with polyolefin shrink wrap, polythene or PVC shrink bags and in different thickness. By measuring correctly the shrink film size you'll benefit in several ways. A more refined finish, less film wastage and an increased packing speed - all of which drive down costs. All through knowing how the surface area can be covered in the best possible way.

Too small or too large and you risk crows eyes, triangles and dog ears or loose packaging with movement within. If items are for public display in a retailer outlet, packaging is half the sell, as you well know so appearance counts. Secondly and the most important part, ensure you measure the product as it is positioned to enter the shrink chamber. Here's why...

Begin with orientation. A shrinkwrap machine is best used when a product or package is facing the machine at its longest width. Measure this and check the shrink wrap machines dimensions for the sealer. Even if the width is over by a little bit, you will not get the correct seal on the packaging.

Measure the height from bottom to top, not the other way round, millimetres matter. Position the clip of the tape measure under the carton for accuracy. Especially with uneven surfaces. There are different width and length parameters depending on the following: for width measure in the transverse direction - parallel to the cross seal / cut-off.

For length, measure in the machine direction or in case of centerfold film that would be parallel to the fold of the film. Additionally, it may be tempting to further save costs on thousands of shrink wrapped products by rounding down. That might be a mistake, better to round up a whole number for a smoother operation.

You'll notice we don't show formulas here like other websites, why? Because each shrink wrap machine has a different way to measure. Please ensure you check the documentation for your machine for the correct way to calculate and work out shrink film size for each individual machine you have on site. Also check if you require wider film sizes as per machine manual.


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