Even among those with a history in the packaged-goods industries, there can still be an element of confusion between shrink bundling, bull’s eye, bundle wrapping, full-enclosure wrapping, and shrink wrapping. In this post, we’ll be clarifying the identities of the two and showcase what each has to offer.
Shrink wrapping is also known as full-enclosure wrapping. It involves covering a set of multiple items in low-density polyethylene film (LDPE) and passing it through a heat tunnel or other heating method. The film shrinks over the products, enclosing them 100% in plastic film. The products can be free-standing, or placed on a tray or pad. There are other methods to completely enclose products that do not involve heat. Large items can be shrink wrapped individually. This is frequently done with items like windows, doors, and large rolls of textiles.
There are several advantages to shrink wrapping. It enables you to apply new UPC labels, glue products together, and collate items like brochures and leaflets. It also allows for applying IRC labels and Outsert labels. This method is also cost-effective and provides an excellent way to save space. However, this technique is best used if you’re only wrapping one or a few items. If the number of items is beyond that, you’ll probably be better suited with bull’s eye wrapping. It works really well for products like DVDs and video games, as well as many food products. Shrink wrapping can offer a very attractive, completely closed, polished look. It’s generally more attractive than shrink bundling. The latter method is similar, but presents some important differences.
Shrink bundling is also known as bull’s eye packaging and bundle wrapping. It covers four surfaces of a cubic pack, so two sides are left exposed. Think about a pack of bottled water like the one in the photo above. You can count the sides in it a bit easier. At two ends, the packaging is open. This actually serves a purpose. Customers can use the openings as handles, which most of us have experienced at some point in our shopping careers. The film used for this method is usually stronger and thicker than that used for others, making the packaging more reliable as the customer carries it through the store and afterwards. The product’s heavy weight will not cause it to fail.
Bull’s eye packaging is commonly used for intermediate distribution, especially for food, personal care, and household products, but others as well. Although it can be used for end-of-line packaging, if used as an intermediate, the packages are usually manually separated by store clerks to stock shelves. Shrink bundling provides a high level of protection in transportation, carries a low risk of products getting loose and the problems that stem from that, easy handling during distribution, and requires less space than other methods. If you’re a manufacturer, switching to a custom shrink bundling system can decrease production time and mitigate or eliminate bottlenecks in the production line. A lot of money stands to be saved as well, since the film used is much less expensive than paper-based packaging. Other advantages over paper include resistance to puncture, ability to receive printing, and durability. Transparent film is sturdier, but printed film is more attractive. Your needs will determine the best method.
Do you think your product might be better suited to full enclosure or bundle wrapping? Do you have other packaging questions? Our experts would love to help you. We’ve been in the business of meeting manufacturers’ needs and saving them money for years. If you’d like to avail of our expert guidance and services, we invite you to get in touch. If you’re not ready yet, that’s OK. Please continue to enjoy our curated selection of packaging-education materials in our blog. We take great pleasure in providing it to you, and we hope your company can benefit from its insights.