The Film Benefits of Using Tight Wrap Versus Traditional Shrink Bundling

12 June 2015 //

Double Tight WrapShrink Bundling Systems

Consumer goods and other product manufacturers are constantly on the lookout for more cost-effective ways to bundle multiple units of their products. Tight Wrap and traditional Shrink Bundling both provide secondary packaging options for much less than the cost of corrugate. However, Tight Wrap offers unique capabilities and efficiencies in several areas, one of which is film cost and usage.

To help you understand what those film efficiencies are, here’s an outline of the three film benefits of using Tight Wrap for secondary packaging:

Reduced Film Usage

Using Tight Wrap reduces secondary packaging material usage in several ways:

  • Snug Band versus Loose Sleeve
    Traditional Shrink Bundling requires that no tension be present at the seal. Therefore, even with a well-set-up shrink bundler, there is inherently more film needed to wrap a product or collation in the machine direction. With Tight Wrap bundling, mechanical tension is introduced to the film as it is applied to the product or collation in the machine direction, using only as much film as needed.
  • Bull’s-eye Formation
    When calculating the film width required to form a bull’s-eye, allowance must be made for the fact that the LDPE film will shrink in its transverse direction and the machine direction. Therefore, when the sleeve of film is relatively loose around the product or collation, the film must be wide enough to compensate for this transverse shrink as the machine direction shrink is bringing the film to the product and forming the bulls-eye. In Tight Wrap bundling, the sleeve of film is already tight to the product, allowing the machine direction shrink of the film to start forming a bull’s-eye immediately.
  • Reduced Film Gauge
    Because Tight Wrap does not rely on “casting” heavy gauge film to give the bundle integrity film gauges can often be reduced. Double Tight Wrap can allow even further gauge reduction as the “wear surfaces” of the bundle – top, bottom, corners and edges – will have overlapping layers of film.

More Flexibility in Film Sizing

Because Tight Wrap – and especially Double Tight Wrap – film sizes are narrower than traditional Shrink Bundling, there is an opportunity to accommodate a wider range of product sizes using a common size of film, while maintaining an acceptable appearance, and not risking excess film from interfering with the conveyor or labeling system. Although film sizes should be optimized for a given product when possible, the ability to run multiple sizes of products with a single film width has its advantages. These include changeover and set-up time, and to the number of different sized films that must be kept in inventory.

Extended Run Times

The combination of lighter gauges and less film being applied around a product or group of products results in significantly longer run times between replenishing rolls of film. In a very typical example of replacing 2-mil with 1.5-mil film, the run time increase due to the gauge reduction alone is 25% and will normally increase by another 10-15% as a result of the tighter band (less film applied around the machine direction dimension of the product being wrapped).

Additionally, systems can be configured to accommodate 20” outer diameter (OD) rolls, which will yield approximately 210% of a 14” OD roll due to the 3” core. In a recent project, one customer increased their roll change time from 2.5 hours to more than 8 hours through a combination of running lighter gauge film, less of it per pack and twice the diameter rolls they had been able to run with their previous Shrink Bundling system.

To learn how Tight Wrap could solve your specific secondary packaging challenges, contact our team today.