How to Choose a Shrink-Wrap Supplier

When looking for a competent source for shrink wraps, one must first define what type material is being used, or being considered for use. This is because there are 2 types of shrink films, industrial and retail-display shrink films.

Industrial shrink films are, essentially, a replacement for corrugated cartons, and are used to unitize a given number of individual packages, one example being a case of 24 cans of soda. Industrial wraps are, almost always, heavier gauge polyethylene films.

The primary advantage of using polyethylene shrink films in order to unitize a product is cost. It is cheaper, per case, to use a polyethylene shrink-wrap than to use a corrugated box. It is also more cost-effective to only inventory a pallet of polyethylene film, and not a truckload of boxes, for unitizing the same given number of packages. In addition, the individual packages, being unitized, can be easily viewed in the case, when using the transparent polyethylene wrap.

Polyethylene shrink films are available both directly from manufacturers, or from industrial packaging distributors. Because polyethylene film is not a high-tech product to manufacture, and is relatively inexpensive, there are many dozens of manufacturers in the USA, alone, with hundreds of manufacturers, globally. Thus, offering the consumer a very wide range of supplier choices.

One, however, should NOT choose a supplier based on the lowest cost per lb. Rather, one should look for a manufacturer that can offer the thinnest film with the best shrink and strength properties. This will provide the most competitive cost per case packaged. In addition, one should seek a source with the best service, providing the quickest turn-around time as well as after-sale support.

Retail-display shrink films, on the other hand, are completely different from the industrial ones discussed above. They are used to individually wrap, or unitize, product packages. Although being used in some industrial applications, such as shrink wrapping automobile brakes for shipment to mechanic shops, they are mostly used, as the name implies, for products to be displayed on retail store shelves. Unlike in industrial shrink film applications, excellent optical properties are extremely important, as are machine ability properties on high speed wrapping lines. In addition, unlike industrial applications, which use heavier thickness films, thin gauge films are the hallmark of retail display shrink films. Games, foods, health and beauty aid packages are, but a few, of the products individually shrink wrapped, using retail display shrink films.

Retail display shrink films are available only from packaging distributors. Some are large, national, chains, some are larger-sized regional chains, others are large and strong independent local distributors, while still others are smaller family owned local distributors.

First, it is important to select the distributor that has the know-how, or access to the know-how, required to support the film user. This, because selecting the correct film for the user is of utmost importance, as there are various grades available from various manufacturers. Retail display shrink films, unlike industrial ones, are quite technical. The proper choice depends on the product to be packaged, on the machine being used to do the wrapping and shrinking, as well as on the desired resultant package.

Second, the distributor to select is one who carries a competitive, yet high quality, shrink film brand. Although internationally known brands are quality product lines, lesser-known brands can also be high quality products, yet much more cost-effective.

Third, select a distributor who has adequate inventory on hand of the most-popular film sizes and gauges. Alternatively, one whose manufacturer can very quickly turn-around stock-sized orders, and can quickly convert and ship a custom-made order.

Fourth, select a distributor that can quickly provide the required sample rolls, in the precise size, gauge and grade required to test-run, and will have a representative available at the test site on the scheduled test date.

By selecting the distributor who provides the best performing film for the most cost-effective spend, then a shrink-wrap user will maximize his packaging efficiency and minimize his packaging cost.

Post time: 04-08-2017