Choosing the right shrink wrap machine might sound as simple as picking one out from a lineup, but it’s actually more complicated than that. As an entrepreneur, it’s your duty to ensure that your packaging is top-quality and that you’re investing in durable sealers. Taking the time to choose the right machine could make the difference between delivering perfectly-packaged goods, or delivering goods that end up damaged during delivery.
Whether you’re packing up cartons of DVDs or putting mattresses through the shrinking process, there are things you need to consider when choosing between shrink wrapping products. If you’re not sure how to make the right decision, here are a few points to keep in mind.
When picking a shrink wrap machine, the first thing you’ll probably think about is the cost. Compared to other sealers and packaging types, shrink wrap systems are popular for newer companies because they require fewer upfront costs. That said, there’s still some variation between shrink wrap price points. A more expensive shrink wrapper might cost more initially, but may not require as much maintenance as time goes on.
Of course, if you go for the cheapest shrink wrap product you can find, you might experience breakdowns or issues during the shrinking process as time goes on. But if budget is an issue (which is completely understandable), shop around to see if you can bundle your shrink wrapper with other packaging products, which may land you a discount.
Naturally, bundled products will incur a slightly larger upfront expense but if you’re purchasing items you need, the added discount may make a lot of sense.
Your output levels are integral to your business’s performance. These levels also directly factor into the overall costs of your shrink wrapper and your business as a whole. The more shrink film you need to use, the higher the costs of your overall shrink wrap system. There are several different levels of output that you should consider for your business:
- Low output: A low output shrink wrap setup is one that produces less than 100 products per day. This setup can be as simple as a bar sealer and a heat source, typically a heat gun. This works most cost-effectively with shrink bags.
- Low-to-medium: This shrink wrap setup will handle between 100 and 250 products each day. It often consists of a bar sealer, heat source, and a rack or tray.
- Medium: Medium output systems handle between 250 and 750 products every day. An affordable choice for this type of system includes the bar sealer and shrink tunnel.
- High output: A high output system incorporates a shrink tunnel and may even have a conveyor as well to speed up the process. These systems can handle well over 750 products on a daily basis and are the ideal choice for high-output businesses.
Understanding your output levels is necessary for you to make an educated business decision. While it may seem sensible to pick a larger machine to prepare to scale to higher levels of output, you shouldn’t purchase one that’s too large, or else you run the risk of not being able to properly recoup your initial investment.
The last thing to consider is the general size of your products. If you’re handling smaller packages and won’t be running through immense amounts of shrink film, you may not need to purchase a machine that comes with a shrink tunnel and conveyor. However, it’s important to accommodate for the height, length, and width of your product offerings. If you end up needing to expense a larger machine that can handle bigger products, you won’t have to worry about any smaller products in your lineup. Your machine will be able to handle those, too.
In some ways, choosing a shrink wrapper is a simple process. Factor in your budget, output, and product sizes, and choose between the appropriate options for your needs. In other ways, it’s more complicated. Will the machine scale with your business? Will you be able to recoup your expenses? As long as you factor in potential outcomes, you’re sure to make the right decision.