How shrink wrap machines work

A new 10-minute video of the bundling machines in action, from the equipment supplier Polypack, highlights the versatility of the company’s shrinkwrappers. The video shows automatic assembly and grouping of 10 different product types, with some of the thumbnails extending from product infeed to cartoning.

The 10 applications include a variety of primary and product packaging structures: tubes (a skin care product), cartons (a grocery item), chunky plastic jars (sour cream), round bottles ( cleaning), aluminum cans (beer), jars (cold cream), sachets (ground coffee) and custom-made bottles (yoghurt drink, chocolate milk and hygiene product).

The conditioning flow is generally the same for all applications, but the details vary. In many cases, pick-and-place robots move incoming products – filled primary packaging – onto shrink wrap or corrugated pad. A top buffer can be added after adding a second layer of product. Next comes packaging and shrinking.

For products requiring shrink wrap without gaps, a group of products is transported through a film sleeve which is then cut and sealed to create separate packages. These packets are then transported through the shrink tunnel.

To create trays of shrink-wrapped products with openings in the film on each side, the equipment automatically drapes the film around each pack before it enters the shrink tunnel.

A variety of bundle configurations are possible with the equipment, ranging from a shrink-wrapped bundle of three tubes to a 12-pack of beer cans with five alternating rows of two and three cans each.

One of the applications shows how varied packaging is grouped together: a multi-lane conveyor brings together groups of three different cleaning products, all of which are in the same round bottle. The equipment rotates each bottle so that its front label faces forward. Then each package receives its wrapping film and continues through the shrink tunnel.

With videos like this, who needs “How it’s made”?