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Understanding Shrink Wrap Machinery

Shrink wrap machinery encompasses a variety of equipment designed to apply shrink wrap films to products. These machines are pivotal in industries such as food and perishable goods, pharmaceuticals, timber and building materials, publishing, and ecommerce. By selecting the right machinery, businesses can enhance their packaging processes, protect their products, and streamline their supply chains.

Types of Shrink Wrap Machinery


  • Description: L-Sealers use an L-shaped sealing bar to create bags around products before shrinking the film.
  • Applications: Ideal for smaller items or products that require individual wrapping, such as books and sensitive documents.
  • Advantages: Provides precise, clean seals and is suitable for medium production volumes. L-Sealers are highly versatile and can be used with different film types, making them a cost-effective solution for businesses with diverse packaging needs.

Shrink Tunnels

  • Description: Shrink tunnels apply heat to shrink the film tightly around the product. They are often used in conjunction with L-Sealers.
  • Applications: Commonly used in food packaging for items like chocolates, frozen food, and fresh produce. Shrink tunnels ensure a uniform and secure wrap, which is essential for maintaining the freshness and integrity of perishable goods.
  • Advantages: Ensures uniform shrinkage and is capable of handling high production volumes. Shrink tunnels can be adjusted to different temperature settings, making them suitable for various film types and thicknesses. This adaptability ensures optimal performance and efficiency in packaging operations.

Automatic Shrink Wrap Systems

  • Description: Fully automated systems that combine sealing and shrinking processes in one continuous operation.
  • Applications: Suitable for high-speed production environments, such as pharmaceuticals and large-scale ecommerce operations. These systems are designed to handle large volumes with minimal human intervention, ensuring consistency and speed in packaging.
  • Advantages: Maximises efficiency and reduces labour costs. Automatic systems are equipped with advanced sensors and controls that ensure precise wrapping and sealing, reducing the risk of product damage and packaging errors.

Manual and Semi-Automatic Shrink Wrappers

  • Description: Manual systems require operator intervention, while semi-automatic systems automate part of the process.
  • Applications: Best for small businesses or lower volume operations, like niche food producers. These systems offer flexibility and control over the packaging process, making them ideal for custom or small-batch packaging needs.
  • Advantages: Cost-effective and flexible for smaller production runs. Manual and semi-automatic systems are easy to set up and use, requiring less initial investment and providing a good return on investment for smaller operations.

Key Considerations for Selecting Shrink Wrap Machinery

Production Volume

Determine your average and peak production volumes to choose machinery that can handle the workload without bottlenecks. High-volume operations will benefit from fully automated systems, while lower volumes might only require manual or semi-automatic machines.

Product Dimensions and Variety

Consider the sizes and shapes of products to ensure the machinery can accommodate the full range of items you need to package. Machines with adjustable settings or customisable components are ideal for handling diverse product lines.

Film Compatibility

Ensure the machinery is compatible with various shrink wrap films, including polyolefin, PVC, and polyethylene, to meet your packaging needs. Compatibility with multiple film types allows flexibility in packaging design and cost management.

Space and Layout

Evaluate the available space in your facility. Some machinery requires significant floor space and specific layout considerations for optimal operation. Plan the layout to ensure smooth workflow and easy access for maintenance.

Budget and Cost Efficiency

Balance initial investment with long-term operational costs. Consider maintenance, energy consumption, and the potential for future scalability. Investing in energy-efficient machines can reduce operational costs over time.

Environmental Impact

Opt for machinery that supports sustainable packaging practices. Look for energy-efficient models and compatibility with eco-friendly shrink wrap films. Reducing environmental impact can also improve your company’s reputation and compliance with regulatory standards.

Industry-Specific Insights

Food and Perishable Goods

  • Challenges: Ensuring freshness and preventing contamination.
  • Solutions: High-speed automatic shrink wrap systems with advanced sealing technologies to maintain product integrity. These systems often include features like vacuum sealing and modified atmosphere packaging to extend shelf life.


  • Challenges: Protecting sensitive products and ensuring tamper-evidence.
  • Solutions: Machinery with precise temperature controls and high-precision sealing capabilities. Tamper-evident seals and secure packaging are critical for maintaining the safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical products.

Timber and Building Materials

  • Challenges: Handling large, heavy, and irregularly shaped items.
  • Solutions: Robust shrink wrap machinery with the capability to manage bulk and custom-sized packages. Heavy-duty machines designed for durability and strength are essential for packaging building materials.


  • Challenges: Efficiently packaging a diverse range of products for shipment.
  • Solutions: Versatile automatic systems that can quickly adapt to different product sizes and packaging requirements. Customisable settings and quick-changeover features are beneficial for handling varied ecommerce inventory.

Optimising Your Packaging Process

Regular Maintenance

Schedule regular maintenance checks to keep machinery in optimal condition, prevent downtime, and extend equipment lifespan. Maintenance routines should include cleaning, lubrication, and inspection of critical components.

Operator Training

Invest in comprehensive training for operators to ensure efficient and safe use of the machinery. Well-trained staff can optimise machine performance and reduce the risk of accidents and errors.

Quality Control

Implement stringent quality control measures to ensure all packaged products meet industry standards and customer expectations. Regular inspections and testing can help maintain high packaging standards and prevent product recalls.

Technology Integration

Integrate your shrink wrap machinery with other packaging line technologies, such as labellers and sorters, for a seamless and efficient packaging process. Automation and digital controls can improve accuracy and speed in packaging operations.


Choosing the right shrink wrap machinery is crucial for enhancing your business’s packaging efficiency and product protection. By understanding the different types of machinery, considering key factors specific to your industry, and optimising your packaging process, you can ensure that your shrink wrap solutions meet your operational needs and quality standards.

Kempner’s expertise in shrink wrap machinery and films, coupled with their experience in supplying various industries across England, Scotland, and Wales, makes them a trusted partner for businesses seeking reliable and efficient packaging solutions. Embrace the right shrink wrap machinery to drive your business forward and achieve unparalleled packaging excellence.

By following these guidelines and leveraging Kempner’s specialised knowledge, you can select the ideal shrink wrap machinery that aligns with your business goals, enhances your packaging operations, and contributes to your overall success.