13 January 2017 //
by Jim Campbell
There are many products you’d expect to see shrink bundled or wrapped, such as trays of spices or marinades or bundles of dry pet food. However, as trends shift and sustainability and shipping costs increase, manufacturing engineers must look for ways to reduce packaging costs or increase operational efficiency.
The following are three product segments, in my opinion, that can benefit from being shrink bundled or wrapped:
1. Building Materials
The building materials industry is unique in that some products find themselves on big box store shelves, while others are shipped directly to the job site. Regardless of the distribution method, all require some type of secondary packaging.
Two examples of products that benefit from being shrink wrapped in LDPE are PEX and PVC tubing. Given the nature of the building material industry and the likeliness of the tubing being stored outside during its life cycle, replacing corrugate with LDPE film (or reducing the amount of corrugate used) can provide additional product protection from the outside elements it is exposed to. Products sensitive to the sun’s UV rays will benefit from an opaque film blend with UV inhibitor, while a clear film offers customers the advantage of being able to view the product; both types of film provide a water-resistant barrier.
2. e-Commerce and e-Commerce Grocery Sales
Because of online shopping, front porches are increasingly seeing more deliveries, causing packaging engineers to evaluate their current packaging. Two of the biggest challenges associated with e-commerce for retailers and manufacturers are product protection and concealing the packages contents. In instances where products have a substantial retail box and internal packaging support, such as a set of pots and pans, a redundant corrugated shipper can help to conceal the contents. However, these one-size-fits-all corrugate shippers can add unnecessary cost. One solution to conceal the retail box and reduce packaging costs is to create a total enclosure of film around the package using a film with an opaque blend.
Another area of e-commerce that is affecting packaging is online grocery and prepared meal sales. Commonly shipped in insulated foam or plastic containers and packed with dry ice, shrink wrapping not only eliminates corrugate and provides tamper evidence for the container, but it also can extend the dry ice’s effectiveness by creating a better seal between the lid and base.
3. Food Service Consumables
Food service consumables are another opportunity for shrink wrapping—think of this as packaging the package.
For example, foam meat trays (the kind raw chicken and hamburger reside on in your grocer’s meat department) can benefit from being wrapped in LDPE film. The film unitizes the foam trays and creates a tighter, more consistent bundle compared to manual inner and outer bags, and can potentially replace an outer corrugate shipper.
If you’re faced with innovating while reducing packaging cost, shrink wrapping your products might be a good solution. Want to learn more? Contact us for a free evaluation.