09 September 2015 //
by Jarlath Harkin
When seeking out new packaging solutions, engineers run the risk of drawing flawed conclusions based on outdated information and experiences. These inaccurate ideas may be the product of accelerated project time lines, the vast amount of old information on the web or the comfort of just sticking with what they’re comfortable with. The trade-off, however, can be increased material costs and/or negative environmental impact.
Shrink bundling is a secondary packaging solution that’s often quickly dismissed when a product has heat-sensitive properties. And while it’s true that traditional shrink bundling uses a heat to bundle the products, there are alternatives. Banding, strapping, use of pre-made bags or tight wrap bundling can minimize or eliminate the use of heat while still achieving material cost savings and lowering the environmental impact.
This post will address two of the common myths about bundling heat-sensitive products and give you the confidence to explore it for your next project.
Myth #1: My Product is Already Packaged in LDPE, Polyolefin or a Polypropylene Film
Many packaging engineers believe shrink bundling products that are already packaged in a heat-sensitive film will result in an undesirable package. Therefore those products continue to be packaged in a corrugated shipper.
Identifying films that contain different shrink properties may allow for film to be placed over film and passed through a shrink tunnel. Another possibility is to use tight wrap bundling, an EDL-exclusive technology, that uses LDPE films and mechanical tension in place of heat to wrap the film tightly around product(s) being bundled.
Myth #2: My Product is Heat-sensitive
This may have been true at one point. However, new materials and equipment technology, such as tight wrap, provide alternatives that offer the benefits of both shrink bundling (significant or total enclosure, material cost and environmental impact reduction) and strapping or banding (mechanical containment with no heat applied to product being bundled) without exposing the product being packaged to high levels or long durations of heat.
One product example where both of these myths were debunked is a DVD and game case. Originally packaged in corrugate for distribution, it was believed that heat could not be used because the cases were wrapped in a rigid film and the DVDs were considered to be heat-sensitive.
However, the cases were able to be wrapped using a single tight wrap bundler with a tuck-and-fold enclosure. This solution offered total enclosure and mechanical containment of the products without exposing them to the heat associated with traditional shrink bundling. Watch the video below to see tuck-and-fold wrapping in action:
When we break down the term “shrink bundling” and simply remove the word “shrink,” you’ll find that the many of the ideas surrounding it are, indeed, myths. So before drawing a false conclusion based on research into previous technologies or individuals’ prior experience, consider expanding your scope of ideas so that you don’t too narrowly limit your packaging options.
Think you have a product that isn’t conducive to bundling? Contact EDL Packaging today for a solution.