Shrink Sleeve Manufacturing:
Shrink sleeves are available in different materials:
- Polypropylene Terephthalate Glycol (PETG): PETG is the most expensive shrink sleeve material. It has excellent coherence and print standards. It is recyclable and most opted material for shrink sleeve packaging.
- Polylactic acid (PLA): PLA Packaging comes from biodegradable waste and is a current trend to choose PLA packaging.
- Expanded Polystyrene (EPS): EPS is also made from the recyclable thermoplastic material. It is highly resistant to heat.
- PolyVinyl Chloride (PVC): PVC is the most commonly used and cost effective shrink sleeves material compared to other materials. Shrink sleeves made from PVC have good coherence and print standards. It is less environmentally friendly and hence not preferred in the recent age.
Shrink sleeves made from any of the above materials can be applied on the products by two methods: manual application method and automated application method.
Manual Application Method: Shrink sleeve is manually placed over the product. Heat waves are given using a heat gun/ a dryer to adapt the preferred shape. This type of application is suited for sample models in small numbers.
Automated Application Method: Diversified machines are used to slip the shrink sleeve on the product and a heat treatment is given to form a perfect fit for the product.
Perforations: Shrink sleeves provide perforations, it helps consumers to simplify the removal of the packaging done on the product. This ensures the consumer that the container is not used earlier. Different types of perforations are available on the need basis.
Colors and printing styles: The number of colors chosen on the shrink sleeve for the product design is directly proportional to the cost of packaging. Different printing styles are available on shrink sleeves, like digital printing, flexographic printing, gravure printing and the web offset printing. One can easily select the print style based on the cost estimate and quality of the graphics. Gravure is the costliest style of printing and digital is the most reasonable style of printing.
Types of Shrink sleeves: Shrink sleeves are available in different types, like full body shrink sleeves, shrink sleeves to cover only a portion of the product, shrink sleeves to avoid tampering and shrink sleeve for combination packing of products.
An illustration of the Shrink sleeve process:
- The initial step is to accumulate the sample container and the graphics on the container.
- Appropriate strength material is selected for the container and an alluring graphics to obtain the desired end product.
- Application of the shrink sleeve can be done manually on the product or done by machine. In the machine application process, appropriate heat has to be provided to avoid shrink sleeve damage. After a proper fit of the shrink sleeve package on the container, the finished product is ready.
Advantages of shrink sleeve packaging:
- Sleeves allow complete utilization of the container body. Utilization, when paired with exceptional graphics, is a hit in the market.
- Sleeves undergo a heat treatment to perfectly fit the container body. Hence, any shape of the container can be selected to contour and outgrow in the market.
- Sleeves are applicable for all kinds of materials like metal, glass, and plastic. The sleeves give a perfectly smooth finish on the container.
- To avoid tampering of the product, sleeves can be used on the cap of the container. This ensures trust and safety of the product.
- Shrink sleeves are all moisture resistant. This makes it usable in any place, like product placed in a refrigerator.
- Shrink sleeves are abrasion resistant. This quality of the sleeves helps during shipping of the products.
- The sleeves do not use adhesive and hence no sticky mess available on the container. Containers are reusable and the sleeve can be cleanly torn away.
- Re-branding of the products using shrink sleeves gives an exceptional edge in the marketing end.