Shrink-wrapping is an easy process. It only requires two things to work: the right kind of plastic wrap and heat. You can waterproof, weatherproof and tamperproof just about anything you have with just a roll of shrink-wrap and a heating source. But even this convenient packaging solution has a couple of potential hiccups. In this post, we cover some of the common shrink-wrapping mistakes and give solutions.
Shrinkwrap Dog Ears
Dog Ears are triangular protrusions from the film on the corners of the package, which resembles a dog’s ear. These are usually around the corners of packages seen in supermarkets. These “ears” are caused by excess shrink-wrapping and are a sign that the film wasn’t shrunk down enough. Here’s how to avoid this mistake:
The first step is to assess the heat of your shrink gun or shrink tunnel. Make sure there is enough heat to properly wrap the package but at the same time, your shrink gun is cool enough to not cause damage to your product.
Also, check the size of your shrink film or tubing. Using a larger film width than needed can cause the dog-ears to show on the corners of your finished product. Wrap the package with less film by minimizing film width. Dog-ears may also arise when using lower-quality films. Polyolefin film is generally pricier but is higher quality.
Shrinkwrap Crow’s Feet
Crow’s feet are wrinkles spreading from the corners of your packages. Many times when resolving the issue of dog-ears, you will also resolve the issue of crow’s feet.
Crow’s feet can be due to excessive film on the corners of the product. This can be avoided by using smaller shrink-wrap or shrink tubing length/width.
Just like dog-ears, a cause can be due to not heating the package enough. Ensure that your heating element is producing enough heat to adequately shrink the film evenly across your finished goods.
Shrinkwrap Fish Eyes
Fish eyes are round patterns in the plastic on a package that was shrunk badly and gives an unprofessional and untidy appearance.
Lack of heat causes this issue. To resolve it, check your heating element is receiving regular maintenance to reduce the amount of damaged or improperly shrink-wrapped goods.
In addition, check if your heat source is pushing out enough air when applying heat. If not, it will cause the wrap to shrink inconsistently. Slow down your conveyor speed to minimise perforations in the wrap.
Shrinkwrap Angel Hair
These are thin strands of melted plastic, which stretch from the product and the sealed part of the film. If the sealing wire or seal bar is not hot enough will cause Angel hairs. This occurs because the wrap doesn’t have time to cut completely, and the wrap stretches off the wire.
To avoid this shrink wrapping mistake, make sure your sealing wire is working properly. Also check your clamp pressure is correct to avoid the film cuts being uneven.
Shrink-wrap ballooning occurs when the shrink film is exposed to hot air after being sealed. When this happens the air inside the bag expands, causing the shrink film to balloon.
Using film with vent holes can prevent this (also called pre-perforated film). Additionally, avoid having excess air in the package as it’s being wrapped.
Wrapping It Up!
Shrink-wrap is a great packaging solution for products and problems are readily solved. The size of packages, the speed it’s being wrapped and differences in the construction of shrink films can influence the professional look of your wrapped packages. However with a few simple adjustments to your system, these 5 common shrink-wrap problems can be minimised and keep your packages looking flawless.
At Direct Mail Solutions, we offer tailored shrink wrapping services to your business, and personal use. We assure protection of your direct mails, without compromising your aesthetics.