16 June 2020 //
Many consumer product goods are available in aerosol or pump containers. The convenience, ease of use, extended shelf life and recyclability of aerosols and pumps are major draws for manufacturers, retailers and consumers; however, ingredient properties make handling and packaging challenging. Despite these challenges, shrink bundling has long been considered an ideal packaging solution for the unique challenges presented by aerosols and pumps.
Are you considering shrink bundling? Here are four things you need to know to successfully source and bundle your aerosol or pump package:
1. The Basics
Aerosols use a propellant gas to release a set volume of pressurized fluid in a spray form. Due to increasing environmental concerns and inhalant abuse resulting from the use of propellants, aerosols are slowly being replaced with pumps. As the name suggests, a spray or foam that often has a high percentage of denatured alcohol is released when the pump container is manually pumped. There is no need for a propellant gas.
Regardless of which format is used, it’s imperative that you inform the equipment manufacturer of the product’s ingredients and properties, as well as any applicable regulations and specifications. This information ensures the manufacturer is designing equipment that aligns with your specific needs.
2. Heat and Time
Both aerosol and pump containers are flammable, which prohibits prolonged exposure to high heat. Unlike other packaging processes, shrink bundling heats containers for only a few seconds. This amount of time is not long enough to elevate actual product temperatures. Likewise, to alleviate concerns about products becoming stranded on the line in rare instances, such as during a power outage, redundant air motors should be added to shrink tunnel conveyors.
3. Product Handling
Since the majority of aerosol and pump containers are round and tall, significant handling challenges present themselves. Identifying a machine that offers excellent product handling and control during the collating and wrapping process is crucial. Common equipment designs include a flight bar or side feed automatic bundler.
Unstable ingredient properties and fluctuating production environments may require additional system features to ensure safety in aerosol and pump container shrink bundling. Common design practices include:
- Placing containment guarding made of expanded metal around the shrink tunnel hood, including above and below
- Adding more E-stop button locations
- Integrating CO2 deluge fire suppression systems
- Using shrink tunnel air blast cool down
- Installing a reject station